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The Festival Series meets The PokerTourist!

The Festival Series meets The PokerTourist!

The Festival Series Meets The PokerTourist!

The Festival Series is a poker festival available to anyone out there. Whether you are a recreational player or a professional player, or coming from Iceland or New Zealand or anything in between, players at the event have all sorts of backgrounds! Every event we meet new players, and this time we had the pleasure of having satellite specialist Asif Warris from the UK at our interview table!

Operator: partypoker + Betfred

We are writing 2023, The Festival Series at the Portomaso Casino in Malta. The event was an epic experience and during the event, we had the privilege of meeting a fanatic poker player from the UK, known for playing satellites online for literally every big poker event in the world. His name is Asif Warris, better known as ‘PokerTourist’. Even in Malta, during the event, he brought his laptop to play some online satellites, the passion!

To give you a bit of information about Asif Warris:

  • Has more than $100,000 in registered live tournament winnings.
  • Cashed in 10 different countries.
  • Qualified online for various major events all across the world.
  • Biggest registered live cash of $10,703.
  • Played the PSPC $25,000 not once but twice, through a giveaway!

Let’s start from the beginning:

Asif: ‘’I started playing poker by accident, to be honest with you. I was very much into the table games such as Blackjack, but one day there wasn’t any game available, except a £20 poker tournament. Decided to give it a shot and In the end, I did pretty okay for myself. Soon later, I played my second tournament a couple of days after and this is where it all began.

When I was at home, I checked out a lot of videos on YouTube and watched poker on TV. Back in the day, you had all the EPT coverage on TV, the entire series. I fell immediately in love with the glamorous locations and made it my main objective to participate in such events at some point in life.’’

A plan had to be made and this is what Asif started writing down for himself:

Asif: ‘’I asked myself: How can I go there? How I can start competing there between all these professional players in these glamorous locations? When watching these shows on TV for like 40 minutes each, you could see mainly of course the all-in situations. I didn’t even see much real poker play, basically, only situations where the best hand wins and some coolers, but was sure there is more to it!

I was under the impression that: All right, poker is about having good cards, and you will win the tournament. So, the way to go there was through satellite tournaments online, and I decided to make myself an account online. Even though I only played a couple of times, the EPT London was coming close, and I tried to play myself into it.

Before this time, I was a buyer for a computer company, where I always aimed to buy something cheaper than the usual price, so the satellites online were a perfect match.’’

Melvin TFS: When winning such packages for live events, or the PSPC giveaway packages, did you try and improve your gameplay for these events? And based on what aspects do you try to get qualified?

Asif: ‘’After some time having played these satellites online, you come to a certain stage where you know the ranges, the push/fold play, and in my opinion these satellites don’t ask for so much knowledge about playing a flop for example. I can’t say anything about the outcomes of these tournaments! But definitely, I could have tried to get some more knowledge before these events.

I can’t complain about the poker trips I have had. It always has been more important to me to go to attractive locations anywhere in the world and play some poker, than to be successful playing online or something.

And it’s always a good thing to have qualified yourself for a low amount such as $5/$11, through either feeder satellites or phase satellites, compared to all these regs who drop loads and keep re-entering tournaments like it's nothing. On top of that, the excursions organised by the event owner, or other side activities, are very valuable to me. I like the entire experience, and The Festival Series is offering this as well. I believe that this category of hospitality is very lucrative for live events.

Overall, when busting out of such an event, of course, there will be the bad beat stories, moaning about a hand which could have been played differently… But the trip itself has to be an experience, and it makes in the end very much worthwhile!’’

Melvin TF: Going back to The Festival Series, the next upcoming event is at King’s Resort in Rozvadov. What do you think about the series?

Asif: ‘’As mentioned, The Festival Series is coming in this category, where you can enjoy the location of the event, by going to the hospitality events, especially if you travel on your own. I don’t really look at the buy-in levels, but I’m quite happy to go to events where you have buy-in ranges between 200 and 500 euros.

The Festival Series has all this, and as long as the tournament structures are reasonable, the people are happy. And this is exactly what you miss in bigger events, it’s just not the same.

I’ve been to Malta for The Festival Series, a place where I like going since I have been there now six or seven times already. The casinos in Malta are nice, loads of options for good food, it’s cheap, and the hotel accommodations are varied.

Rozvadov will be a challenge, but all the faith in you guys, who always come up with new and exciting things. I’m looking forward to it and definitely will try to qualify for it through Partypoker or Betfred, which are available here in the UK. It’s also very beneficial that it will be in the summer period, where you have some other bigger events in the winter in Rozvadov when there is not much going on outside the casino.’’

Asif vs Top Pros!

When we met in Malta, I already knew that he seemed to be familiar to me. Not that long before, a video of Asif went across social media about him winning a Platinum Pass for the PSPC $25K event. The poker world is small sometimes! And when catching up for this interview last week, the whole story behind it came to light.

Not only did he manage to scoop himself a package for the PSPC twice, but he also qualified himself for events such as the Aussie Millions, PCA Bahamas, EPT Prague Main Event, Eureka and Estrella’s Poker Tour, UKIPT, and many more, And all of this was online! An unforgettable and interesting poker story and we are super excited about where his next adventures will lead him!

Do you want to follow Asif ‘Pokertourist’ Warris on his travels? Then we would highly recommend you to have a look at his social media channels! Or would you like to follow the same path through online satellites like him? Satellites for The Festival Series are running daily on various platforms, where at least one of them is available to almost every country in Europe!

See you in Rozvadov, May 31st until June 9th!

>> Information about Online Satellite Tournaments for The Festival Series

>> More information about The Festival Series Rozvadov 2024