The 2019 PokerFest season has offered live poker players the richest event calendar ever. Seven poker festivals took place in the first half of the year and at least five more are scheduled until the end of 2019.
The most recent event that took place was also the largest: The Israeli Poker Championship Mamaia, organized in collaboration with NetBet Poker, had its guaranteed amount of EUR 150,000 in the EUR 550 Main Event exceeded by EUR 91,300, making this vacation festival the largest ever to take place on the Black Sea shore. However, not only the size of the prizes made this event a very important one for the Romanian poker.
IPC Mamaia is the first poker festival organized by PokerFest without the help of an international circuit such as 888LIVE, UnibetOpen or PokerStars Live and to which players from over 15 countries participated, making up almost one third of the participant pool!
How significant is this detail? Very significant for the Romanian poker: it illustrates the European and international communities’ increasing appeal towards tournament series held in Romania. Practically, the Mamaia event was the moment where you could see that foreign players no longer depend on online satellites or the promotion made by the international rooms; they found out from PokerFest, they played, they liked it and spread the information that there is a top circuit in Romania that goes head to head with larger houses and even teaches them a lesson when comes to organization and seriousness. As such, foreign players gave up the qualifications on big sites, looked up the PokerFest schedule on their own and came to Mamaia independently, where they also got great results.
That is why it is expected that PokerFest will gradually become a destination for poker players around the world, and the Romanian sea side will become one of those pre-established places which many will set in their calendar under “Vacation and Poker, 2 in 1”.
And PokerFest adapts: 2019 is the first in year in which the circuit has no less than four stages at the sea side. After IPC Mamaia (June 17-23), July is reserved for a PokerFest Sunny Beach festival on the Bulgarian shore of the Black Sea, also under the IPC aegis. And this series of four Main Events at the sea side is fueled by online satellited on NetBet Poker, PokerFest’s partner in most festivals held in 2019, after it introduced poker in its game offer at the end of last year.
At Sunny Beach, poker will be played between the 17th and 21st of July, with a series of tournaments with an EUR 550 Main Event and EUR 100,000 in guaranteed prizes for which the organizers have made available participation packs and NetBet Poker has made available weekly satellites with guaranteed tickets starting from freerolls. This festival also awaits foreign players, in greater numbers than usual. The IPC Mamaia trophy went to Hungary by the hands of the new champion Mate Mecs, the largest prize went to Bulgaria in the pockets of Yasen Dichev, and these players, together with the rest of the foreign participants, will surely take care to brag about how nice it was in Romania, at PokerFest, when they get back home. This impression left by Sorin Constantinescu’s team is unanimous: there were no objections or comments even from the most pretentious and traveled of players, who step foot in our country’s gambling halls. And many of those who come to PokerFest once, come again and again.
Last, but not least, each foreign player who comes to Romania to play poker doesn’t just spend money on the fund prize, but everywhere: hotels, restaurants, shops, transportation, services. That’s how tourism is made: by offering something. Entertainment, hospitality, seriousness, consistency, promptness, civility. Not just advertisement banners, videos filmed by drones and the country logo. And if anyone is looking to learn a lesson on tourism, they can do so, ironically, from a poker game. Who would have thought?