This year we target a threshold of € 500,000 guaranteed in a tournament and we are preparing for the litmus test in the first part of next year: € 1 million in prizes at a PokerFest festival
What is the impact of the recently adopted legislation on the Pokerfest tournaments calendars?
Sorin Constantinescu: As we can see, participation increases constantly. This time we don’t rely only on the game addicts who play poker at all costs, but also on those who pay close attention to the legal aspects, who didn’t want to get involved even when poker was in a grey area. There is a huge pool of potential players in the civil society, who need however total transparency in order to become players. Now they get it and we can see it in numbers.
From what we’ve heard, at the last festival in Bucharest there were players from 15 countries. Is this flow of players also due to the legislation?
Sorin Constantinescu: Of course. When everything is legal, advertisements become more fluid and our message reaches farther. But the essential reason is that of taxes on earnings. We have one of the most relaxed taxation systems in Europe, especially for foreign players who must pay only 1% of the prizes to go home with their money completely legally. And, besides attracting new poker players from the civil society, attracting new foreign players is the main priority for the health of the game. Without newcomers, poker dies. The regular players become better and better and will end up moving the money from one to another. This is why we are trying to create a constantly refreshed pool of players.
What events should the players expect in the near future?
Sorin Constantinescu: Big ones. This is the essential criterion for a tournaments festival. Small numbers are incompatible with the idea of tournament. In this regard, we are preparing two major leaps, unprecedented in Romania: this year we target a threshold of € 500,000 guaranteed in a tournament, and, in the first part of next year, we are preparing for the litmus test: € 1 million in prizes at a PokerFest festival.
Now this is news!! What ace do you have up your sleeve?
Sorin Constantinescu: The aces are on the table, in plain sight. It’s simply that the appetite for the game increases, our image is growing and allowing us to ally with powerful online poker rooms for major promotional and qualification campaigns. There is an increasing influx of live players all over Europe. Somehow, this surplus is detrimental to online poker, which is declining due to assisting programs which allow professional players wipe clean the entertainment players’ money with unprecedented speed. Their wrong policies lead to losing players. But these players don’t give up on poker, they just turn to live games. And, unless they take drastic measures to balance the chances at the online game table, the trend will continue and we will take advantage of this.
Do you prepare any events abroad?
Sorin Constantinescu: We don’t take into account anything like that in the near future. Now we focus all our strengths on these two guaranteed events. But, who knows? Any offer or opportunity can be speculated when it comes up. There is no stagnation in this industry. You either move on quit altogether.