Let the Battle begin! 

With just two days to go before the start of this year’s Battle of Malta, Casino Malta is preparing for a record-breaking turnout at the InterContinental Arena Conference Centre.

The festival kicks off with a €55 + €5 buy-in super satellite for the Main Event at 6pm on Wednesday evening (October 24) with Day 1a of the €550 Main Event starting on Thursday.

Nearly all events for this year’s Battle of Malta are taking place in a brand new venue – the spacious Eden Arena at the InterContinental Hotel. The guarantee for the Main Event has been doubled to €1 million and thousands of players from all over the world are aiming to take part.

Battle of Malta Event Director Diane Fenech said: “After months and months of preparation, we can’t believe that the event is actually about to start! We are incredibly excited about how many players are coming and delighted that we have been able to introduce so many improvements for this year’s event. In addition to the €1 million guarantee – which is double last year! – we have also worked hard to bring in numerous other innovations to make sure that all our players have an amazing time.“

Part of the fun includes three different parties: the Aperol Spritz Battle of Malta Welcome Party which is on Thursday evening at Casino Malta, a special Bowling Competition at the Eden SuperBowl on Saturday evening (with four seats for Battle of Malta 2019 for each member of the four-person winning team) and the main Battle of Malta Players Party at the exclusive Paranga Beach from 8pm on Sunday night.

Wireless waiter calling buttons

Other improvements for 2018 include wireless “calling buttons” for every poker table. The service – provided by Malta-based Servizo Wireless Technology Solutions – means dealers will be able to call for food & drinks at any time, or even to request a masseuse. There will also be wireless mobile phone charging hotspots across the event location.

Tournament innovations: 140 tables, unlimited re-entries, Day 1d Turbo & Big Blind Ante

This year’s Main Event offers unlimited re-entries for the first time and there is also now a fourth start flight with a Day 1d Turbo starting at 9pm on Saturday evening. This year’s Battle of Malta will also be adopting a Big Blind Ante for the first time. The ante comes into force in Level 2 of the Main Event and means the player in the big blind will post antes for the whole table – it speeds up the game and ends confusion over whether a player has put in their ante or not. There’s also going to be a huge tournament team working at the Eden Arena. Led by Tournament Director Rodolfo Zirio, more than 100 dealers will be working the event along with five senior floor staff and five juniors.

Live stream

There will be a cards-up live stream throughout the Main Event. For the first four days, coverage will feature a fixed camera with full RFID graphics for displaying players’ hole cards and community cards. On the day of the final (October 30), there will be five cameras in action with full commentary, making sure viewers don’t miss a thing as the tournament plays down to a new Battle of Malta champion. Former PokerNews presenter Laura Cornelius will be the host of this year’s event – introducing the action in the Eden Arena each day as well interviewing players, chatting to event winners, and reporting on all the fun and excitement at the three Battle of Malta parties.

Satellites

Thanks to new owner Eden Group’s extensive network of gaming venues, this year’s event has created an unprecedented buzz in Europe and produced dozens of satellite winners.Satellites for the Battle of Malta Main Event have also been running at online poker sites worldwide while Casino Malta has been hosting local live satellites for several months. Last night’s satellite at Casino Malta – which had five seats guaranteed – attracted 76 entries with seven players winning their way into the €550 buy-in Main Event.

MainEventTravel

This year Battle of Malta joined forces MainEventTravel.com – the leading dedicated poker travel agency – to provide players with a one-stop shop for booking flights, accommodation and tournament buy-ins. MainEventTravel has had numerous special packages and discounts available on its site including great discounts for players wanted to bag their room and Main Event buy-in at the same time.

As well as the €1 million guarantee Main Event and prestigious €1,320 High Roller, this year’s Battle of Malta schedule includes a €110 Ladies event sponsored by the Poker League of Nations, the €88 Crazy 888s Battle, the €150 “MPNPT Battle”, the €300 + €30 EPS Battle and the €200 + €20 IPC Battle hosted by the Israeli Poker Championship – along with numerous satellites, a €165 PLO Double Chance and two-day €330 Deepstack Turbo.