He's had a wild ride to get here, and besting a field of 1,014 entrants Daniel Lakerveld has done it, he has gone on to take it down in first place after eliminating Simon Gyorgy heads-up and taking the win in the spring Malta Poker Festival Grand Event.
The end game was surprisingly fast and brutal in this one, with players busting out almost ceaselessly late on Sunday evening as they played down to 18.
Our PokerDeals Last Longer winner was finally crowned, as Robert Lim was eliminated in 17th place when his K♦T♦ couldn’t hold up against James Clarke’s Q♠J♠. This made Federico Petruzzelli the winner of a free entry to the very next Malta Poker Festival Grand Event (as well as a PokerDeals hoodie of course!). Petruzzelli himself was also sadly eliminated in 13th place when his A♠6♠ could not catch up with Chris da Silva’s 9♣9♥.
Federico Petruzzelli - PokerDeals Last Longer Winner!
Across those first hours of play, one by one the field fell away until it teetered on the very brink of the final table - just one player left to go out for the final table of nine to be formed.
It was James Clarke’s fate to be the bubble man, although you might argue he made that fate himself. In a limped pot good for 480k, Clarke checked back the 5♣2♦ with composure but then on the T♥T♠5♦ flop the Brit opted to rip almost 4x the pot with his remaining stack, giving Silva, who held T♣7♦, a very easy chip-up with his hand. The 8♦, 4♦ runout did absolutely nothing for him, and Clarke walked out as the Final Table bubble, 10th for €5,500.
When Polish player Piotr Tuczynski got dealt QcJc in the Big Blind early on in the final table of nine he had two options, facing a 400k min-bet from Chris da Silva. He could flat or he could jam, with his 17bbs. Both fine options. He chose the latter, and he might have regretted it shortly thereafter as he ran straight into da Silva’s A♥Q♥. The Q♠8♣6♦ 4♥ 6♣ runout could not help him, and he went home in ninth with €6,500 for his troubles.
Nicolay Langfeldt from Norway had just got short. Like really short. With no time to waste, he put his last 425k, less than 2bbs at time time, into the pot with K♦J♦, met Georgios Ninis’ A♠9♠ in the middle, and could not win the standoff, losing as he did on an A♥8♦T♦ T♥ 5♥ board and exiting in eighth with a €7,500 payday.
In a similar story, UK player Stephen Kane got his last 4 bigs in facing a min-open from da Silva on the Button and sitting in the Big Blind. He was met with an ace under ace situation - his A♣6♦ against da Silva’s much prettier A♠T♠, and the T♣6♣7♦ J♠ Q♠ runout was nothing more than a tease. Kane busted in seventh with €9,000 to mop up his tears.
Polish Pawel Zawadowicz was powering through at the end of Day 2, as Chip Leader coming into today, but he had to put his last chips in the middle sometime, and this was the moment, as he looked down at A♥K♥. A shove, he decided, with just south of 12bbs in his 3.5 million chip stack. He was in the Cutoff, it might certainly look weaker than an open to some players. Lakerveld had too good a hand to think twice, with 8♥8♠ on the Button. The two players flipped it out, and Lakerveld landed on his feet, with a T♦6♠2♠ flop making him a firm favourite. The turn and river brought nothing but a Jack and a five of ♠s for the Pole, and the pain of elimination, and he walked out in sixth, taking home €11,000 with him.
Greek Georgios Ninis had been playing a solid game. He got it in on this final table in an excellent spot, A♦5♦ on a 9♥2♣5♣ 5♠ board against a worse five, exactly what you want. Gyorgi Simon was the other involved, stuck in there with just T♥5♥. Then a miracle - the T♠! With very even stacks Ninis was struck out in fifth in a huge near 9 million chip pot. Ninis took away €14,000 in winnings from this one.
Dutch player Jasper van Moorsel got it in in very fine shape with his J♣J♠ blind vs. blind against Simon Gyorgy’s Q♣7♥, but it was his turn to run bad as a Q♥ in the window followed by a 5♣2♥ K♠ K♣ spelled the end for van Moorsel and had him out in fourth, cashing for €18,000.
Jasper van Moorsel
When Simon Gyorgy put his 10 million stack in the middle from the Button and it folded to British player Chris da Silva’s Big Blind, da Silva decided this was the spot to take a stand, and called it off with A♥3♠. Gyorgy showed down 4♣4♠ for the best hand preflop, and just to make the point, boated up on a Q♣8♣4♦ 8♦ 6♦ board runout. Da Silva, a live Pokerstars Pro, has to settle for third place this time, and €25,000.
Chris da Silva
There had been some talk of a deal at three, and at two players remaining, but in the end no deal was struck, and Hungarian Simon Gyorgy would square up against Dutch player Daniel Lakerveld heads-up, playing for the trophy and a final pay-jump of €28,000.
The heads-up was, like the final table itself, to be relatively short-lived and dramatic, with the two players entering level 34 with roughly even stacks at 25-26 million apiece.
With blinds at 300k/600k Lakerveld min-opened and Gyorgy called to see a T♠5♦3♥ flop, on which Lakerveld continuation bet 600k and Gyorgy called. The 8♣ turn was checked by both players, but on the 5♠ river something overtook both players. First of all Gyorgy checked, and Lakerveld overbet, 3.5 million. Then Gyorgy after the tiniest of hesitations jammed it in, to be immediately called. Gyorgy revealed K♠5♥ for trips, but Lakerveld had the best trips of all, holding A♥5♣.
Simon Gyorgy - runner up
Thus this incredible Grand Event was brought to its conclusion in fitting style with an epic cooler, Gyorgy departed €43,000 richer as runner up, and Daniel Lakerveld shipped the trophy, the €71,000 and the glory!
Daniel Lakerveld - Malta Poker Festival Grand Event Champion 2022!
|3||Chris da Silva||United Kingdom||€25,000|
|4||Jasper van Moorsel||Netherlands||€18,000|
|7||Stephen Kane||United Kingdom||€9,000|
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in the lovely land of Malta covering this series for you, and the vibe has been excellent throughout. Good weather, good people, and oh-such-good games! We’ll be back to do it all again soon, and we hope you will too. Remember to catch our live updates for the next big tournament.
In the meantime, if you'd like to touch base or hang out, please connect with us over on the PokerDeals Discord channel. May the poker gods shine on you, and best of luck.
by Lucky Luke
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