Malta Poker Festival Day 1a Recap

27 Apr
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Day 1a of the Grand Event proved a glorious start for the returning Malta Poker Festival with a great turnout for a Tuesday afternoon, with an impressive 118 entrants rocking up to play an epic 13 levels of poker across the day and evening, culminating in a leaderboard of 31 survivors who took their stacks through to Day 2

Day 2 will be held on Sunday 1st May, and the Grand Event continues today with Day 1b, expected to be an even larger turnout than yesterday, with players taking their seats at 2 pm CET for the start of play.

Six PokerDeals Last Longer players progressed, and you can check all the chip stacks, including those of our promotion participants, right here on the PokerDeals Chip Count Updates for Day 1a.

Day 1a was a wild, active affair, with cries of “all-in!” heard from dealers around the room almost incessantly as the evening wore on. We saw the sad demise of numerous players from the PokerDeals Last Longer, including Joacim Blom, Chris Grech, and the awesomely named Jan Freedom, but several of the big stacks in the room by the end of play were PokerDeals Last Longer Players with Fabio Berti ahead of the lot of them with 366k in chips, in fourth place overall for the day’s play. The player of the day however was clearly chip leader Victor Fryda, coming into Day 2 with a monstrous 522k chip stack. 

Fabio Berti

Just in case you think players rise to the top through sheer good fortune, it isn’t so as PokerDeals are here to testify, having seen Berti lose a sizeable chunk of chips in level eight when his AK♠ failed to improve all-in preflop against his opponent’s open-shoved 77♣ for a hefty 34,500 in chips. Berti won’t be too dismayed looking back on it, of course, sitting as he does with 366k in chips.

Norwegian player Terje Bremseth ran up a huge stack largely in thanks to a fun pot where he limped behind six other players with the slender holding of Q9♠, saw a seven-way flop, and spiked top two on a Q♠ 9♣ 2 to get it in on the flop against UTG’s K♣Q and hold up to the river. Bremseth’s play earned him a top finishing spot amongst Day 1a’s players, sitting for now in 7th place going into Day 2 and holding 303k in chips.

We also saw Joseph Grech from the UK making a big river decision against the aggression of Frenchman Matthieu Marcenac’s aggression in a huge cold 4bet pot, with Marcenac the 4bettor out of the small blind into Grech’s middle position 3bet, the original EP raiser backing out, and Grech calling to see a flop of 8♠KQ fall. 

Initially, both players checked the flop, but from then on Marcenac made life difficult for the Brit player, firing firstly 20k on the 2 turn, and then after a quick call from Grech posting the rest of his stack in the middle on the 3♣ river for a further 46k. Grech pondered for a good while before finding the fold, allowing Marcenac to scoop a significant stack. 

In the end, however, it was the disciplined folder who made it, with Grech taking a stack of 353k through to Day 2, making his current standing 6th overall in chips.

Bora Uludag

One firecracker of a hand came from PokerDeals' Last Longer player Bora Uludag, who opened from the Hijack to 9k, to get called in the blinds by Joseph Grech and Giulio Spampinato. When the flop fell K♠8♠T♠ no-one wanted to bet, neither on the J♠ turn but when the A came on the river they woke up. First Spampinato bet 15k, only for Uludag to raise to 35k and get quick folds. 

We only know he had that rare beast of a holding, the Royal Flush since he couldn’t resist showing the A♠Q♠ for the best possible hand in Texas Hold'em. Who can blame him really? Uludag wound up taking a nice stack of 222k through to Day 2.

With much more to come in this awesome Malta Poker Festival Grand Event, be sure to tune in to PokerDeals Live Reporting to find out what goes down on Day 1b, and all the subsequent days of this great poker festival!




by Lucky Luke

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