The Festival Series Smashes Expectations in UK Stop
The pressure was immediately on when the Festival Series announced a stop at the home of UK poker, the Dusk Till Dawn poker venue. Can the famous European poker series hit the heights of its stops in Tallinn and Bratislava in the UK city of Nottingham?
It is safe to say it did. The Festival in Nottingham created a fun and action-packed poker festival in the tournament and cash game action. The most significant and notable moment came when Ignacio Menendez captured the first Festival Series title on UK soil.
Ignacio Menendez Secures Festival Main Event Title
Ignacio Menendez would chop up the prize money with runner-up Sean O’Donnell before the two battled for the title. In the end, Menendez captured a £37,595 pay-day while O’Donnell secured £31,150 – an excellent return for a £500 buy-in.
Menendez outlasted a tough final table, which included a former Partypoker MILLIONS online winner in Endrit Geci. Menendez made some wild plays along the way, including calling a jam with 97-suited and busting Geci’s 1.6bb all-in by calling with his 82-off-suit and would river an 8 in a check-down pot.
Even with the cards favoring the Argentine, the heads-up battle would be swingy. Especially after O’Donnell cracked Menendez’s Aces with jack-eight to get the chips close to even. Menendez’s ace-king would pip O’Donnell’s ace-queen a few hands later. The hand changed the battle’s landscape once more and a deal was struck.
Other Festival Series Champions Crowned in Nottingham
The Festival Series started with an exciting PokerListings Championship that Colin Lovelock won. Despite a deep run from PokerStars ambassador Georgina James, the title would go to Lovelock, who scooped $6,055 for his title.
Tuomas Roppanen would claim a crown in the Sviten Special, while Martin Chen won 1st place in the 8-Game event. Tobias Leknes would cruise through a Knockout event while Sean O’Donnell, who final-tabled the Festival Main Event, would win a trophy in the form of the Round of Each PLO/NLH event. O’Donnell scooped $4,441 for that win.
Well-known Norwegian pro, Jon Kyte pushed his lifetime earnings close to the famous $1 million mark as he won the Open-Faced Chinese event. Driving his overall to $959,621. Tarique Imam scooped in the Short Deck event, while Zhong Liao would go on to win not one but two events at The Festival. Lio triumped in the PLO Freezeout and the Big Bounty event during the series. Oystein Brenden would hit the top spot in the PLO-8 tournament, and William Lynch followed suit in the PLO 4/5/6-card competition.
The final big event came in the fabled The Hendon Mob Championship. Reem Ahmed topped the field to scoop $8,045 and outlasted 384 entries to get the championship.
The Festival Poker Series Arriving in Malta
Did you miss out on getting in the mix during the Festival Series in Nottingham? Fear not, because the fan-favorite poker stop is heading to the sunny location of St Julians in Malta next!
From May 15-21, the Festival Series will be at Portamso Casino with the same action, excitement, and opportunity for players to get a huge bankroll-boosting experience.
The Festival founder Martin “Frankie” van Zweigbergk, said, “Portomaso Casino has a long history of hosting successful poker tournaments.
“I’m really happy that we will be able to make The Festival in Malta a reality thanks to Jonathan Micallef and the Portamaso Casino. All our players will have a fantastic poker and casino holiday in May!”