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Michel Molenaar Wins The Festival Bratislava 2022

Michel Molenaar Wins The Festival Bratislava 2022

After seven days fifty events of The Festival Series are in the books, with thousands of players over €600,00 in the Main Event and a brand new champion: Dutchman Michel Molenaar, who edged out 1,271 entrants to claim the biggest tournament payout in Slovak poker history, the coveted personalized trophy and a place in the history of The Festival.

Key Facts - The Festival in Bratislava Main Event

Michel Molenaar
Michel Molenaar
  • Buy-In: €550
  • Venue: Banco Casino Bratislava
  • Players: 1,271 Entries
  • Prize Pool: €603,725
  • Winner: Michel Molenaar (€126,650)

The festival in Bratislava took place again in 2022 at the Banco Casino in the heart of the Slovak capital, from October 10th to 17th. Chaired by Sweden's loudest pawn, Martin "Franke" von Zweigbergk, the 24/7 festival featured a packed program of poker events with buy-ins ranging from €60 to €1,100, with the €550 NLH Main Event at its heart. The prize pool was guaranteed at €500,000 but it turned out to be much more in the end as there were 1,271 entrants in five starting flights, with two re-entries allowed per flight and registration open until the first break on day two.

This is the number of Entries per flight.

Main Event by the Numbers

FlightEntriesSurvivorsAverage% AdvancedChip LeaderChipsBig Blinds
Day 1a13439103,07729.1%Rikard Larsson256,00085
Day 1b18051105,88228.3%Ronald Zapantis296,00099
Day 1c2809192,30832.5%Attila Kuna384,000128
Day 1d45814197,44730.8%Pavel Svach303,000101
Day 1e1445874,48340.3%Erik Seffer183,00061
Day 2 Late Reg75---

14 Hour Day 2

Day 2 proved to be a grueling affair for the 16 survivors - after almost 14 hours of play, including nearly two agonizing bubble hours, they ended the night with two tables remaining, with Michel Molenaar in the lead. During the nine-hour game on finals day, Molenaar lost the lead several times - by the time they reached the official final table of eight players, Iceland's Leo Sigurdsson was in the lead - but he never lost his nerve, eventually triumphing over his compatriot in a brief heads-up match Gerianne Dijkstra. Dijkstra received €77,450 and is now the highest-ranked woman to have competed in the main tournament at the festival.

Winner Interview With Michel Molenaar

Casino Side Events in Full Swing

In addition to poker, there were also events in various casino gaming disciplines, including tournaments in roulette, blackjack and sports betting, as well as a pool tournament won by Finnish high-stakes poker legend and Baileys lover Ilari Sahamies. The festival is also dedicated to poker in all its forms, with events in non-traditional disciplines such as Sviten Special and Open Face Chinese (the High Roller version was won by none other than Martin "Franke" von Zweigbergk). Full results for all events can be found here. Outside of the casino, there was an extensive hospitality package with city tours, wine tastings, various dinners and late-night parties for the players who weren't at the tables in the early hours.

We'll be back at the Nottingham Festival in February next year and save the dates, we will also be in Malta in May!

Main Event Payouts

1Michel Molenaar€126,650
2Gerianne Dijkstra€77,450
3Leo Sigurdsson€50,550
4Slavomir Rakovan€36,975
5Peter Kamaras€27,900
6Sascha Manns€20,375
7Mark Berman€14,350
8Yasen Dichev€9,870
9Marton Lugosi€6,820

All Festival Winners

Below are the trophy drawings of all the winners of The Festival Series: