No poker last night in Bratislava.
I made my way from Madrid to Vienna and Bratislava yesterday. I was intending to visit the Baden CAPT but plans changed and you can follow our PokerFirma coverage online.
Banco Casino was closed yesterday on the 17th November. That's ultra rare. The place is usually open around the clock almost all year long but no worries, there are two great one-day events this weekend :-)
However, when the presidential palace takes on the colours of the Slovak flag, something bigger is usually going on.
Freedom and Democracy Day is always celebrated on 17 November in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is about commemorating the student demonstration against fascist occupation in 1939 and also, perhaps especially, the 1989 demonstration in Prague, which is considered the beginning of the Velvet Revolution.
Until 1993, this region of Europe was a single country: Czechoslovakia. Basically, it was a country that was occupied almost constantly during the 20th century: by the Nazis until Germany was defeated in World War II, and then under communist rule until 1989.
In both periods, students were in the spotlight and they were at the origin of enormous protest movements - so much so that since 2019, the date not only commemorates the events of 1939 and 1989, but has also been declared "Students' Day" in the Czech Republic. On this day in 1939, the Nazis stormed Prague University in retaliation for a student demonstration against the occupation. Nine leaders of the movement were executed and over 1000 deported to concentration and labour camps.
In 1989, a commemorative march was held to mark the 50th anniversary of that sad day, but the authorities actively tried to suppress the march, which led to a snowball effect of popular protests and strikes that quickly spread across the country, involving students, workers and large sections of the entire Czechoslovak population.
Nobody knew it at the time, but the Velvet Revolution was underway: a massive wave of non-violent but radical protests against the existing regime that marked the beginning of the overthrow of the local communist government.
Casinos are legally closed on this day but before there is any protest action by poker players, the Banco Casino opens again tomorrow with the Fifteen Grand tomorrow night and a Thirty Grand on Saturday.
Two bigger Poker festivals are still due in the Slovak capital until the end of the year: the Hendonmob Championship Grand Final & the Polish Championship.
Check out the flyers below and the updates in the POKER TRIPS section.
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