The 2019 spring-summer season of Romanian live poker is almost over. PokerFest Romania has already drew a line this year with the four successful festivals organized in collaboration with three important international collaborators: NetBet, 888poker and Unibet, after a series of events which packed casino floors.
The poker year started early with the NetBet Series Open held between 14th-20th of January which had a primary tournament at its core, with EUR 100,000 in guaranteed prizes (exceeded), won by Mihai Bogdan Gheonu, who left the event with the year’s first important prize, EUR 19,386.
A new Unibet Open edition followed, organized for the first time ever at Sinaia, being the first Unibet Open festival of the 2019 season. Taking place between the 12th and the 18th of February, the series of tournaments culminated with the victory of Czech player Martin Soukup in the Main Event, after a heads-up game against one of the most dynamic Romanian players in the tournament, the young Marius Gicovanu. Traian Bostan, Unibet Open 2016 champion, took third place, and one of the veterans of Romanian live poker, Toni Judet, took 5th. So, as can be observed, it was a tough final, with EUR 71,000 for the champion in the tournament with a guaranteed prizes fund of EUR 366,000, above the expectations of everyone at Unibet, which once again confirmed that Romania is the paradise of this circuit.
After that, the pressure started to rise once the series of 888poker LIVE tournaments started at the Intercontinental hotel in the country’s capital, Bucharest (held between 4th-10th March), with a Main Event of EUR 888 and a solid guarantee of EUR 300,000, exceeded however after 505 registered entries and EUR 387,638 gathered in the prize fund. The tournament had one heck of a final: two very good Romanian players remained to battle for the title: the young grinders, Bogdan Nicolae and Darius Neagoe who, after a deal, continued to play for the pack to the WSOP Main event set up for grabs by the organizers. In the end, Darius Neagoe took the title and added another EUR 62,300 to his bankroll – and a trip to Vegas as well, worth $12,600 and the chance of a score in the most important live tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker’s Main Event.
March ended with the warm-up for the next NetBet Open series, with a 5 day mini-festival, entitled NetBet Warm-Up, thought up for smaller budgets: a EUR 230 Main Event, however with EUR 50,000 guaranteed, as a prelude to the NetBet Open series that takes place exactly on the date on which our edition is published in Bucharest, at the Poker Room club, with a EUR 330 Main Event and EUR 100,000 guaranteed.
The next festival of the national circuit is 888poker LIVE LOCAL Bucharest held between May 13th and 19th, which raises the stakes once again, with EUR 150,000 in prizes. Online satellites are already up and running on the 888poker site and a numerous participation is once again expected (the guarantees offered by PokerFest, however generous, are always exceeded by the number of participants).
June is poker month by the sea with a festival held in Mamaia that will have a EUR 550 Main Event, followed by tournament for players with large bankrolls, also held in Mamaia, at the Caelia Beach luxury complex.
Therefore, we will soon be crossing off the list seven poker festivals in only the first five months of 2019 and we can’t wait for the autumn PokerFest calendar after the summer holiday, calendar