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Franke’s Flip Flops’ winner Ian Vertefouille: My heart sank

Franke’s Flip Flops’ winner Ian Vertefouille: My heart sank

During The Festival Series in Bratislava a unique concept was shown once again to the public. A true Flip ‘n Go competition took place for the 2nd time during The Festival Series, after its great success during the previous stop in Tallinn, Estonia.

The concept is very clear – Every day between 21:00 and 23:00 flip games would be organized throughout the whole week. The player who collects the most wins during these games, wins the ranking competition. And not just that, he or she would also walk away with a full package for the next stop of The Festival worth €1600, but also would receive a portrait of him- or herself. As the crème de la crème, also the iconic ‘’Franke’s Flip Flops’’ would be presented to the winner!

We had the privilege of talking to our most recent ranking winner of the Flip ‘N Go competition Ian Vertefouille!

The Interview

(The Festival) Hi Ian! Congratulations once again for being the winner of Franke’s Flip ‘n Go ranking! You won the most flips games in Bratislava and managed to scoop a package for the next Festival stop in Nottingham worth 1600 Euros! You are our 2nd Flips ranking winner, and the first ever winner all the way from USA!

  • (Ian Vertefouille) Thanks a lot! The trip was a blast, and it was a pleasure spending time with you.

(TF) Even though I have spent quite some time with you at the flips tables, I know very little of you as a poker player. Do you mind sharing with us your story of how you started playing poker - for example all the way up to grabbing a package for The Festival Series in Bratislava back in October?

  • (IV) I've had an off and on relationship with poker over the past 12 years. After playing casually with some friends in 2009 I realized that there was more strategy to games like No Limit Hold'em than I had ever imagined. I decided to study the game and play online and started making money right away. Unfortunately, Black Friday hit, which banned all the big sites in America, so I took a break. About a year later I realized that there were other sites that were becoming popular in America, so I hopped back in and started making money again. One year I decided to focus most of my time and energy on one particular site called ‘Lock Poker’. I played around 40 hours a week and made the most money I had ever made in a year. Unfortunately, the website stopped paying the players and eventually shut down which cost me a ton of money. So, once again I was forced to give up on the dream of playing online poker for a living. A couple of years later I decided to give a few sites one more try and, thankfully so far, my third try has been going well.  I live in Central Texas, where casinos and poker were illegal, so live poker was not much of an option until a couple of years ago when they legalized poker. So now I'm playing live poker as much as I can, and I found some poker sites that seem to be legit. One of my favourite sites called ‘Everygame’ has satellites for vacation packages, and the Bratislava Festival Series was one of several that I have won. 

(TF) The fight to win Flips Ranking and see who would walk away with Franke’s Flip Flops was as expected quite a challenge still on the final day. As I remember, you were one point behind the current leader, but he didn’t show up as he was in another tournament. How was your heart rate when he showed up at the tables eventually to have a look?

  • (IV) That last session was quite an emotional roller coaster. Initially, there was only one person who had won as many flips as me and one person who had one more than me. I was thrilled when I arrived and only saw the person who was tied with me when the flips started. I won two, which gave me the lead. I had a premature celebration when my only competition grabbed his bag and walked away. When there was less than an hour left the other person who originally had the lead showed up and sat at the table. My heart sank because I went back to having a chance of losing. Lucky for me there was about a 15-minute period that there were not enough people to keep the game going. These were the 15 minutes that my opponent was at the table. After seeing there was no action he conceded and registered for another tournament. Ironically, immediately after he left plenty of people showed up. We kept the flips going until the time was up, but no one had a chance of catching up to me at that point.  

(TF) What is your overall impression of The Festival Series? And above all, a poker series in Europe? Are
there any major differences compared to the USA?

  • (IV) The festival series was amazing. Everyone on the team was friendly and fun. I also loved that it wasn't completely centered around just poker. I couldn’t participate in every activity, but in all of the activities I did I had a great time. I ate a lot of great food, met a lot of cool people, and had a lot of fun.

(TF) Now you have won the trophy, the package, and the flip flops, what’s next for you?

  • (IV) I´ll probably take a small break for the holiday season and then resume studying and playing as much as possible in 2023. My first big poker vacation next year will be Nottingham, and hopefully there will be many more to follow.  

(TF) You seemed to be very keen on playing tournaments as well - which kind of tournament would you
rather see on the schedule next time during our stop in Nottingham?

  • (IV) For me the best kind of tournament has a big, guaranteed prize pool and a slow structure. I actually really enjoyed the structure of the main event in Bratislava. Unfortunately, I busted around 40 places before the money, and then one of my good friends busted right on the money bubble. What neither of us knew until later was that there was a great consolation prize for the bubble boy - a trip to Nottingham! This will be the fourth poker trip that we have been on together and we're both really looking forward to it.  

Once again. Congratulations to Ian, and it's always a pleasure to see such a unique person at our events. The next possibility is to meet Ian or our first ’Franke’s Flip Flops winner Mr.Jens Henrik Riis, less than in three months in Nottingham. See you there!