"Players Should Expect a Fun Experience" at The Festival Series Bratislava (Sept. 20-26)
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The Festival Series is about to make its debut with its first stop set to take place at Banco Casino, located in the heart of the majestic Slovakian capital of Bratislava on Sept. 20-26, 2021.
Poker players have a reason to be excited with The Festival Series Bratislava boasting tons of poker tournaments and cash games including the €300,000 guaranteed The Festival Series €550 Main Event.
The Festival Series isn't your everyday poker festival. In fact, one might argue that The Festival Series isn't a poker festival at all but an all-inclusive casino festival allowing poker players, casino enthusiasts, and sports betters a one-stop shop to come together for a casino holiday with blackjack, roulette, and slots tournaments alongside a sports wagering competition. This is on top of the many activities that The Festival Series plans for its community outside the casino as well.
The Festival Series was the brainchild of Cash Game Festival Co-Founder Martin "Franke" von Zweigbergk, who alongside the well-known event organizer Mauritz Altikardes and the creative minds at Acroud Ltd are the driving forces of the unique ideas to revolutionize gaming festivals and facilitate more inclusions among those more apt to play games outside of poker.
PokerNews sat down with Altikardes to learn more about the concept, what players should expect, and more.
Concept Long Time in the Making
Altikardes and von Zweigberk have combined forces before with the innovative Cash Game Festival and now are together once more with a brand new idea. Altikardes shared this was where the idea came about and that The Festival Series became a reality with the support of Acroud.
"I know that Franke (Martin von Zweigbergk) was talking about an event like The Festival, where all verticals were included way back during the Cash Game Festival era," Altikardes shared with PokerNews. "Being able to follow through with that idea probably was enabled in full when joining Acroud."
Players Should Expect More Than Poker
PokerNews was curious what players should expect and what sets The Festival Series apart from the dozens of other gaming festivals.
"Players should expect a fun experience with a lot of happenings dependent on what you as a player are into," Altikardes said. "For the serious gamblers, you got all types of games running 24/7 with various buy-ins. For the leisure player, you got possibilities in playing whatever you like but also a lot of "off-the-felt" stuff. Partying, making new friends, and just having a mini-vacay."
"The Festival Series is a unique event in the sense that we put equal emphasis on all verticals. We've got the tournaments, new set-ups, for roulette and blackjack where we stream the final tables. We got the slots tournament with a dedicated partner who adds value in terms of hospitality and tweaks the tournament into a fun format. And then we got the sportsbook or sports betting challenge which is done by our special software. On top of that, we're going to have The Gambling Cabin setting up a lounge where they give insights on upcoming betting objects with good odds. For sure the poker tournaments are the focus of many players and I know we got that covered with the all-inclusive schedule and the ME GTD of €300k adds value to that."
"But overall it's about making sure that every player, no matter what they enjoy, understands that they are important for us. We're present with a team of actual players in the various verticals, all the time."
This is not all as players should expect a special experience within the casino as well with Banco Casino being well-known for its hospitality.
"A team from The Festival and Banco Casino devoted to hospitality will make sure that every guest is taken care of," Altikardes explained. "We've got staff fluent in several languages that will make sure to cater to everyone’s needs and wishes."
Fun Cash Games
With both von Zweigbergk and Altikardes are known for hosting fun and juicy cash games, it comes as a little surprise that cash game players will be able to expect a wide variety of games with tons of action.
"Since Banco Casino attracts a lot of players from close regions on a daily basis we know that with the influx of non-regs to the event the action is going to be high," Altikardes said. "Add to that fact that people really want to enjoy an event like this after the numerous lockdowns throughout Europe it safe to say that we´re going to have a volume of players longing for action. Plus, think about all the people new to the live scene who hasn´t had an opportunity to play live before. Of course, the regs will understand that there are a lot of qualifiers to an event like this and you know what that means."
Just in case it isn't enough for The Festival Series to host a big poker main event, innovative blackjack, roulette, slots, and sports wagering events, non-stop cash games, and memorable experiences away from the casino, there is still many other highlights. Altikardes shared some of the side events he believes will be the most special for poker players.
Some of the other highlights poker players will enjoy are a Sviten Special tournament, the High Rollers, and Pokerlistings Deepstack Championship will be the ones that will attract entries," said Altikardes.
To be honest, the first stop was supposed to be Tallinn but due to the pandemic at that time in June, we had to cancel that event," Altikardes humbly said. "But as I see it an event in Bratislava attracts more people from strong communities in the region, communities that perhaps don´t fancy traveling that much. And for Scandis, where our House has a great reach, don't mind traveling at all, I truly believe that starting off in Bratislava might be better for our concept."
Download The Festival App
The Festival Series has a hospitality team that will be easily accessible throughout the inaugural event. Altikardes also shared that the team also launched a special dedicated app for everyone in attendance to keep up to date with everything happening.
"Our hospitality team that is present in the casino will have a schedule with the offered happenings, one might just reach out to them or download our app “The Festival Series” to see the happening that is planned to take place," said Altikardes.
Altikardes also explained where players can go to pre-register and purchase packages to The Festival Series Bratislava.
"We got a form on TheFestival.com where players can register & purchase packages for the event," said Altikardes. "We also assist in various matters through Facebook Messenger and via e-mail [email protected]. Everyone is getting a reply and we strive to help everyone no matter what it is."
The Festival Series Bratislava Full Schedule
|Date||Time (CEST)||Event #||Event||Buy-in||GTD|
|Sept. 20||4 p.m.||1||Sviten Special Day 1||€220|
|6 p.m.||2||Blackjack Championships Day 1A||€250|
|7 p.m.||3||Supersatellite to Main Event||€35||Five €550 ME tickets|
|9 p.m.||4||Roulette Championships Day 1A||€250|
|Sept. 21||12 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT DAY 1A - 10 Levels||€550||€300,000|
|1 p.m.||2||Sviten Special Day 2||-|
|5 p.m.||6||PLO Masters||€220|
|6 p.m.||2||Blackjack Championships Day 1B||€250|
|7 p.m.||7||Acroud Charity Tournament - Invites Only||Invite Only|
|9 p.m.||8||Supersatellite to Main Event||€35||Five €550 ME tickets|
|9 p.m.||4||Roulette Championships Day 1B||€250|
|Sept. 22||12 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT DAY 1B - 10 Levels||€550||€300,000|
|1 p.m.||1||Sviten Special Final Table||-|
|3 p.m.||9||Supersatellite to Main Event||€35||Five €550 ME tickets|
|5 p.m.||10||Texas Progressive Knockout||€220|
|6 p.m.||2||Blackjack Championships Day 1C||€250|
|5 p.m.||11||PLO High Roller Day 1||€1,100|
|7 p.m.||4||Roulette Championships 1C||€250|
|10 p.m.||Stand ´n Go, Texas Flips||Various|
|Sept. 23||12 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT DAY 1C - 10 Levels||€550||€300,000|
|1 p.m.||2||Blackjack Championships Day 2||-|
|1 p.m.||11||PLO High Roller Final Day||-|
|5 p.m.||12||Half ´n Half (Texas & PLO, 1 level each)||€110|
|7 p.m.||4||Roulette Championships Day 2||-|
|10 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT DAY 1D Turbo - 10 Levels||€550||€300,000|
|Sept. 24||12 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT DAY 2||€550||€300,000|
|3 p.m.||13||Pokerlistings Deepstack Championships Day 1||€220|
|5 p.m.||14||Open Face Chinese Pineapple||€110|
|6 p.m.||2||Blackjack Championships Final||-|
|6 p.m.||15||NLH High Roller Day 1||€1,100|
|8 p.m.||16||Matching Visions Slots Tournament||€250|
|8 p.m.||17||Heads Up Texas, CAP 32, Day 1||€330|
|9 p.m.||4||Roulette Championships Final||-|
|Sept. 25||12 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT DAY 3*||-||€300,000|
|1 p.m.||18||The Gambling Cabin Sportsbook Tournament||€250|
|1 p.m.||13||Pokerlistings Deepstack Championship Day 2*||-|
|2 p.m.||15||NLH High Roller Final Day||-|
|8 p.m.||19||PLO Turbo||€110|
|Sept. 26||12 p.m.||5||MAIN EVENT FINAL TABLE||-||€300,000|
|12 p.m.||13||Pokerlistings Deepstack Championship Final Table||-|
|12 p.m.||17||Heads Up Texas, CAP 32, Final||-|
|1 p.m.||20||Texas Shortdeck/ 6+ Hold´em||€110|
|3 p.m.||21||Battle of Malta SuperSat 1 Package GTD||€55|
*Images courtesy of The Festival Series.