The 2016 Cash Game Festival Bulgaria took place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 and was a huge success with players from around Europe converging to Platinum Casino in Sunny Beach for five days of nonstop action on and off the felt.
The biggest single pot during the festival took place on Friday night on Day 3 when local Bulgarian player Jasen Dichev won a pot of €3,400 on a €5/€10 televised feature table. The hand began just minutes after Dichev was caught bluffing against Estonia's Janar Kokk to temporarily give his opponent the previous biggest hand in the festival with a pot worth €2,400.
Dichev went all in for €1,200 with on a board for a full-house. Fellow countrymate Yuliyan Kolev, holding for three-of-a-kind and top-kicker, tanked for a minute before calling to send a huge pot to Dichev.
Meanwhile, the festival awarded two packages valued at €1,700 each to the next Cash Game Festival taking place at Aspers Casino in London from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 for the highest hands in both pot-limit Omaha and no-limit hold'em. Sweden's Peter La Terra, who came to Bulgaria after attending the previous Cash Game Festival in Malta, locked down the high hand Omaha jackpot with quad-jacks and will now appear at three Cash Game Festivals in a row.
The hold'em high hand jackpot was very exciting. Up until the last hour before the jackpot closed, the previous best hand was a king-high straight flush. However, as time was ticking down, the poker room erupted in excitement after local Bulgarian player Nickolay J. Petrov automatically shipped a package with a royal-flush.
On the final day of the festival, Cash Game Festival Co-founder Martin "Franke" von Zweigbergk and Janar Kokk signed a contract to play in an epic heads-up match. While typically playing heads up doesn't require any ink, this was a "go big or go to a new home" best of three match where the winner not only collects the money he shipped, but also was able to choose a country for the loser to live for an entire year. There were a few other stipulations, including players writing up throughout the match a "do not send" list and the possibility to buy out by living in a village of the winner's choice for a month or by the loser paying €5 a day to the winner as a separate bank transfer each day for a year.
In the wee hours of the morning, von Zweigbergk pulled out the win and chose to send Kokk and his wife to Italy, who were both excited since they were thinking of moving there anyway. Kokk invited the crowd of friends railing to come visit in a few months. Since then, a handful of players expressed interest in moving into a villa with Kokk when the move takes place.
The Cash Game Festival is about more than just poker. New friends were made while old friends from previous festivals bonded once again. Players with the hospitality package enjoyed welcome drinks, mini-golf, a VIP dinner, a yacht cruise, a pool party, a VIP party and a guided city tour. Additionally, with the casino located just steps away from the beach, players also enjoyed the perfect weather by playing volleyball, relaxing in the numerous cafes and bars and a variety of water sports.
To see some more of the highlights, check out the Cash Game Festival Bulgaria Aftermovie!
Next Up: London, Online and Tallinn
As earlier mentioned, the next Cash Game Festival is just around the corner at Aspers Casino in London from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2. Action is expected to be hot on the felt with more than 30 tables expected to run simultaneously across a variety of games and stakes.
This marks the second return of the Cash Game Festival to the British capital this year with the previous festival being a huge success back in March. As has been the case during previous festivals, many activities will be planned for those also registering for the hospitality package.
You can register on the Cash Game Festival website to secure your seat or package as well as check out what some of the promotions the festival's partners are running. Players will be spoiled with around the clock ring game action at iPoker participating poker rooms.
Shortly following London, for the first time ever, the Cash Game Festival Online will be taking place on the iPoker Network from Oct. 24-30. The festival will be covered on Twitch with at least 30 streamers showing an in-depth look at how they play on feature tables. Participating poker rooms on iPoker will be hosting a variety of promotions throughout October, including awarding at least 20 VIP packages valued at €2,000 each to the following festival in Tallinn.
The Cash Game Festival Tallinn is just a week after the online festival takes place from Nov. 16-20 at Olympic Casino. The first few festivals before the event went international took place in the Estonian capital. Many special activities will be planned off the felt to show off the delights of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
*Images courtesy of compliments of Natalie Pastakeda / Vita Pictura Productions.