A few weeks ago, pretty quickly after the beginning of the war in Ukraine, we planted the seed of the idea of training and relocation Ukrainian exiled women in order to give them the opportunity to build a new existence in Slovakia - not as refugees, not in shelters but as casino workers to build a new future.
The waiting game is on! For a Poker tournament photographer, the last day of the competition is essentially about patience after a whole week of insane coverage action.
The Banco Casino Masters festival was an opportunity to get back to some live Poker coverage for me. All in all, it's been an intense week full of excitement I had been missing along with stuff I really haven't :-)
I'm back in Bratislava for 5-6 weeks of Banco Casino action before moving on to Las Vegas for a 2-month WSOP 2022 cash game attack and gorgeous photo reports for PokerFirma.
The Kamzik Tower is an almost 200m high architecture feat imagined by Stanislav Majek, Jakub Tomasak, Juraj Kozak, Milan Jurica and Jan Privitzer before being constructed in 1975.
Its main purpose is to operate as a radio and TV transmission structure. Since it is standing on a 437-meter hill, the additional 196m of the construction itself offer an observation deck at an altitude of roughly 600m. From up there, you get amazing views over Bratislava but you can also see vast parts of Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The location also seems to be a premium hiking destination since the tower lies within the Bratislava Forest Park ... and, of course, in grand consumerism fashion, there's a restaurant up there. :-)
If you enjoy what you see and read, you can get more since I curate all recent relevant #allineverywhere content of the BLOG and occasionally from other sources via my Scoop.it account. A photo archive is available via the Photos & Coverages section and you might also be interested in checking the social media updates via the links below.
We use #allin4ukraine on social media in case you care to keep up and there is a SOLIDARITY section regrouping my blog posts similar to this one. If you wish to donate equipment, time or money, beam yourself to the CONTACT & INFO section and get in touch or use the following social media links: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
It looks like the Domink Demcak will not be available to shoot the Banco Masters in late April, so it's very likely I will (at least partially) jump in as the Banco Casino photo reporter for this huge event together with my buddy Denis as a blogger.
A nice comeback ahead after some two weeks away from Slovakia! Check out the POKER TRIPS section for details.
Stuck between Kamanné Námestie Square featuring the abandoned modernist architecture jewel known as 'Hotel Kyjev' and the Old Market Hall, a very interesting building is standing tall since the mid 1930s in the heart of Bratislava just a 5-minute walk away from Banco Casino.
I'm so grateful for the awesome life I have and the great partnerships I was able to build over the years. In a few days, I will be flying back to Slovakia where I am setting up a base in a nice flat together with PokerBelgique buddies and we won't be lacking action for sure!
Banco Casino is up for a hot Poker April!
This is it! The perfect illustration of the direct actions we've been working on with one of my favourite humans on the block, David Pichler, who is still in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, before leaving Slovakia, I got notified that nine Ukrainians from the Kharkiv and Odesa regions were about to start their training in the Kosice and Bratislava casinos and that they were being assisted to find decent homes in order to start a new peaceful and independent life. GG and thank you again, Jan Packa at Banco Casino, for your open mind.
The original plan was to spend 10 days or so in Bratislava ... then shit got really weird in Ukraine so I decided to stay closer to where the action is and I spent almost the whole month in Slovakia to play Poker and to help getting humanitarian projects going.
Plenty of live Poker action coming up in Slovakia with Banco Casino in Bratislava and Košice. Check out their website for detailed info.
I'll be shooting the Spade Poker Day 1A this Wednesday. The photos will be available in the official coverage.
Banco Casino Bratislava usually run Ladies Poker Nights on regular Tuesdays except if other Poker festivals are on with a specific schedule. The events are not exclusively for female players but the lady raisers usually freeroll this super fun low buy-in event.
During my emotionally troubled past in a conflictual existence and through a series of intense ideology soaked cultural projects, I got lost in the violence of some of my thoughts and convictions, a violence that regularly turned into physical roughness. I was able to break some destructive habits some fifteen years ago by getting deep into Poker, into the practice of photography and, at the same time, into my scary self.
Banco Casino Bratislava are offering a bunch of promotions to Poker players including catering or rakeback deals for cash game players and there's also the possibility to take part to higher stakes games in their VIP room.
I play there sometimes myself, more specifically for PLO games from 5/5 but there are also big NLH running occasionally.
Have a sneak peek behind the red curtain with me in this post :-)
How about playing for 250.000EUR with a 170EUR investment in one of the coolest capitals of Europe? Welcome to Bratislava!
Hotel Kyjev is one of the last reminders from the Soviet times in Bratislava. Now that the ghost of former imperialist Russia woke up again in neighbouring Ukraine, I remembered this photo report I did during a visit in 2019.
The Poker Belgique Masters has been a great success with a main event of over 1k entries and, once again, Bratislava has confirmed its place in my heart's favourite cities of Europe.
Thank you Banco Casino for having us!
The first Belgians are arriving in Slovakia since yesterday for this week's PB Masters at Banco Casino !
The next Poker Belgique Masters kick off in Slovakia in the end of February and there are still a few hotel packs up for grabs if you consider to join.
... you're not drunk enough :-)
The aliens have landed in Bratislava. They disguised their saucer from outer space as a bridge and use it as a restaurant for deception purposes.
The Belgians of Poker Belgique will also land in Slovakia soon … Check out the POKER TRIPS of this site for details.
The PB Masters will be on in early March in Slovakia's capital and there are pretty nice hotel packages up for grabs. Are you in?
Belgian's only international Poker organisation is going places again. Off to Banco Casino in March!
After the Israel Poker Tour of early July, Cash Game Weekend is back with another cash game festival during the early August period so why not get back to Batumi on the Georgian Black Sea shores for some great live Poker action around the clock?!
Dates: 04-09 August, 2021
Location: Royal Casino & Hotel Batumi
Get in touch with me for complimentary service & accommodation offers for players. You can get your premium room for free for 7 hours of play per day or 35 hours of table time over the 5 days.
If the pandemic has taught me something at all, it is to give up all sorts of mid- & long-term plans. I haven't quite learned the lesson yet though... So here I am transitioning between two apartments in Portugal and not being able to go back since the casino closed recently and many new lockdown restrictions are in place again since Covid numbers have been climbing rapidly again after only two months of opening on May 1st.
I carefully planned and set myself up for an awesome summer of grinding in Portugal. I gave up the flat I have been using as a base in Cascais since September 2020 to take another one in Estoril closer to the casino and practically by the Atlantic ocean in order to be able to focus mainly on playing the PLO tables at Casino Estoril. Since Portugal busted temporarily in terms of my July plans, I am turning my attention to Bratislava. This last minute decision will take me far away from the beaches but the Poker action should be great. 24/7 cash game action and a tournament event for those who are into playing flips.
I spent most of my November in Portugal playing cash games at Casino Estoril and enjoying what this awesome country has to offer. Still no tournaments for now but at least 2-3 Poker tables are running every day with blinds starting at NLH 1/3 and some PLO. The Omaha game is the local highrollers' playground but it's PLO4 only so not insane swingy ... I'll be back soon. For sure! But let's have a look at what's coming up for the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, you can have a look at my photo archive on Flickr.