This fall, PokerFest national circuit turned seven, with a track record of dozens of festivals, hundreds of trophies awarded to the best Romanian and foreign poker players, and millions of Euro in prizes.
The tournament series organized by the Romanian operator in partnership with global gambling giants have become springboards for professional players, and good opportunities to forge a strong and united player community.
In the ever-changing poker world, but few circuits have stood the test of time. The initial goals are always fabulously ambitious, but the low profit margins and the major difficulties posed by the hundreds and thousands of players who need to be managed at the same time make this business an almost impossible endeavor. Even the large global circuits have seen their falls, dark times and drawbacks.
In this rather harsh climate, not to mention the Romanian legislation that used to be poker adverse before 2015, PokerFest Romania has stood tall and enriched its annual offering for the players with every new season. We contacted the CEO of the company, Mr. Sorin Constantinescu, to speak precisely about this continuity. How have you developed this business, and which are its outlooks, we asked him. And he replied with some very interesting statements.
“I entered the poker world naturally, back in 2010, when I found in this game that peaceful oasis I was striving for as a casino manager”, he explained. “I had been in the gambling industry for two decades, and there was little I hadn’t already known. Most importantly: the huge value of the customer, and the imperative that all should revolve around them and their comfort, desires and moods. When you come to play the roulette or blackjack, including poker, you are in your spare time and you don’t feel like moving a muscle. You only want to have fun. Which is why the casino alone bears the burden of making this happen. As a casino manager, I learned how to be mindful of this aspect, and it has helped me a lot to be able to offer poker players that free, comfortable and uncomplicated environment they need to feel good.”
“For me, it was something I had been dreaming about for some time: to see an environment cleared of pathological gamblers, surrounded by an almost evil system designed to exploit their weaknesses. With poker, you are just the organizer, and never play against your own customers. Gamblers compete one against each other in a superb, complex and highly educational competition. Poker has the ability to shape human natures because it requires mental and psychological skills, teaches you discipline, patience and fair-play, and helps you understand how important is to think on long term”.
“Technically, we followed the natural steps: we tried to remove the human factor prone to error from the system, and left almost all to technology. We have now the best-performing game management and control software which allows us to put together huge events without additional efforts or fail. Plus, our app allows everybody to know at any time which is the status of the tournaments and everything there is to know about them. Dealers update the tables in real time, and this is captured instantaneously in our database with global online access.”
As for the future plans, Sorin Constantinescu thinks far ahead, but only speaks about what he knows for sure. Which is why he provided us with some “short-term” details about the 2019 season, and told us in a couple of words about where, when and how the first festival of the upcoming year would take place. This is the Unibet Open Ski Edition due to take place in Sinaia in 12-18 February, with participants from around twenty countries.
The structure of this festival to be held in February is nothing new for the gamblers who have already played in Unibet Open series: One EUR 1,100 main event, one EUR 2,200 High Roller, satellites for the two, side events for all pockets, and cash games around the clock. The series’ program will be adapted to this beautiful holiday venue: to leave the participants with some time to enjoy life in the resort, the organizers cleared one program day off poker, and the Main Event is scheduled to start at 03:00 PM every day to leave mornings free for going-outs. The festival also features a welcome party and a Players’ Party, and the players landing in Otopeni for the festival will be taken free of charge to Sinaia.
Nataly Sopacuaperu, the head of events with Unibet spoke about the event: “This is our very first winter edition of Unibet Open, and we are delighted to announce it. Poker festivals combined with winters sports have become very popular over the last years, and we are looking forward to kicking-off the 2019 program of our series in the beautiful Romanian resort of Sinaia”.
Representing PokerFest, Sorin Constantinescu made some comments, too: “In this era of fast and cheap traveling, the picturesque tourist destinations gain ground quickly to the detriment of large capital cities when it comes to poker festivals. Players have understood that poker is more than just playing cards. It is a full-fledged experience that we, the organizers, have the duty to make as pleasant and memorable as possible. The festival of February in Sinaia will do just that: intense poker playing in one of the best known and coquettish Romanian mountain resorts, also a famous historical town”.