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A Look Back at the 2021 Festival in Bratislava

A Look Back at the 2021 Festival in Bratislava

The inaugural Festival Series Online is in full blast at 888poker. At the same time, we are preparing for our return to Banco Casino in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava for our third live The Festival Series on October 10-16.

Bratislava is where it all began for The Festival Series with the first-ever event taking place last year from September 20-26, 2021.

Check out some of the highlights of our first trip to Bratislava to get an idea of what is ahead for you this autumn.

Former EPT Dealer Martin Mauthner Wins Main Event

Martin Mauthner
Martin Mauthner

The €550 Main Event was the poker highlight of the 2021 The Festival in Bratislava and didn’t disappoint after attracting a whopping 621 entries to generate a €294,975 prize pool. This year’s Main Event is guaranteed to be at least 40 percent bigger as for the first time The Festival Series has slapped a mouth-watering €500,000 guarantee while keeping the buy-in the same at €550.

All eyes were on former EPT dealer Martin Mauthner throughout the final table both live and for those watching the live stream on TheFestivalOG Twitch channel as he is known to be a colorful character. Mauthner boasted an unlit cigarette out of his mouth Sammy Farha style throughout the final table and was the shortest stack with three players left when he made a deal with Adi Rajkovic and David Vedral leaving €13,000 left to be played for.

Rajokovic ousted Vedral and held nearly quadruple the stack of Mauthner before he mounted a comeback to win the coveted Main Event trophy along with a massive haul of €47,600.

PlacePlayerPrize MoneyDeal
1Martin Mauthner€59,000€47,600
2Adi Rajkovic€43,000€45,130
3David Vedral€38,270€38,270
4Henry Mania€20,500
5Fotios Konstantinos€14,000
6Peter Hanke€10,000
7Dushko Bogoevski€7,500
8Viktor Eriksson€5,975
9Erik Seffer€4,600

Sandford & Hazan Win Side Events

George Sanford
George Sanford

The Festival Series features dozens of side events in different poker formats. This alone is an attraction to many that enjoy playing no-limit hold’em but other variants including Sviten Special, pot-limit Omaha, Short Deck, Open Face Chinese Pineapple, and more.

It didn’t take long for The Festival Series Bratislava lead commentator George Sandford to prove once again that he is a force to be reckoned with at the tables. Sandford was playing cash games throughout the week and also entered his name in The Festival Series history books as winning the inaugural event in the two-day €220 Sviten Special for €2,870.

JJ Hazan
JJ Hazan

Meanwhile, another commentator in JJ Hazan performed even better as he shipped the two-day €220 PokerListings Cup for €7,375.

Perhaps some of Hazan’s luck (skills) rubbed off on this author as well. While I was at The Festival Series Bratislava reporting and commentating myself, I was also invited to join a televised PLO cash game commentating by Hazan. I won a few buy-ins to cap off an amazing trip.

Franke Wins Two Sports Wagering Trophies

Martin Franke von Zweigbergk
Martin Franke von Zweigbergk

The Festival Series has been a casino event and not a pure poker event from the very start. The inaugural event in Bratislava featured Blackjack, Slots, Roulette, and two Sports Wagering tournaments.

The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk won both sports wagering events but was unable to defend his titles earlier this month in Tallinn. However, Franke proved he can do it on the poker tables as well in Tallinn as he won his third The Festival Series trophy after winning the €1,050 OFC High Roller instead.

Activities Away from the Tables

The Festival Series is a true poker holiday. This is especially the case for online qualifiers and those that purchase the VIP Hospitality Package as it includes many amazing activities.

The last trip to Bratislava included an event at a pool hall, a VIP dinner, wine tasting, and more. This author’s favorite was the trip to a cabaret hall with The Festival Series renting out the entire joint for an amazing private show to be remembered by all in attendance.

What the VIP activities will include this time around is still a surprise. But rest assured, it will be an amazing way to meet like-minded poker people in a fun environment.

Qualify and Register

Qualification for The Festival Bratislava is possible via satellites at one of our various online partners. 

Satellites are running already and you can find all available satellites here:

» All Satellites to The Festival