Unibet Open Sinaia: The best and worst poker trip

I remember I was streaming some Unibet games on a random Wednesday afternoon in November when some of my viewers asked if I had heard about the new Unibet Open destination. That's when I realized I was going to Sinaia. The beautiful oldschool skitown in Romania, but at this point in time I had no clue. However, every day it became more clear that this was gonna be an Unibet Open like there had never been before. It would last a week instead of 4 days, and we would start playing poker later on the day so you had the possibility to ski in the morning. Sinaia turned from an unknown place into a town everyone talked about. One thing is for sure now, it didn't let us down.

I arrived in Bucharest the 12th of February and immediately met some fellow Dutchies who took the same bus to Sinaia. The 2 hour drive felt like 2 minutes, the beauty of bringing people with similar interests together I guess. All of sudden we were standing in the snow in the middle of a town called Sinaia. After checking in to the hotel (which was a pretty good one) we went for dinner which was decent as well. Of course after that we had some drinks in the evening and met some familiar faces. Going to bed early on an Unibet Open isn't very GTO (Game Theory Optimal) so one beer soon became multiples, the drinks are pretty cheap in Romania so better make use of it.

I could have predicted it, the first morning skiing wasn't gonna happen. In the afternoon it was time for the Main Event Day 1A. I felt quite okay, had a good feeling for the table and managed to end up with a top 10 stack. I probably made some mistakes, but that's part of the game and will always happen. In general, I think I played my B+ game all day, which is kind of what you aim for on a Day 1A after a late night.

Getting through to Day 2 meant I was free on Thursday. I just chilled with a lot of people and the plan was to go to the welcome drinks early. However, it turned out I had a valentine date all night with my buddy and Unibet Ambassador David (DaVitsche). Spending the night on February the 14th with David was something that had been on my bucket list for a few years already. We commentated the last 3 or 4 levels of Day 1B which was pretty fun. It was harder than I thought but a great experience. Also I was happy with the reactions I got, as everyone was very enthusiastic. Completely tired David and I still decided to go the welcome drinks, you have to make some dance moves right. Although for some reason the welcome of Unibet wasn't the most warm and generous after just having finished hours of voluntary work, that couldn't stop me from having a great night.

On Day 2 I couldn't get a lot going at the tables. Lost some flips, had some bad runouts, opponents on the top of their range, and so on. In the end I busted 15 places before the money. A shame, but I cashed at Unibet Open Dublin so I guess you can't always make money. I still had a blast railing the bubble. The fact I was there railing the bubble and honestly having a lot of fun is in hindsight a sign to me I'm mentally improving. In the past I probably would have been disappointed about my own bustout and not in the mood for this. Luckily I sticked around and witnessed the craziest bubble I have ever seen. My mate and Unibet Ambassador Dara O'Kearney gave a seminar on how to be practically busted for 3 hours straight and still make the money with less than 1 big blind. Apparently he even laddered twice the day after. When he told me this I thought he was bluffing me, but it was really the case. No coincidence he published his book about satellite strategy 2 weeks later, this bubble was just shameless promotion for his book, he had it all planned out.

On Saturday I played the Deepstack Open, unfortunately my top boat wasn't in great shape against quads, but who cares. Because of that I was in time to late reg the community game. I knocked out my friend and moderator of my Twitch stream, online known as NMPfan. Maniac as he is he gave the nit action, something you shouldn't do as I usually have a flush at minimum to keep my nitty reputation intact. I suggested we would play on together with my chips and both look at 1 card while not telling what card it is to each other, then grab a chip individually and put it over the line at the same time. It caused confusion at the table and even the dealer didn't know what was going on. However, no one knew the combination of a maniac and nit would turn out perfect. When NMP wanted to punt it all off I took a 100 chip to prevent going broke and when I didn't have the guts to pull the trigger NMP took a 5K chip for a daily overbet on a turn that capped villain's range. GTO plays in optima forma. The miracle happened and we actually got it in good, but our perfect strategy wasn't rewarded and we had to deal with the 2nd prize. Now it was time for the players party!

What should I say about a players party with Dutchies/Belgians? The Dutch account managers were on point all week and this was not else at the players party. Anything you wanted to drink was right there and the Dutch speaking community this Unibet Open was very close. Also I got to know fellow Dutchspeaking (Holland and Belgium were combined) Charlotte (Sjlot), which was very fun as I started my poker career by watching the duostream of her and David. The beauty of Unibet Opens is that a few years later you're having drinks together!

The party lasted till late and at that moment I realized Sunday was the last chance to go skiing. Every night I went to bed so late that I didn't wake up in time to ski as you had to be there early. I took one slope but didn't really enjoy it on my own, everyone was namely still sleeping after the party. Also, I wanted to spew off in another side event, which I did Sunday afternoon. Sunday night I railed the one and only Espen (UhlenPoker) on his Sunday grind. The rail became bigger and bigger and at the end you could've filled up half a football stadium with this crowd. Unfortunately no bink, but we had fun while the UhlenPunts lasted. After hanging out till 7AM with David and the fellow moderators of his channel it was time to take the plane back to Holland.

Sinaia was my worst trip pokerwise, but the most awesome poker trip I've ever been on. It was a week full of meeting new people and punting off my money. Shoutout to Nathalie, the head of Unibet Opens, for coming up with a completely new and great destination. I got back home on Monday while being very hyped to start crushing the online fields again, because bricking everything at a live trip is only a motivation to work harder and make sure next time it won't happen again. Now, 2 weeks later, I feel safe to say I've did exactly that!




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