How was it possible to bring one of the most important poker tournaments in the world here in Bucharest?
The real driving force has been Sorin Constantinescu – he knew the value of the WPT and Gamebookers.com brand and was determined to bring the biggest poker event ever to Romania. The WPT and Gamebookers.com, the presenting sponsor, need fantastic local partners and they have found one in Sorin. He has a huge passion and interest for the game.
How many players entered tournament? How many through online qualifiers/land based sats? Tell us about the final table.
161 players entered the tournament and the field was mainly Romanian. Not only were the biggest names in Romania here but we were also honored by the turn out of many of the world’s very best players in Bucharest. As I talk to you now many of them are still in. We are hoping for an exciting final table. It would be nice to have a big Romanian influence but also with a few stars who are already established in the poker world. We estimate that over 30 players came in through satellites.
What are you expecting out of this tournament?
The first place prize winner is going to take home over 125,000 euros. This tournament is just the beginning of the development of the game, it is a turning point for poker in Romania. We hope that having something as prestigious as the World Poker Tour will increase interest in the game in Romania.
Name some of top players here in Bucharest
The biggest name is undoubtedly Carlos Mortensen and we are proud that he decided to come recent WPT Hollywood Poker Open win was a landmark for many reasons. First, it marked his third career WPT title, tying him with Gus Hansen for the most WPT wins by an individual.
Secondly, his $393,820 victory pushed him past Daniel Negreanu on the all-time WPT money earners list. With over $5.75 million in WPT winnings to his credit, Mortensen is now the top earner in WPT history. It also puts him firmly in the running for the WPT Player of the Year title. Carlos continues to break poker records and is the only player who has taken down the WSOP Main Event and WPT Championship. „I was always going to come to Bucharest but now it is even more important as I want to make progress in the race for the WPT player of the year title. I am here to win,” said Carlos.
Other players included Sorel Mizzi, Pascal Perrault, Praz Bansi, Team
Whats the difference between a tournament in Bucharest and other Places?
Sorin Constantinescu’s fantastic hospitality! In all seriousness we have been superbly looked after by our host here and all the players have loved the food and drinks which you don’t get everywhere in the world! In general, however, poker is a game that is always the same no matter where you go. I have seen many Romanian players on my travels on the poker circuit but it is great to see so many of these familiar faces in the same room.
The party thrown for the players at Space club was amazing – the fashion show and entertainment was great fun for all players and put everybody in a great mood ahead of the tournament.
Why do you think that the Slovakian tournament wasn’t a success?
Perhaps the buy-in was a little too high but we do not regard it as a disappointment. You have to remember that in this part of the world poker is in its infancy in many ways. You have to start from somewhere. We are building for the future!
At what level do you think Romanian poker is at? Do you think it meets all the qualities to become important are on poker tournament map?
Romanian players are consistently cashing at major events all over the world and have already made their presence felt. My personal view is that Romanian players are amongst the strongest in Eastern Europe. I travel to tournaments around the world and the names I knew the most were Cristian Dragomir, because of his famous bust up with Phil Hellmuth – Mihai Manole and Alain Medesan but i have soon found that there are plenty of excellent players with fantastic results in major events. I think Romania will be a force in poker for the years to come. There is a already a significant community on GamebookersPoker.com.
What do you see as the future for a poker tournament in Bucharest?
This is just the start. It is a breakthrough – everything will get much bigger. I know that Sorin is very ambitious about his plans for poker in Romania and you need a local partner with such enthusiasm and drive. This tournament has been fantastic, the only way is up from here. For a first time, 161 players of the calibre and class for a 3,000 euro + 300 euro event is excellent and we’d like to congratulate Sorin and all those at the Regent Casino that made this happen.