PokerStars Festival Bucharest: The €500,000 Main Event stage is set

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Buna ziua everyone (that's good afternoon, for all you non-Romanians), and welcome to beautiful Bucharest. We're back in town at the JW Marriott Hotel for the PokerStars Festival, and most importantly the Main Event, which comes with an attractive €500,000 guarantee.

It was a little over a year ago that we were last in the Romanian capital, for what would ultimately be the first and last Eureka Poker Tour stop in Bucharest. The €1,100 Main Event attracted 579 runners, creating a first place prize of €107,350 that was eventually won by a 30-year-old pro from Israel, Avishai Shitrit.


Shitrit was victorious last year

And while that event was full of talented Romanian players, there was one in particular who headlined the lot. Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu made a hero's return to his homeland, but would end up busting during Day 1B. Not without giving the crowds a poker experience they'll always remember, though.


Kid Poker takes his seat in Bucharest last year...


...And immediately gets photo requests from fans

Fast forward a year and two months and we're back. Now it's the inaugural PokerStars Festival on Romanian soil, and Day 1A has just got off and running.

The plan for today is to play ten 45-minute levels, with three 15-minute breaks in between. Players start with 30,000 stacks, with blinds beginning at 50/100, and things should be wrapped up around 9.30pm tonight. If anyone plays and busts today, then don't fear; there's always the Turbo Day 1C flight (Thursday at 9pm) which is a re-entry only.

As for the red spades in attendance, Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker is in the house, but whether he'll choose to play today or wait until tomorrow remains to be seen. Also, Twitch star and Team Online's Lex Veldhuis is also rumoured to be in attendance, as is UK pro Sam Grafton.

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Veldhuis at PokerStars Festival Marbella in June

But while our coverage is only just getting started here on the PokerStars Blog, the poker playing actually kicked off a few days ago. The ever-popular €170 MegaStack tournament started on Monday and continued yesterday, meaning just 112 players are returning today for the third and final day.

For any players who fail to make it through the Main Event, there's also the €330 Bucharest Cup, which gets underway on Friday at 4pm. And for the high rollers out there, you'll be glad to know there's the €2,200 High Roller two-day event which begins on Friday at 8pm.

We'll be bringing you some great features and interviews, and all the results of the side events, right through until the final day of play on Sunday. Stick with us here on the PokerStars Blog.

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The JW Marriott Bucharest

For live updates, check in with our friends at PokerNews here.

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Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in PokerStars Festival