Have a Flippin’ Great Time at The Festival Bratislava
If we were to survey 100 people chosen randomly on any typical high street, and 100 poker fans, chances are the latter group would be the more adventurous of the two. It's a poker 'thing' - hence the often outrageous and legendary stories we hear of from time to time. Poker players tend to love a gamble, and when such prospects promise the chance of getting our hands on something at a bargain basement price, we often - albeit unjustifiably - conveniently translate 'gamble' to 'value'. Moreover, if the exercise also features a barrel-full of excitement and fun, then it's a veritable no-brainer!
Such will be the case at The Festival Bratislava with the aptly named Franke's Flip Flops which, after causing quite a stir at the Tallinn leg of the series earlier this summer, will make a return in the Slovakian capital (October 10-16). The concept - the brainchild of The Festival creator, Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk - couldn't be simpler (which, throughout history, has been the common denominator of many a genius idea). As the name suggests, players enter Flip challenges, and those who rack up the most wins are the recipients of prizes that might include, for example, €550 tickets for the €500,000 GTD Main Event, or even the Grand Prize: a €1,600 package for the next edition of the Series! And who doesn’t want to be crowned Franke’s Flip Flops Champion?
Flip & Win
In Bratislava there'll be a special Flips table set up, and every evening time will be set aside for all-comers to try their luck - and entertain the crowd! - in a bid to win tickets. The beauty of Franke's Flip Flops is that buy-ins can vary according to what prizes are on offer, because as well as Main Event seats there will be other tickets and so on to win for upcoming tournaments, of which there are many! Depending on the tickets up for grabs and number of runners, buy-ins could be €20, for instance. So, there you have it - dive into the Flip challenges and collect tokens for tournaments.
It could be you!
Someone who certainly was happy to have got involved in the Flip fun in Tallinn was Jens Henrik Riis, who rose to the challenge and emerged with a €1,600 package to The Festival Bratislava! The Poker Gods must have taken a shine to Jens, who notched up an impressive eight victories to claim the ultimate prize, and who will no doubt be hoping for similar success in Slovakia.
Jens, 51, lives in Alingsås outside Gothenburg, Sweden. He first got into poker when he watched a friend he was visiting playing online and winning ('despite playing badly'), deciding he could win, too.
Nowadays, Jens enjoys small live tournaments in Sweden, as well as going to bigger events every few months. His immediate goal is to win the Sviten Special at The Festival Bratislava and, looking ahead, a major plan is a WSOP comeback next year after an absence of 10 years.
Away from the tables, Jens enjoys spending time with his children (who are quite good at poker!) as well as hunting and fishing. Let's hope he bags a few fish in Bratislava... Here's a brief interview with the Franke's Flip Flops winner.
Interview with Jens Henrik Riis
(The Festival) What made you try out Franke’s Flip Flops in Tallinn? How many Flips did you play/win, and did you have a strategy?
(Jens Henrik Riis) I tried it out because it seemed like an easy way to get tournament tickets. I try to play in as many events at The Festival as possible. So, I figured that if I played as many Flips as I could it would be at least a break even, given that probability should level out as you continue to play more Flips. In the end I was a bit lucky to win so many, and it's a great prize to win!
(TF) In the Sviten Special you were part of a three-way deal at the top of the pile (finishing ahead of the Sviten godfather himself, Anders ‘Bengan’ Bengtsson!). Would you like to see this exciting version feature more as poker continues to evolve? (N.B. For those of our readers not yet acquainted with this relatively modern poker phenomenon, the Sviten Special poker variant is named after the Sviten Poker Club in Stockholm, and combines five-card draw and Omaha, with the pot being split between the best five-card and Omaha hands).
(JHR) Sviten is my absolute favourite poker game! Of course, knocking out Bengan was a bit sad, but this is poker, so it was also necessary. It is true that this is an especially Scandinavian game and a favourite of many players from my region. Personally, I do hope to see this game at every event I go to in the future! I recommend everyone gives it a try because it's great fun. As for advice to newcomers, I'd say play and learn and, if you're unsure of what to do in a hand, then raise the pot!
(TF) Your personal successes aside, what is it about The Festival that attracts you? How important do you think it is for event organisers to provide poker players with things to see and do away from the tables? What did you get up to in Tallinn, for instance?
(JHR) The Festival is quite different to all other events. The hospitality package, for example, is great fun. You get to do all kinds of activities and go to things such as sightseeing trips, shows, events, fantastic dinners and so on. In my experience at poker events around Europe this is a unique feature. I have to say that the atmosphere at The Festival Series is always very good, and can feel like a big, non-stop party. In Tallinn, for instance, we were taken to visit a local brewery and invited to taste some of the products, after which there was (of course) a beer pong tournament. I should add that I consider winning a little 'water fight' with Franke as my most important victory at The Festival Series thus far!
That may well be… In the meantime, check out the Bratislava Tournament Schedule here.