We recently chatted with David Lappin, Unibet ambassador and host of the Chip Race podcast, about his recent run at the Battle of Malta main event. It was great to get a feel of the tournament, as well as some insight into what we can expect from the pro in the future.
What did you like most about The Battle of Malta tournament, besides placing well in the Main Event?
Whether it is in the Autumn or Spring, The Battle Of Malta gets a big field every time they run it. Lots of Italians and Israelis make the trip as do players from all around Europe. The venue in the Intercontinental Hotel is fantastic. The one thing that concerns me, however, is the registration fees going up this year. I know this put off a lot of players and if they don’t look at reducing those for the next edition, I fear that they may destroy a strong brand.
Did you try any other formats or tournaments, besides the Main Event?
Yes, I also played the Mystery Bounty. I cashed but didn’t manage to get a bounty before busting early on Day 2.
In your opinion, what do consider the main factors that contributed to you placing where you finished?
It’s always a mixture of good play and luck in any one game. Four interesting hands come to mind:
Late on Day 1, I defended my big blind with A3o to a Cut-off open and called down three streets, all-in on the river, on AT9-4-6. There were some ‘live tell’ reasons for this.
Early on Day 2, I just flatted Aces pre-flop and got a full double up versus KQ on a Q high board. Sometimes you trap yourself so it’s nice when it works out.
Then mid-way through Day 2, I defended by big blind with KcQc to a Hijack open. Again I called down three streets, all-in on the river, on Jh9h5c-Ks-6h.
There was another spot on Day 2 when UTG raised, UTG2 called, the hijack 3bet and I folded QQ on the button. I was grateful that the hijack showed his pocket aces so I could sleep after that one.
There was also one all-in spot that I can think of when I got lucky with KdTd versus AQo.
What does this result mean to you, and how did it feel to achieve it?
The result is quite frustrating. I’ve made the last 1% of six big-field tournaments in the past two years but keep coming up short of the final table. Of course, it requires good fortune to get that deep so I am not complaining but it is disappointing not to convert any of those runs into a big result.
Do you have any major plans for the prize money which you earned?
It was nine buy-ins so I guess it will go on the next nine buy-ins.
What’s next for you? Do you have any other tournaments coming up?
There are two festivals in Malta this month - The One and the Pokerstars event - before I go to Vegas to play the Main Event.
Having seen your past tournaments, you’ve had quite a few in Malta. Is there something in particular that keeps drawing you back here for tournaments?
Yes. The convenience of living ten minutes from the casino. I moved to Malta in 2015 and bought a home in St Julian’s last year.
You have quite an impressive resume of wins at poker tournaments around the world - which would you say are you most proud of and why?
They’re no result of which I’m particularly proud. In 180 or so cashes live, I’ve had about ten wins but they were all in small stuff. I’ve had deep runs in some bigger stuff but couldn’t get over the line.
We're hoping to see David converting some of his deep runs into wins in the future. Watch this space...
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