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The Festival Bratislava Lived up to the Hype!

The Festival Bratislava Lived up to the Hype!

That’s a wrap for the Festival Bratislava! The Slovakian capital hosted the third the Festival event in 2023, and the hype was enormous from the get-go. Between November 26th-December 3rd, we’ve been treated with a lot of entertaining poker action, and thanks to live reporting and great live stream coverage, it’s been a breeze following along from all the action at Banco Casino from home.

The schedule was filled to the brim with exciting tournaments ranging from everything between Roulette to Mixed Games. With the Festival now being finished, let’s take a look at the more noteworthy happenings.

Gabriel Rymar Wins the Main Event!

Of course, a lot of the hype for the Festival Bratislava this year circulated around the €550 Main Event. A total 1 025 players threw their name into the competition, which created a €486 875 prize pool.

After several start flights and a long Day 2, it was eventually time for the final table on Sunday 3rd. There were a lot of nations represented amongst the final nine players, but when all was said and done, it was Poland’s Gabriel Rymar who claimed the title and the first prize of €80 000. Huge congratulations!

Gabriel Rymar, winner of the Festival Bratislava 2023 €550 Main Event.
Gabriel Rymar, winner of the Festival Bratislava 2023 €550 Main Event.

The Festival Bratislava 2023 Main Event - Final Table Payouts: 

RankingPlayer NameWinnings
1. Gabriel Rymar €80 000 
2. Chirstoforos Christoforou €57 750 
3. Ilija Savevski €36 750 
4. Peter Jesko €22 750 
5. Laszlo Burany €16 850 
6. Tommy Alm €13 345 
7. David Trueba €10 900 
8. Nicolas Sievers €8 800 
9. Marios Pavlou €7 300 

Bring Out the H.O.R.S.E.S

The Festival founder, Martin “Franke” Von Zweigbergk, decided H.O.R.S.E not to be enough, so he added a second S at the end. The popular Mixed Games-format now had the addition of Sviten Special, and we knew from the get-go that the H.O.R.S.E.S-event would be a very exciting one to follow.

67 unique players decided to partake in this Mixed Games bonanza, which generated a €31 825 prize pool. Norwegian Jon Kyte can look back at 2023 as a great poker year, and with his win in the H.O.R.S.E.S-event, he adds yet another trophy to his already impressive resume.

The Festival Bratislava 2023: Jon Kyte won the €550 H.O.R.S.E.S Event.
Jon Kyte won the €550 H.O.R.S.E.S Event.

Speaking of Sviten, this action-filled game deserved even more airtime, and it got its own exclusive event as well as being added to H.O.R.S.E. 75 players entered the live poker tournament and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that four Swedes finished in the top 10, considering Sviten (also referred to as “Drawmaha”) is a very popular game in Scandinavia. However, the title went to Austria’s Harald Redl who took home €3 817.

The Fesitval Bratislava 2023: Winner of the €250 Sviten Special, Harald Redl.
Winner of the €250 Sviten Special, Harald Redl.

High Roller Action and Casino Tournaments

In terms of high roller action, two tournaments held the €1 100 Buy-In. The NLH tournament saw 51 players taking their lucky shot, all competing for the first place payout of €18 000. Yet another Austrian player would be crowned a champion, seeing as Ersin Sancak fought his way to victory.

The PLO high roller attracted 49 players, and it was Benedikt Hausmann eventually emerged a winner and can bring €17 800 back home to Germany.

The Festival Bratislava 2023: A happy Benedikt Hausmann after his win in the €1 100 PLO High Roller.
A happy Benedikt Hausmann after his win in the €1 100 PLO High Roller.

What’s great about The Festival is that it does not solely focus on poker. Festival visitors wandered around Banco Casino and participated in the Blackjack tournament, Roulette tournament and Slots tournament. This truly makes the Festival unique, and Banco Casino is the perfect venue to these kind of things at. It feels like the casino tournaments are here to stay and will grow bigger and bigger every the Festival event to come.

As previously stated, Gabriel Rymar won the Main Event. However, it wasn’t his only tournament win in the Slovakian capital during the Festival Bratislava. He also won the €250 Bratislava Deepstack earlier during this week and took home €14 400. It’s safe to say that Rymar should be pleased with how the week turned out.

What’s to Come?

That’s a wrap for the Festival Bratislava 2023. A lot more could be said about the event, but in short, it was a massive success and players ought to be excited for the Festival 2024. Franke and the Festival staff decided not to keep players on edge and shared the Festival schedule for 2024.

The Festival 2024 Dates:

February 25th-March 3rd
May 31st-June 9th
September 9th-September 15th
November 18th-November 24th

The destinations are yet to be revealed, however, isn’t it fun to speculate? Earlier this year, The Festival Malta was a great success and it will be very exciting to see if the Portomaso Casino yet again will roll out the red carpet. We have also been hearing rumors about The Festival Albania, The Festival Croatia and The Festival Rozvadov, however, as previously stated, nothing is yet confirmed, and we will simply wait and see.

It’s been real, Bratislava, and great job to everyone who were a part of yet another excellent event.

Photo Credit: The Festival/Mairo Toom/Dominik Demcak.

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