The 2017 Cash Game Festival Bulgaria at Platinum Casino was a huge success both on and off the poker tables. Players came from around Europe for five days of nonstop cash game poker action from Aug. 9-13.
As has been the case in previous festivals, each day during the festival, Brandon Allen hosted two televised feature tables. A variety of co-hosts were in and out of the booth. The only time Allen wasn't in the booth was when he was on the feature table himself. Unlike Cash Game Festival Malta in June when he appeared on the feature table and ran up a huge profit, he was unable to repeat his success and eventually lost his stack on after all-in preflop betting and left the table when his ace-jack was unable to hold against ace-four.
Cash Game Festival Co-Founder Martin "Franke" von Zweigbergk was the star of the show on the poker tables this festival. He arrived a day late in a Slowball car from Finland to Bulgaria with a few other people. Franke is also the founder of Slowball, which is an art on wheels festival. Old cars are purchased and repaired before artists transform the cars into pieces of art. Then for a few days, the cars are traveled around. During this festival, Slowballers started in Tallinn, Estonia before traveling through Sweden and Finland.
On Day 4, Franke was the big winner on one of the televised feature tables after notching a profit of around €700. While this wasn't the biggest win on a feature table during a feature table, which honor belongs to Bulgarian Miroslav Georgiev, who won over €2,500 on Day 1, mostly from the pockets of well-known Bulgarian poker pro Fahredin "FeriBo" Mustafov.
Franke's success continued later in the day. Betsafe Ambassador Monika "HeyMonia" Zukovicz and Franke were friendly arguing about who was the better poker player and agreed to a heads-up prop bet. If HeyMonia won the prop bet, Franke would have had to work as a supermarket cashier for a month in Tallinn. If he got fired, he would have had to transfer €7.48 a day as a manual bank transfer.
HeyMonia's punishment if she lost was that she had to take the Slowball car that was already in Sunny Beach to Faro, Portugal to pick up an extra spicy chicken piri piri and then drive all the way to Tallinn, Estonia to deliver it to Franke. The entire journey is approximately 8,500 kilometers. In a normal car driving straight through, it would take over three days to complete the journey. In a Slowball car and frequent stops, it will likely take a couple of weeks.
While HeyMonia agreed to play in three different best of three matches, Franke was able to have a team of players. He chose to play last in case there was a rubber match to be played.
On Day 4, HeyMonia was battling it out against Pawel Wakuluk and was broadcasted live on PokerNews' Facebook page. Both players have known each other for awhile and have together co-hosted the Polish EPT stream for PokerStars.
The first match was a nail-biter with Wakuluk winning. HeyMonia was less than thrilled about losing but seemed to be in better spirits after she won the second match. She was able to win the second match quickly and looked poised to take the third as well after an early chip lead. She then was able to get it in with ace-king against ace-queen. However, her hand was unable to hold giving her opponent the lead and he eventually won the match.
After that the VIP party began and players agreed to suspend play until Day 5 of the festival. The next opponent for HeyMonia was Cash Game Festival project manager Andro Loos. HeyMonia was able to take the first match, which was also broadcasted live on PokerNews' Facebook page.
Franke, who was not in the casino for the first match showed up and it seemed to give Loos some fresh energy. Loos took the second match and eventually the third one was well when his ace-king held against HeyMonia's ace-jack.
Shortly after the match was over, Franke claimed to PokerNews, "I was never nervous."
He also handed the keys to the Slowball car over to HeyMonia who will begin her journey shortly.
In addition to the amazing poker and the epic prop bet, players enjoyed many activities away from the poker tables. The weather was perfect with no clouds in the sky the entire five days. With the casino located right on the beach, this left no shortage of activities for players. This doesn't mean the casino was empty as there was almost always 10-13 cash game tables running.
Players with the hospitality package also were able to enjoy group activities including welcome drinks, wine tasting, a go kart competition, a group dinner, VIP party where Miss Sunny Beach was busy being crowned, a guided tour and snorkeling.
This concludes the PokerNews coverage of the 2017 Cash Game Festival Bulgaria. Next up is the return to East London, with the 2017 Cash Game Festival London taking place at Aspers Casino Westfield Stratford City from Sept. 20-24. Head to the Cash Game Festival website for more information about the festival and to register for the TV and side tables.