Only a week since the official The Festival Series announcement and there has already been an overwhelming response from the community on social channels. Many have already declared this “great news” and are now ensuring they can make it to the event, and still more claiming they “need to start practising” - no doubt a bit rusty after a year of no live events. Events like Sviten Special tournaments are also much anticipated.
Preparations are well underway for the premiere event set in Tallinn, Estonia for June 7-13, 2021. Here, players will meet for a seven-day packed schedule of poker, roulette and blackjack tournaments, as well as celebrations and parties in Tallinn. Clearly, spirits are high for what will be one of the first live events of the year.
Beacon of hope
The HendonMob has described the upcoming event as “a beacon of hope for the poker community.” They have also shared that, “For Hendon Mob and GPI, 2020 and early 2021 has witnessed an agonising dearth of live tournament events, and news of the return of live poker to Europe will represent the green shoots of hope that all the poker community needs at this time.”
Juha Helppi, a prominent live Finnish player, has expressed that he’s, “Really looking forward to playing live poker. It’s quite boring just to play online.” After 12 years of purely playing live poker, it took a pandemic to get him back to the online scene. He says it’s just, “Not the same,” and that he’d “Definitely like to come,” to the event. “You know it’s going to be fun,” he says.
Live qualifiers will be announced shortly at the Olympic Park Casino – already confirmed host for the event. Online satellites through the online arm of Olympic Entertainment Group, Olybet, are expected to start as early as March, from just 1¢. The qualifier packages include buy-ins to the €550 NLHE Poker Main Event as well as side event buy-ins, accommodation at the Hilton Tallinn Park, and travel/spending money.
Herli Olop, Head of Poker at OlyBet, is responsible for bringing qualifiers from Estonia, Finland and Latvia to The Festival In Tallinn and beyond. He says: “June is a very great time, it’s summertime already. It will be massive, I think, because the €550 buy in, it’s more for recreational players - it’s great.” Players will be able to win full-access packages to The Festival Series event for just a small buy-in or entry bet, making this an inclusive event for players of all backgrounds and playing levels.
No doubt this will be well done
This week Paf Poker also came on the scene as a partner. The Ålandic gaming company has a long history of involvement in Europe’s poker and gaming tournaments, and is enthusiastic about partnering with The Festival Series to bring their players the best live event experience - especially after a long period of enforced online-only activity. In the words of Ola Brandborn, Paf’s head of poker: “I have no doubt that this will be well done as well, especially with your knowledge from the Battle Of Malta.”
Ola remains optimistic about the first event going ahead, currently planning to put players into all poker, roulette and blackjack events. However, like all The Festival In Tallinn team, there are contingency plans in place should the worst happen. All packages will be automatically rolled over to The Festival In Bratislava in September, meaning that players can qualify with confidence. Ola says: “If everything goes bad, I can have qualifiers to the tournament from Estonia; if everything goes well then we have them from all our countries.”
Casinoroom.com are the latest to announce their partnership and sponsorship. CasinoRoom is one of the longest-standing online gaming sites, established in 1999, offering mainly casino games, slots, roulette and blackjack. This makes sense for the upcoming The Festival in Tallinn which will have roulette and blackjack main event tournaments alongside poker. More land-based and online casinos are also expected to join forces with The Festival Series in the coming weeks.
“We’re all about light entertainment,” says Mery Blomqvist, CMO of Ellmount Group who own CasinoRoom. “We’re really looking forward to collaborating with these guys. I think that it’s going to bring extra spice.” Along with many qualifying players, CasinoRoom will also bring aboard casino Twitch streamer, Teukka, who has been top of his game over the past six years.
Mery says she’s “really excited about partnering up with Teukka because he’s quite solid and a nice character with a big reach, and we are going to provide a few nice prizes for him to give away also in his channel, so in his streams too. He will also be on site with us during that tournament.” In response, Teukka also says that he, “Is very excited about this festival, as I like casino games and awesome events like this. So happy to be part of it.” You can subscribe to Teukka's Twitch channel here.