The curtains have fallen on another successful The Festival in Bratislava. Thousands of poker players from across the globe gathered in Slovakia’s capital for a week-long of non-stop poker action at Banco Casino.
The event, booming with over 50 tournaments, saw an impressive Main Event attendance with 1025 entries. Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk, the founder of The Festival Series, expressed his excitement, “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the attendance. Players, including qualifiers from nearly 20 partners, came from just about every country in Europe and from as far away places such as Canada and Australia to join in on a fun week of poker full of poker and casino events.”
Gabriel Rymar Wins the Main Event
The local player Peter Jesko led the charge into the final day of The Festival Main Event. Among the remaining 16 players was also defending champion Michel Molenaar, eyeing a historic second win. Despite his best efforts, Molenaar’s quest ended before the final table, concluding his run in 13th place.
The spotlight then shifted to Gabriel Rymar of Poland, who dominated the final table as the chip leader, holding a substantial lead with 82 big blinds. His closest competitors, David Trueba and Ilija Savevski, trailed with 62 and 60 big blinds, respectively. Jesko, the initial final day leader, found himself in the middle of the pack with 48 big blinds. Despite a valiant effort, which included eliminating Laszlo Burany in 5th place, Jesko’s journey ended a few minutes later in 4th place, earning him €22,750.
In the final stages of the tournament, Rymar solidified his position as the frontrunner, amassing a chip stack that dwarfed the combined totals of his remaining opponents, Christoforos Christoforou and Savevski. A pivotal moment occurred when Savevski was eliminated following a slowplay with Aces. Rymar, holding J4 “The Robbi,” turned a full house on the river, outmatching the North Macedonian, who couldn’t get away his overpair.
Entering the heads-up battle, Rymar had a significant advantage over Christoforou from Cyprus, leading the chip count by a ratio of 7.5:1. The final was brief, with Rymar securing his victory after Christoforou’s all-in bluff was called. Gabriel Rymar’s triumph not only earned him the grand prize of €80,000 but also marked his second victory at The Festival, following his earlier success in the €250 Deepstack event, where he won €14,400.
2023 The Festival Main Event Final Table Results
PokerPro Player Mitja Rudolf Wins THMC
Exciting news from The Festival in Bratislava as Mitja Rudolf, representing PokerPro.cc, triumphed in the €250 The Hendon Mob Championship. Rudolf navigated through a field of 172 contenders to secure the prestigious THMC trophy and a prize of €9,100.
After many near-misses in both live and online poker scenes throughout the year, the stars finally aligned for his much-deserved win. This victory is a noteworthy addition to his poker resume, which, according to The Hendon Mob, now boasts over $250,000 in live tournament earnings.
Jon Kyte Wins First Mixed Main HORSES
Norwegian poker pro Jon Kyte added another feather to his cap by winning the first ever €550 Mixed Main Event HORSES at The Festival. This victory continues Kyte’s remarkable run in 2023, a year already studded with significant achievements including EPT wins, his first WSOP Circuit Ring in Estonia, and several tournament victories in Las Vegas.
The Mixed Main HORSES, a unique event that attracted 67 players, featured a 6-game format, expanding on the traditional HORSE with the addition of Sviten Special, a popular game among Swedish poker players. Kyte’s win in this diverse and challenging event bagged him €8,825, further boosting his impressive 2023 earnings to over $270,000. His career live tournament winnings now exceed $1.2 million.
For those interested in learning more about Jon Kyte’s journey and insights into his poker strategy, check out the interview here.
Dates Announced for The Festival 2024
As the 2023 edition of The Festival in Bratislava wraps up, organizers have already set the stage for 2024, announcing the dates for next year’s events. The Festival continues to offer a wide array of tournaments catering to different poker and casino game enthusiasts. Players can look forward to the staple No Limit Hold’em Main Event, a variety of mixed-game tournaments, and events for casino game lovers including Blackjack, Slots, Roulette, and Sports Betting.
While the specific locations are yet to be confirmed, we can guess on possible return to familiar and beloved venues such as Portomaso Casino in Malta, Banco Casino in Bratislava, and Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. The announced dates for The Festival 2024 are as follows:
- February 25 to March 3, 2024
- May 31 to June 9, 2024
- September 9-15, 2024
- November 18-24, 2024