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The Festival Series Meets – Laura Cornelius

The Festival Series Meets – Laura Cornelius

You might have seen her passing by in promotional videos for various poker events, recap videos, vlogs,  or one of the many poker interviews she has been given throughout the years. Laura Cornelius has been active in the poker industry for more than a decade now, leaving a whole track of pure professionalism, and with the pure passion she is expressing, she is a well-respected colleague within the poker world. Laura is a synonym for The Festival Series, she is not just all about poker but loves the things around as much as anything else!

Melvin TF: Hi Laura! For the people who don't know you yet. Who is Laura Cornelius and what does she do in daily life?

Laura: Hi, I'm a fun-loving Brit from an entertainment background, having originally started out as an actor in my early 20s in London. These days though, apart from a few select poker tournaments, I spend most of my days in my airing cupboard/recording studio as I make voiceovers and videos for all sorts of clients around the world, from hospitals, banks, car and pharma companies to small start-ups and charities. Every day is different, which is what I love the most. I am also lucky enough to get a poker holiday thrown in the mix here and there, play some poker with my partner Gary; cook, swim, play tennis, and mess around with my cat!

Melvin TF: You have been involved in Poker for some time. Can you tell us more about your activities in the poker industry?

Laura: I first started playing poker around 2009 when a friend I was working with in Soho, London took me to a pub tournament in Camden. From there I started running my own tournaments in pubs, before getting a job with PokerNews in 2011, which was perfect as I had amassed a decent knowledge of poker by this point, so it went well with the acting and presenting experience I had already picked up.

Ambassador who has been to every corner of the world to develop a poker

I worked freelance with PokerNews (and PokerStars) presenting the vlogs on all the EPT and other tour stops for quite a few years from 2011 - 2017 and went to some fabulous places including Seoul, Las Vegas, and Monte Carlo where I interviewed players and had fun on camera on and off the felt. I also then became the presenter for Unibet poker tour stops, The Irish Open, The Battle of Malta, WSOP, and many more.

In 2015 I moved to Malta to become the host of The Global Poker League, which took us to Vegas as well as the studio in Malta and saw the first streamed poker games in a live sports-themed format. I met Gary my partner in Las Vegas in 2016 who then moved to Malta for a few years in 2019 he brought me back to the UK (kicking and screaming) where I have been ever since.

Melvin TF: During our next stop of The Festival Series in Malta, you will host the Queens event and with this join our Festival crew. What do you think of women's poker events in general? And what can players expect in Malta from this event?

Laura: I am so excited to get involved with The Festival Series in Malta and host the Queens event. I have known Franke for some time after working with him and his crew at The Irish Open years back and I have always loved his fun sense of humor and frivolity. I have the same ethics in life: Whatever we should be doing, we should have fun doing it, so I know The Festival Series will be about that. It’s not just going to be another poker tournament, this is going to be about the fun and hospitality away from the felt as much as on the felt. I love ladies’ events as well, as they are just so much friendlier than mixed tournaments. We sit and make friends at the felt even if we crack their aces, and after working Kings of Tallinn this year where the ladies’ event was so loud and raucous, my plan is to try and get the same level of atmosphere as I think this is what it's about. It may mean having a little drink as we play ha!

Melvin TF: We've had two mega qualifiers, especially for Ladies but with a small twist to it, the first was during International Women's Day, and most recently last Friday, April 14. What do you think about such qualifiers and how was your experience of these events?

Laura: I have been playing also the qualifiers on Betfred for the Queens event and the Main Event, but am yet to secure my seat this way sadly :( I did do a freeroll for which I was giving away some €20 tickets to play the qualifier and somehow I managed to win the freeroll which was not my intention at all as I had a bounty on my head!!

There is a small twist in that men are able to play the qualifier as long as they give their seat to a close female. So far I have played everything myself though it would be a way better idea to get Gary to play for me as he is the professional, he's just never around!! We are both looking forward to playing again in the Portomaso Casino though. I just need a bit more luck in the next qualifier, please!

Melvin TF: You have been spending some time in Malta already. Do you have any tips for our poker players on what to do on the Rock?

Malta - Spinola Bay

Laura: Yes! As I mentioned I used to live in Malta between 2015 and 2019. It was an absolute blast and I try to go back as much as I can as still have many close friends there. We used to live in Spinola Bay so right next door to the Hilton and Portomaso Casino, it’s a great place to play poker, and it’s such a lively spot with so many good bars and restaurants, that there is always something to do when you do bust from the felt. The weather is always great too, so bring your swimmers as the sea is lush for swimming and many beach clubs and lidos are nearby. If you fancy history, Valletta is glorious to walk around (also great restaurants to eat like Al Fresco). I am excited just thinking about it and can't wait to see you there.

To be happy or unhappy - that is the question

As you have probably understood, The Festival Team likes to enjoy life, and what could bring us more joy than to share with you a very old saying that has been passed down in Scottish families from generation to generation.

We put the question to Laura, who has dealt with hundreds of Scots at her countless poker events, and asked her for a more detailed answer.

The Festival Team: "What is the difference between a happy face and an unhappy face?"

Laura: "Suprise me"

The Festival Team: "Happy face supports good football! The sad one supports just a Celtic"

The Festival Malta - 50 Events of Madness

The Festival Malta takes place from May 15 to 21 in Portomaso Casino. There are a total of 50 different tournaments within €550 Main Event. The festival schedule includes a lot of mixed games, and in addition to poker games, there is also a blackjack and roulette tournament. In addition, The Festival Queens tournament led by Laura will take place on Friday, May 19. The Festival Malta online qualifications are still going on, so if you haven't won the package yet, it's the last time to win it. You can win it at Betfred today starting at 19:30 CET.