The Festival Series Recap Edition : Damiano Nigro
The Festival Series at the Dusk Till Dawn Pokerclub in Nottingham is already in the books for a good two weeks now. It’s time to catch up with Photographer who was on site during the event, Damiano Nigro. A couple months ago, you could already read a very interesting interview with this unbelievable nice personality, and above all, a real professional. Let’s go find out how he experienced the whole Festival Series vibe, and I can assure you, it’s a masterpiece to read once again!:
Melvin TF: Sir, you are an absolute star to work with. Your amount of experience is so valuable. Did The Festival Series meet your expectations which you had about it beforehand?
- Damiano: Yes, absolutely. I'm used to these kinds of events. I tend to select the Poker events I attend based on the location and the side action they offer. I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into since I have been following the development of the project online over the past editions. It must feel like a poker holiday for those who participate in the hospitality package, which is a good thing to promote since I feel the pro’s, the serious faces, and the (wannabe) masterminds in the poker world screwed things up with all the GTO studies and the fact of taking the game too seriously. Instead of taking poker to a higher level, they are in the process of killing the game in my opinion. I believe that if poker is not taken in a light-hearted way, it will die as a whole because the reality is (and I get a lot of hate for this :-p ) that it is not a skill game due to the sick variance inherent to the game. The skill game aspect only emerges at very high volumes, which almost nobody is capable of putting in, especially in live games.
- The reality is, if you win at live poker (especially in MTTs), it probably mostly has to do with luck since it is not physically possible to put in enough volume to beat the variance in a lifetime. As a consequence, you might as well enjoy the ride, have a good time, make friends and find a reason to laugh when you get sucked out or bad beaten. Otherwise, poker can and will be quite a sad journey. That's what I try to promote with my photography and The Festival is one of the places I can find an atmosphere I am glad to promote. That said, I have met and played against a bunch of very capable players in Nottingham. One does not exclude the other.
Melvin TF: What makes The Festival Series different as other festivals you have visited?
- Damiano: I think I would have the stuff to shoot and promote high-end Poker events from a technical point of view, but I believe some of today's brands in the industry are sometimes harming the game with short-sighted decisions. The Festival Series, for me, is a brand that has chosen to prioritize fun and companionship. It's not like nobody cares if one plays like a fish and loses money, but I feel there is less judgment for being an inexperienced player here. There is something about coming together and sharing moments. Sure, there's money at stake and (let's be real) promoting a poker event is a business, but there are also a lot of human connections being made. I recognize that one pillar of the business aspect in these events is to push affiliations and to generate rake, which can be a dirty and dull business at times but it's made in a more friendly and fun way in the case of The Festival Series and players get a lot of fun added value in exchange of the rake they pay.
- Having a dedicated hospitality package is a great thing. Sometimes I feel like players are only showing up to poker events to play cards and I ask myself what the point is to travel the world if all you do is spend time in a casino. I am perfectly aware that casino owners don't enjoy having their customers leave the gaming and gambling tables for cultural and leisure activities, but it is profitable for everybody in the long run. Without these experiences, one might as well stay at home and play online and I would certainly not have spent 15 years in this industry.
Melvin TF: How is to work together with the festival series crew?
- Damiano: It is interesting to me that many members of The Festival crew are non-professionals and only partially rely on the project to make a living. This makes it a pleasant team to be around since there is a lot of passion involved. Not being a full-time pro does not mean that you cannot deliver excellent work. It's quite the contrary, actually. Since many staff members in management and media crew make a living with other jobs, they are capable of bringing a lot of enthusiasm when working together on running The Festival Series. Pro’s get burned out and bored a lot, which has an impact on creativity, team building, and problem-solving capacity. During my week in Nottingham, I found myself surrounded by very creative and dedicated people who deeply love what they do. It's a great feeling and boosts my own creativity too. I have learned throughout the years that I am usually only as good as the average quality of the people around me. It's like the sky on a clear night. Some stars shine brighter than others but if it's cloudy, there is no glow to be seen and if the atmosphere is clear, the whole thing is beautiful to look at.
FIND OUT more about Damiano Nigro by following him :
PHOTO ARCHIVE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/127914209@N07/albums
Here is couple of pictures which were taken by Damiano during our last Nottingham event: