With an amazing year now drawing to a close, Unibet Open would like to thank all the players, colleagues, tournament staff and media who have helped make 2019 one of the best seasons the tour has ever had.
We wish you all a very Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you soon, with our first stop of 2020 taking place in Dublin at the end of February.
2019 was the 13th Unibet Open season and featured four major events in Europe: a debut Ski-edition festival in Sinaia, two giant stops in London and Malta and a record-breaking event in Paris. We also welcomed a new Tournament Director – Irishman Glenn Doyle – who took over the running of Unibet Opens, ably supported by a highly-experienced tournament team.
We also celebrated Unibet Ambassadors Dara O’Kearney and David Lappin winning Best Podcast for “The Chip Race” at the inaugural GPI Global Poker Awards in April and the release of O’Kearney’s best-selling poker guide “Poker Satellite Strategy” in February.
All our events this year featured a cards-up live stream throughout, hosted by Unibet Ambassador David Vanderheyden and Henry Kilbane and produced by XpressHD. We extend our thanks as always to all the Unibet Ambassadors and influencers who attended our events in 2019 along with PokerNews for all the live updates, our video teams, the kHold’em registration team from Kholdem and our long-standing official photographers Tambet Kask and Elena Kask.
In addition to the four Unibet Open events, Unibet Poker also hosted the fourth edition of the Unibet Poker Belgian Championship in Blankenberge in August and the first ever World Casino Championships in Malta last month.
Unibet Open Sinaia
The Unibet Open’s 13th season began last February with a debut event in Sinaia, Romania. The #ShuffleUpAndSki festival, held in one of the most beautiful ski resorts in Romania, was the tour’s first ever winter sports festival. Czech player Martin Soukup became a two-time Unibet Open champion when he bested a 366-strong field to take down the Main Event for €71,000. The six-day festival, hosted in conjunction with PokerFest Romania at the New Montana Hotel, featured more than 20 different tournaments and attracted legions of poker, ski and snowboard enthusiasts from all over Europe as well as Canada and the USA.
Unibet Open London
The Unibet Open tour has paid multiple visits to London but this year’s festival, held at the Poker Room at the iconic Grosvenor Victoria Casino in May, was the biggest yet with a record 456 entries and £410,400 prize pool.
British player Daniel James won the £990 Main Event for £80,200 after beating fellow Brit Ben Winsor heads-up. There were 12 different tournaments on the schedule including the two-day £2,200 High Roller won by Main Event finalist Damian Bell for £41,700, a £220 Turbo Bounty tournament, the £460 + £40 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup and the ever-popular £110 #QUEENRULES Ladies Event.
Unibet Open Malta
The Unibet Open tour headed to the sun in September with another record-breaking event, the #ShuffleUpAndSea festival in Malta. British player Alan Carr won the Main Event for €53,400 after besting a 327-entry field. The €327,000 prize pool was the biggest in Unibet Open Malta history and, overall, more than 730 unique players turned up to compete at the luxury InterContinental Hotel in St. Julian’s. This was the Unibet Open’s fourth visit to Malta and featured a packed schedule featuring 14 different tournaments.
Unibet Open Paris
The final stop of Unibet Open 2019 was our #ShuffleUpAndBrie event at Club Circus Poker in Paris three weeks ago. With 480 entries and a €460,800 prize pool, the €1,100 Main Event was the biggest of the season and included nearly 200 players who qualified online. French-Algerian player Omar Lakhdari snagged the €89,070 first prize following a rollercoaster final. Despite a smaller-than-normal schedule, players had a great time in the French capital including a tour of the Paris Saint-Germain football stadium at Parc des Princes.
Unibet Poker Belgian Championship
Unibet Poker also hosted the fourth edition of the Unibet Poker Belgian Championship in Blankenberge in August. Sports teacher Glenn Laureys took down the Main Event on home soil for a career-best cash of €34,614. The 31-year-old from Antwerp beat a tough field of 419 entries to become the third Belgian to win the €550 tournament. A total of 55 players got a share of the €209,500 prize pool with a min cash worth €1,070.
Looking ahead to 2020: Unibet Open Dublin + more
The Unibet Open is delighted to announce the first stop of 2020 will be a five-day festival in Dublin in February at the Bonnington Hotel. This will be the tour’s third visit to the Irish capital – following a record-breaking event in 2018 and the tour’s debut there in 2011. Further 2020 Unibet Open stops will be announced in the New Year.
Unibet Open Dublin, which takes place at the Bonnington Hotel, kicks off on February 26. In addition to the flagship €1,000 + €100 Main Event, other highlights of the festival will include the invitational Unibet Tag Team Championship and Unibet Battle Royale tournament. The schedule also features a two-day €2,200 High Roller starting February 26 with a single re-entry option. Other tournaments on offer include the #QueenRules Ladies Event, Turbo, Hyperturbo and flip tournaments, a Pot Limit Omaha event, a SuperStack tourney, Progressive Knockout and the popular Unibet Community Freeroll.
Satellites are already underway on Unibet Poker with €2,000 packages up for grabs that include Main Event buy-in, four nights’ accommodation at the Bonnington Hotel for qualifier and guest, plus €250 spending money, a free dinner every night, must-have Unibet merchandise and full access to the Welcome Drinks and Players Party. Feeder satellites start from as little as one cent with five packages guaranteed in the weekly €250 qualifier on Sundays.
Other Unibet events in 2020 will include the fifth season of the Unibet UK Tour – taking in four stops in Newcastle and London and starting in March. Unibet will also be sponsoring the 11-day Dublin Poker Festival which kicks off at the Bonnington Hotel on February 13 – just a few weeks before the start of Unibet Open. Players can qualify for any of these events in satellites running on Unibet Poker.
Unibet Open event manager Kasia Scanlon said: “2019 has really been the most amazing year. We’ve welcomed thousands of players to our four stops in Sinaia, London, Malta and Paris and had a really great time. We look forward to kicking off the 2020 season in February with a rip-roaring Unibet Open Dublin.”