Talking to Sorin Constantinescu, President of PokerFest, partner with PokerStars and organizer of the EUREKA Poker Tour in Bucharest
“Romania has grown enough for poker …”
➤ The romanian poker world recently had a huge surprise chance: the ad that the famous Eureka Poker Tour circuit will have a stage in Bucharest.You are the architect of this event. How did you manage it?
It’s not my personal performance, but rather the facts: Romania has grown enough for poker. Now it has all the conditions to host large events of an international size. If until recently we liked to say that from patriotism, now we have the official confirmation too: we all know how selective are the PokerStars in choosing locations. Eureka number of phases is limited and the number of cities that would like to host them is much higher. It’s a fight between live operators for such a privilege.
➤ What will this step mean for poker in Romania?
The fact that Bucharest won the right to host Eureka is not only valuable in itself but also because it is a major green light for all the European festivals. I think of 888live, Unibet Open, MPNPoker Tour and other circuits that now see in Romania a “validated” Eureka country. We will have more poker than we could play.
➤ PokerStars, which you already have a partnership with, is also the sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Will we soon have something like that in Bucharest too?
EPT’s are in another league. A huge festival, big buyings and top claims. Let us not forget that this year’s EPT Deauville dropped. But as you probably know me, I do not shy away from large projects, regardless of how small may seem initially the chances of success. Maybe it’s because of poker, where Ilike to watch the draws … So we will talk soon about EPT’s too. After all, my passion for poker began when I managed to bring the World Poker Tour in Romania in 2010, back when people here still used to play five-card poker. In the meantime, however, I use all my resources to have a better festival in May, to see people content and to have great prizes and as many tourists with money. And, to be subjective, for the trophy to stay in Romania. Then we’ll see.
➤ On what criteria was Bucharest selected?
Two large ones, the rest are details: a good place and a good partner. And I do not know which one I am more proud of. I am happy to finally see Romania among sufficiently civilized countries that were endorsed by PokerStars as destination before players worldwide, but I am proud too, because this child of my soul, Pokerfest, earned, since the five years of existence, the dignity and arguments to sit down and negociate with the best and the most rigorous ones. PokerStars isn’t risking ever anything when it comes to new projects and this personally honors me.
➤ What more festivals do you have planned for this year?
Many and with important partners. We are technique operators by excellence and we associate with anyone who comes with a strong brand to benefit from our services, as long as Romanian community has something to play in top condition. No matter it’s Winmasters or NetBet, 888poker or Unibet, they’re all potential partners as long as they have the ability to bring added value to a PokerFest festival .
➤ What does PokerFest mean for this collaboration?
It means a lot. Just as our capital gains, after Eureka, legitimacy for other international circuits, PokerFest will become an international partner hard to neglect, regardless of the caliber of those with whom we will discuss.
Thank you and good luck!