Malta Poker Festival Kicks off Today with Day 1a of the Grand Event at the Portomaso Casino
The excellent Portomaso Casino opened its doors for the return of the much-anticipated Malta Poker Festival today, with the Grand Event, a €550 buy-in with a hefty €300,000 guaranteed prize pool starts up with Day 1a today at 2pm CET.
The lines are long and the smiles wide as players from all over the world get ready to sit down and play some incredible poker once again at this wonderful venue this afternoon. With a buzzing atmosphere, it is evident just soaking up the vibe on this first major day for the festival that everyone is excited to be back. Players are taking to their tables for the first level, and dealers as well as floor staff look delighted to be back to host this splendid poker tournament.
With levels of 40 minutes, 8 levels of late registration and 50,000 chip starting stacks, there will be plenty of play in today's first flight, and a long, exciting day (and night!) of poker ahead. We can't wait to see who rises to the top of the stacks on this very first day of play for the Grand Event!
Speaking of rising to the top, don't forget to sign up for the PokerDeals Last Longer, where you could score yourself a free entry to the very next Malta Poker Festival event to be held later this year, worth €550, for nothing more than the cost of dropping us your contact info and sporting a very attractive PokerDeals patch in the event.
For those who don't make it through to day 2 on the first attempt, there are plenty of further opportunities in the days ahead, as the event boasts six day 1 flights, including a turbo flight 1F late on Saturday 30th, as well as multiple re-entries being permitted each day.
The Portomaso Casino is the perfect location to host this event, and has been waiting to do so since it was last able, pre-Covid, to host it back in 2019. Covid rules are also in place to help mitigate any disruption, and players can check the related policies which are very clearly laid out on the Malta Poker Festival website.
Laid out over 4,000 square metres, the Portomaso Casino offers four separate stunning poker areas, as well as excellent dining facilities, corporate players' lounges, and is situated next to the fabulous Hilton Malta where many participants choose to stay.
For those visitors who like to hit the table games, of course you will also find plenty of these on offer at the Portomaso, including roulette, blackjack, punto banco and more, as well as four dedicated areas for slot machine play.
There are also numerous cheaper ways back into the Grand Event, including multiple daily €55 satellites running live. You can grab the full schedule right here to check it all out. Side events will also include a Bounty event, a PLO event, a Ladies First event (where men can play if they wish to register for €1,000, but women receive a 90% discount and may enter for just €100), and a €1,100 High Roller.
The Women’s Poker Association is behind the Ladies First event and are keen to promote their core value of supporting more women to participate in poker internationally, something which is central to the vision of Event Director Ivonne Montealegre, who is also the International Affairs Director for the WPA.
There are lots of great ways for you to follow along all the action at the Malta Poker Festival this year, including PokerDeals' own Live Reporting Page, our PokerDeals Discord of course, and also the Malta Poker Festival Forum Facebook page, as well as that of the WPA.
We hope to see you at the Malta Poker Festival this week, and if you don't make it over this time, there'll be a lot more to come later in the year!
Related Live reporting
Sunday 1st May saw an epic day of poker action at the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event as 273 became just 18 after a mammoth day of play here at the Portomaso Casino. A strong cohort of 73 PokerDeals patched players competing in the PokerDeals Last Longer made it to Day 2 . These have surprisingly been cut down to just two players standing , vying for who will win the free ticket to the next Malta Poker Festival Grand Event: Robert Lim & Federico Pizzazz They are also of course, more importantly, competing for some serious payouts, at the top of the pile is the glory prize itself, 1st place , rewarding €71,000 and of course, the Malta Poker Festival trophy ! Pawel Zawadowicz is the man to catch right now, leading by over 2 million chips with his stack of 7,820,000 in chips. Let's check in on how our PokerDeals Last Longer players and others were doing in the late-night action. We dropped in on the final six tables as they were rapidly slashed back to just three, across the late hours of Day 2 , and it didn't take long for us to witness some serious brutality. In fact we counted at least 17 eliminations across less than 90 minutes of play, in the final field of 45 players. That's pretty rapid, even for a Texas Hold'em tournament. Some of these spots were simply unavoidable of course, just your classic coolers. For a case in point we could look at the elimination of Cosimo de Gennaro at the hands of Jasper Van Moorsel . A simple matter of TT running into AA preflop, Big Blind vs. Button . Nothing to be done about it, and when the board ran out 9♠8 ♥ 3 ♥ 7♠ K ♦ there was no shame in this Italian's walk from the arena. Cosimo de Gennaro Another all-in hand we bore witness to featured the Daniel Lakerveid being despatched by PokerDeals Last Longer competitor Federico Cirillo , when Lakerveid's BB hand K ♥ 6 ♥ failed to get there all-in against Cirillo's K♠J♣ from the Button . Federico Cirillo Another all-in shove from a short stack was Nicolaj D'Antoni's K ♦ 7 ♦ getting it in against the A♠4♠ of the seemingly indestructible Pawel Zawadowicz , the board running out a hopeless 9♣J ♥ Q ♥ 6 ♦ 9 ♥ to secure Zawadowicz the win with just Ace high. Pawel Zawadowicz But there was worse to come, at least for PokerDeals patched player Paul Morris , who had the spot players live (and die) for, A ♥ A♣ in the Big Blind facing action when short-stacked. Who knows, he might have flatted against one, but when Jordan Dumas opens Cutoff and James Clarke decides to come along from the Small Blind , and you're sitting on well under 15bbs , a jam seems very acceptable, and that's just what Morris did. Paul Morris After consideration Dumas decided to stick around with Q♣J♣ , Clarke got out the way and the flop thundered down around Morris' head, 8 ♥ J♠J ♦ . The turn and river had nothing more to offer Morris as they fell an irrelevant 5 and 7 of ♠s . It's rough when you've grinded for days to get there, but it's all part of this game we love, and this is why we are in it for the long run! One other hand of note came from canny players Jason Shellum and Mantas Petrauskas as they negotiated a 3 ♥ 4♣6♠ 3 ♦ Q ♦ board. Petrauskas had bet all the way, and he didn't let up on the river, putting Shellum to a major question with his river bet of 600k . Shellum went deep into the tank. He was down there a while, he may have had an oxygen mask on. Eventually someone at the table called time on Shellum , and it was during that final minute of decision-making that he found the call, with, wait for it… AJ offsuit . And he was good, Petrauskas quickly mucking. "A hero call!” someone nearby remarked to him. "A hero read!” was his quick reply. We literally couldn't be more excited for Day 3 , the final day of this Grand Event today kicking off at 2pm, and a fascinating end to this highly competitive Grand Event . We'll have more coverage of the day coming out this evening on our PokerDeals Live Reporting page. Also if you'd like to see even more videos, photos and social interaction covering the event, please do join us on our PokerDeals Facebook Page !
Just 18 players remain standing at the end of this long Day 2 in the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event , playing out 12 levels across the day and seeing numerous poker pros and recreational players alike bite the dust. The largest stack leading the field for going into Day 3 is Polish player Pawel Zawadowicz who by the end of the night had put together an impressive stack of 7,820,000 , over 2 million ahead of the next player in the leaderboard. Only two contenders for the PokerDeals Last Longer promotion now remain standing out of the remaining 18, and these are Robert Lim from the United Kingdom, working a stack of 2,020,000 chips, and Italian Federico Petruzzelli , sitting on 2,385,000 . With blinds ending for Day 2 at an eye-watering 40k/80k with an 80k BB ante , a mere 4.5bbs currently separate these players. Who will capture the free ticket for the next Malta Poker Festival Grand Event , and who will be left winning the runner-up prize of an awesome PokerDeals hoodie? Only Day 3 will tell, and we'll also find out who will win the first prize in this Grand Event, an awesome €71,000 ! Here is the full seat draw for Day 2 of the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event: Malta Poker Festival Grand Event Day 3 Chipcount Entries: 1.014 Players left: 18 PLAYER CHIPCOUNT 1 ZAWADOWICZ PAWEL 7,820,000 2 KANE STEPHEN OLIVER 5,365,000 3 DA SILVA CHRISTOPHER 4,865,000 4 NINIS GEORGIOS 4,360,000 5 CLARKE JAMES MICHAEL 3,190,000 6 VAN MOORSEL JASPER ARTHUR 3,155,000 7 LAKERVEID DANIEL M 2,855,000 8 PETRAUSKAS MANTAS 2,425,000 9 PETRUZZELLI FEDERICO 2,385,000 10 LIM ROBERT JR CABRAL 2,020,000 11 FRENCH DOMINICK LEON 1,750,000 12 SIMON GYORGI 1,685,000 13 CHEUNG HO TIEN 1,670,000 14 TUCZYNSKI PIOTR 1,595,000 15 DUMAS JORDAN BERRAND MANUEL 1,510,000 16 IOSUB DRAGOS-GABRIEL 1,400,000 17 LANGFIELDT NICOLAY 1,370,000 18 MUSACCHIA MARIO 1,350,000 PokerDeals Live Reporting will be covering the latest as we head into the Final Day of this Grand Event . We also put up a ton more photos and videos of the event, over on our PokerDeals Facebook Page !
273 players returned to Day 2 of the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event today, all aimed at that final table, but all also aware of the bubble, with 151 players to be paid in this one. The event has seen a record 1,019 entrants, building a prize pool of over €480k, with a first prize of €71,000 to play for. Nemo Israel returns with the biggest stack, with no-one else across the six Day 1 flights able to amass the monster stack of 667k which he built on Day 1b. PokerDeals Last Longer participants were out in force, with 76 of the remaining players on Day 2 sporting PokerDeals patches. Blinds recommenced at 2,500/5,000 with a 5,000 BB ante , as the game kicked off at 2pm today. We took a tour of the poker room as the all-important bubble approached, with key hands going down left, right and centre. With just a handful of players left to be eliminated before the minimum cash of €1,100 kicked in, no-one wanted to go home now. Nonetheless, stacks were getting short, tempers arguably shorter, and the all-ins were coming thick and fast. After all, sometimes you just have to get it in! Heading into a short break one table remained running long into the 15-minute break. At it sat two players, side by side, seats two and three, alone with their thoughts, their chips and their dealer. These two had come into the pot as UTG and UTG+1 , in a 3bet pot. Now the whole board was out there, 4♠T♠4 ♦ , T ♥ , 2 ♥ , PokerDeals patch-wearer Stavros Tsakas had bet 70k and Gregory Luttke-Grech was deep in the tank. After several minutes he put his opponent all in. Now it was Tsakas' turn to tank, which he did for what felt like an age, before finally and clearly reluctantly folding. Leaping up to take the last minutes of his short break, Luttke-Grech gleefully tabled K ♦ Q ♥ for a stone-cold bluff. Stavros Tsakas Robert Lim, who came into Day 2 as the PokerDeals Last Longer participant with the biggest stack, was busy getting it in good against his opponents when we passed by. This time it really helped the whole field, as he casually eliminated Romain Nardin with his A ♥ K ♦ against Nardin's A ♦ Q♠, remarking, "I'm running good at the moment, lots of big hands!". Robert Lim Whilst another all-in went the way of the short stack, with Andras Halasi doubling with his A♣Q♠ against Yohann Girondin's K♣K ♥ when an Ace spiked the turn, over on an adjacent table an even more eye-popping hand was taking place, albeit not all-in. In a 550k pot with the board reading 3♠K ♦ 7♠ K♣ 2 ♦ , Paul Morris moved all-in on the river, for his last 220k . The Button, none other than Luttke-Grech once again, was deep in the tank. With dozens of staff, media and spectators who had drifted over during hand-for-hand observing, he talked himself into the call. The bad news came fast - Morris tabled A ♥ A♠ . Luttke-Grech mucked, but not before flashing his cards. Some swear he held A8o , but this reporter saw A3o , a Hero call either way! Paul Morris Minutes later there was much more drama at the same table. This time it was Stavros Tsakas again but up against Soner Vanelderen. The players got it in preflop, with things looking tame enough, with both tabling AK suited, Tsakas with diamonds, Vanelderen in spades. The flop brought both players a straight with T♠Q ♥ J ♦ , but the turn and river were to prove cruel , bringing as they did the 3♠ and then the killer for Tsakas , the 4♠ , eliciting a collective gasp from the room. A brutal way to exit indeed, and with just one more left to go out before the money. Soner Vanelderen The final hand was not far off, either. On a board of 5 ♥ 3♣8♠ Terje Bremseth, a well-known, affable and friendly member of the live poker scene, was all-in in the Cutoff , and he was called, by Ridvan Kilincaslan . Ridvan Kilincaslan Terje Bremseth tabled A♣K♠ , Kilincaslan replied by turning over 6♠6♣ and the T♣, 3♠ runout was no help to Bremseth who exited this one as the bubble boy. We're sure we'll see him smiling in many another live poker event, however! Terje Bremseth We'll be putting out a recap tomorrow at PokerDeals Live Reporting covering all the late-game action in this huge Day 2 . Also be sure to hit up the PokerDeals Facebook page for more coverage, video footage, and lots more photos of the day's action! Some images courtesy of MaltaPokerFestival.com
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