Interview with Risto Suurpõld, Poker Manager at Olympic Casino and OlyBet
Here at the blog of Cash Game Festival we will interview players, partners and key persons in the cash game scene. And since our first three events have been held in Tallinn, Estonia what wouldn’t be better than to introduce you one of the key persons in the Estonian Poker Scene -Risto Suurpõld and the companies Poker Manager.
Risto has a long experience from casino and poker industry and came to Olympic Casino already 14 years ago. He started as a dealer and worked his way up the ladder to where he is now as the “Poker Manager“ at Olympic Group which is not a small thing considering that not only does OlyBet have a strong online presence, they are also active with live casinos in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Italy and soon to open the largest casino on Malta.
We can understand that it has been quite an adventure and that the journey has taken him all over the world.
What does it mean to be a Poker Manager?
The Poker Manager organizes everything that goes down in a poker room. From staffing, marketing, running the tables, negotiation with partners and hosting events online and live to you name what.
Olympic Casino runs poker tournaments on a daily basis so you can guess it is a lot of things to arrange 24/7, basically a non stop exercise.
So what’s in it for us? After all, we are here for the cash games…
Normally, here in Tallinn we provide up to 5 cash game tables at any given time, depending on the number of interested players. It’s an equation of player availability, current tournaments in the area and if there are other things happening in Tallinn. And on weekdays we usually get the games running around 10 pm and 2-3 tables, On weekend it tends to be quite full tables in the house.
And what’s your thoughts about the Cash Game Festival?
Both the first and the last festival was very popular. We had 8 tables running over 5 days in the middle of the summer. Quite impressive actually. What we liked a lot that we had quite a lot of players coming from neighboring countries like Sweden, Finland and other Baltic states but also players from Poland and other parts of Europe. Based on the feedback from the first to events I would say the events has been a big success.
Is there a plan to add more tables for the coming event 25- 29th of November to avoid growing waiting lists for seats?
For the upcoming event we plan to open up even more tables than last time. We hope to provide enough seats for all the participants. But for sure the best is to secure a seat to your favorite game is to contact the organizers as soon as possible
Lets talk a bit about the Estonian casino culture. In other western countries, casinos seem to be a weekend hot spot, where people go for all kind of entertainment. How is it over here in Estonia?
The first Estonian casino was opened in the 1990s, so I would say people are still getting used to going to casinos. And therefore there is room to improve the total package.
Next year in May we are opening up the new Hilton Hotel. It’s definitely a step closer to a high class service. It will have many restaurants, a bigger casino with more tables and not to forget, it will even have a high class SPA. So it should attract a broader crowd which should benefit the casino.
From us here at Cash Game Festival we need to put in one more angle when talking about the Olympic Casino – the service level. They somehow manage to provide a homey feeling in a casino environment. We would put that down to the smiling waitresses and the high quality of dealers.
Oh, and we almost forgot to mention the bar! They have won so many prizes over the years. If you come here for the Cash Game Festival you should make sure you try some of their awesome cocktails. You won’t be disappointed.
In Olympic Casino, a fun night is a guarantee!