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The Festival Series meets: Annika Haaviste

The Festival Series meets: Annika Haaviste

Just like our previous article about one of the known online qualifiers for our Festival Series, we will introduce to you another great personality who qualified herself for one of our previous events, last May in Malta. Annika Haaviste, residing in the majestic country of Estonia, is a familiar face to us when we look at our live events. But as you will read here, she is also fond of qualifiers online! For a decade already she has been part of the poker community, experiencing the uprise of the poker industry in her home country. Poker is booming in Estonia, for men and women. At all live events within Europe, they are well presented. At The Festival Series, we see their blue-black-white flag back in every single live report and/or article, taking down one event after the other. Anika has made a great runs runs previously, and we are certain she will top these results any time soon!

Melvin TF: Hi Annika! We know you of course from our live events, but let's get to the bottom of your poker career! When did you actually start playing poker and what is it that poker takes your interest?

Annika: ''I started playing poker a bit more than 10 years ago when friends invited me to play in the Estonian Women's League in 2011. I remember that before I played my first tournament, I had read one poker textbook where I got an initial understanding of the concept and basics of the game. The interest was aroused and from there everything went its way, poker became my main hobby. For me, poker is an exciting, extremely dynamic game that requires attention, constant analysis, making the right decisions and self-discipline. The adrenaline and excitement you get while playing is definitely one of the reasons why I like this game so much. In addition, it is a nice social activity - I have made many nice friends and acquaintances through poker over the years.''

Melvin TF: Poker has got many formats, and can be played in different circumstances, anywhere in the world. Are you more a live poker player or online? 

Annika: ''Both formats have their charms. I have had periods where I have preferred playing online, but at the moment I clearly prefer playing live. The live game offers more excitement and good company. I like to play person against person. Always the first thing at the table, I try to understand my opponents as quickly as possible - how someone plays, what their range, betting structure and body language are. It is extremely exciting to study opponents trying to anticipate their moves and adjust your strategy accordingly.''

Melvin TF: You won a €2k package through Coolbet with one of the many satellites. it was the 49 Franke springs satellite i reckon? How was Malta going for you and what was your overall experience of it all?

Annika: ''Yes, I managed to qualify for The Festival in Malta through the Franke special package. I actually did quite well in Malta. The winning package included many exciting special tournaments such as Sviten, Chinese, roulette, blackjack, etc., which I probably would not have played otherwise. All in all, I came third in the blackjack tournament, which was a great achievement IMO. In addition, I managed to reach the third day of play in the main event and finished in 13th place overall. Malta is a very nice destination to play poker and of course, it's always a good feeling to run deep in a big tournament :)''

Melvin TF: A couple weeks back, there was another great event which is called Franke 50 Summers satellite where we guaranteed 3x €2000 packages. Did you manage to play? If you had to interest other players to participate to this event, how would you describe where The Festival Series stands for and what they can expect when receiving such package? 

Annika: ''Unfortunately, I was not able to participate in the Franke 50 summer satellite :( But since the idea of coming to Bratislava is brewing in my head, I definitely play the satellites. The Festival is simply a tournament series with a very nice aura and value, where nice people come together to play with and enjoy other fun activities. Since I missed the previous Franke special satellite I really hope that there will be some more ;) The package is so versatile that it immediately forces you out of your comfort zone to practice your hand with new formats. In addition, the winner of the package is guaranteed a daily grind, so you have to seriously look at the game schedule if you want to go around the city :)''

Melvin TF: Are you a bit of a mixed games player? What do you think about our new schedule for our next upcoming event in Bratislava November 26th? Like the HORSES Mixed Games Main Event?  

Annika: ''I'm not a very experienced mixed game player, but I'm getting increasingly familiar with different game formats. Since NLH has already become so complex in terms of game technology, the introduction of different formats enriches the game selection in every way. It's great to see that The Festival Series has thought about this and added a lot of interesting formats to its tournament line-up. The special package provides just the right thing - lots of big action!'' 

Annika Haaviste - Main Event of The Festival Series Malta 2023

Annika Haaviste made her package worthwhile as she managed to make a deep run in the Main Event. She cashed eventually for €3,500! Below are the results for that magnificent event at the Portomaso Casino, Malta.

PlaceCountryPlayer NamePrize Money
1stOystein Brenden€60,700
2ndBalazs Somodi€40,500
3rdLuigi D'Alterio€27,900
4thDario Barone€20,300
5thStian Nostdahl€14,560
6thAndreas Holmsten€10,950
7thMatthew Micallef€8,350
9thMischa Wieten€5,150
10thSamuel Stranak€4,100
11thShimon Hagay€4,100
12thMarc Clausin€3,500
13thAnnika Haaviste€3,500