Poker in Bulgaria


Bulgaria has fallen out of the USSR influence in the end of 1989. Since then industry of gambling very closely connected with tourism prospers. All the famous poker rooms are situated on the shore of the Black Sea.

There are over 20 casinos for population of 7 millions Bulgarians. If we add up slot machine halls, there is somewhere a hundred gambling houses. It is not the biggest number anywhere but certainly above average.

There is gambling spree in the country since 90s. Cheap life and Black Sea attract tourists. Especially CIS tourists.

Where do they play poker in Bulgaria?

The biggest number of casinos is in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, but it’s better to visit Golden Sands and Sunny Beach if you are willing to play poker.

Sunny Beach is a major seaside resort of Bulgaria, located approximately 40 km of Burgas. One can play in Crystal Crown Casino and Casino Platinum Sunny Beach poker rooms.

20 km from Varna there is a resort called Golden Sands. It is famous among poker players thanks to poker room in International Hotel Casino and Tower Suites.


International Hotel Casino

There is also poker in Sofia. One can visit Sofia Poker Room, for example. Sofia poker is existant.

But it’s better start with resort casinos and you know why: there are more tourists and the time is spent more pleasurably.

Tournaments and cash games in Bulgaria

Regular tournaments in Bulgaria aren’t expensive – buy-ins are couple of tens of dollars. For example, average buy-in in Sofia Poker Room is about 30-40 Bulgarian levs (~ $15-20). One can find $100 buy-in events in the weekend.

Cash game stakes in Bulgaria start from €1/€2 and rarely exceed €5/€10. Only International Hotel Casino and Tower Suitescan provide you with bigger stake game: €10/€20 NL Holdem and PLO are played at €10/€20 here.

They also play €5/€10 in Crystal Crown Casino. But on average the stakes aren’t that high.

If we’re speaking of poker series, Bulgaria is beloved by Russian-speaking players. LIVE EVENTS INTERNATIONAL with €500,000 guaranteed was held in Varna in summer of 2015. UNITED POKER SERIES made a stop in Burgas a year ago. And these are not the only known occasions.


UPS in Burgas

Who plays poker in Bulgaria?

There are about 500 professional and semi-professional poker players in the country. The most famous is obviously Dimitar Danchev, PCA 2013 champion.

And if you’re going to Bulgarian to have some poker earnings, you’d better keep your excitement level low. There are quite a number of local regulars in Golden Sands and Sunny Beach, and they are rather tough.

But when Arabian players come to Bulgaria, the game loosens up big time.

Some of the visitors of Bulgaria complained about tourists being very neat. They aren’t calling stations, play ABC-poker and the only way to win from them is bluffing. But these are just some of reviews and they not create general picture. That was poker Bulgaria. Balkan poker is a special one.


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