With all set and done, we have a new overall chip leader. Lior Sahar manages to bag 639,500 chips and leads the pack going into Day 2.
Tomorrow Today at 10 am starts the last turbo starting flight and at 7 pm Day 2 will commence. We will be back for coverage of Day 2.
|Vito La Barbera||434,500||72|
|Nuno De Sales||344,000||57|
|Alessandro De Leo||173,000||29|
|Matteo La Fata||134,000||22|
|Plocki Maciej Jan||124,000||21|
|Andrea La Monica||97,000||16|
|Giuseppe Di Marco||85,000||14|
|Renato Del Gaudio||77,000||13|
|Costanza Vito Lucio||72,500||12|
|Marcos De Oliveira||37,000||6|
|Francesco Della Sala||25,500||4|
The bubble at the Main Event lasted only one hand. Over at table 13, Marco Bartolini was all-in in the first hand of the hand-for-hand mode with TXTX. He was called by AXAX and could not find any of his two outs to win the hand.
With that, all the other players are in the money and will be back for Day 2 tomorrow.
We’ll be back with chip counts in a bit.
We’re still 4 players away from the money ranks in the Main Event Day 1c. But the Turbo Flight Day 1d already commenced with 29 / 193 entries surviving the day.
We will come back with chip counts for this flight in a bit.
We’re right before the bubble with 123 players left. 119 players will make Day 2 and be in the money.
After the end of Level 16, the players embark on the last 20-minute break of the day.
Level 15: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)
In a rather unusual hand, we saw Nikolaos Zacharakis fold Ace King before the flop.
The hand began with him raising from middle position. Behind him Johan Guilbert re-raised and the action was back on Zacharakis. He made it 55k.
Without skipping a beat Guilbert moved all-in for 142.5k. Zacharakis had him covered by a bit. The latter thought for quite some time, then exclaimed: “He might have Aces” and open-mucked his hand.
Johan Guilbert – 200,000
Nikolaos Zacharakis – 200,000
Level 15: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
The blinds are high, the stacks are shallow, and the actions sometimes are forced.
One of those virtually forced actions was Desmond Farrell’s all-in with JX9X and 4.5 big blinds behind. Leonardo Romeo went along for the ride but had Farrell crushed with AX9X.
Lady luck had other plans than Farrell’s timely bust and the dealer fanned a board of TX7X2XKX8X. With a straight on the river, Desmond Farrell doubled up and now he has a wee bit under 10 big blinds and a fighting chance to make it to Day 2.
Desmond Farrell – 39,000
Level 14: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Alvaro Da Silva opened to 6.5k from the button and behind him, Alaa Ganem moved all-in from the small blind for 115k. In the big blind Kevin Karenius thought for a little while and moved all-in as well.
Da Silva quickly let go of his steal attempt and we saw a showdown:
Alaa Ganem: AXQX
Kevin Karenius: AXKX
The board was a little roller coaster of a suck and a semi-re-suck: KXJX2XTXKX – a straight for Ganem on the turn and a split pot on the river.
Alaa Ganem – 120,000
Kevin Karenius – 240,000
Late registration is closed for the Turbo Day 1d flight with the field attracting 193 entries to bring the total up to 1,618 entries with still one turbo flight to go tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.
The prize pool has grown to a whopping €814,663 to crush the €500,000 guarantee slapped on the 2023 Battle of Malta Spring Edition Main Event.
We won’t have too many detailed reports about any of the turbo flights but we will provide updates now and then along with the final chip counts of the day.
At the Battle of Malta, one of the exciting side events that concluded yesterday was the Mystery Bounty. This thrilling tournament attracted a total of 430 entries, making it a fiercely competitive affair. As the event unfolded, tension filled the air, with players vying for the opportunity to claim their share of the €76,100 prize pool.
Out of the numerous participants, 75 players managed to secure a spot “in the money”. However, it was Vikentios Fisentzou who emerged victorious, displaying exceptional skill and determination. Fisentzou’s remarkable performance earned him the top prize of €14,700, along with the well-deserved title of the Mystery Bounty champion.
One notable highlight of the event was the prestigious bounty won by Giuseppe Dedoni. His formidable skills and strategic gameplay paid off handsomely, as he successfully claimed the most lucrative bounty worth an impressive €10,000. The Mystery Bounty event at the Battle of Malta provided a thrilling showcase of talent and excitement, solidifying its reputation as a premier poker tournament. Check out our video about the event below.
We counted some more chips during the break. Currently, Cyril Vieira & Lior Sahar lead the pack.
|Andrea La Monica||195,000||65||18||9|
|Nuno De Sales||170,000||57||21||7|
|Renato Del Gaudio||135,000||45||5||4|
Players are on a 20-minute break. The field is down to 192 players who will return to blinds at 1,500/3,000 along with a 3,000 big blind ante.
Day 1c will conclude when the field is down to 120 players or less. So this might not be the last break but it will be the last break of the day that we will update the biggest stacks from around the room until the final chip counts are ready to be shared.
Level 13: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Some hands just play themselves without much strategy and thinking. One of those hands is aces versus kings.
One of those hands we just witnessed over at Table 10. It began with Alaa Ganem raising and Hassan Nima reraising. Gaspare Sposato was caught in the middle and caught the reraise. After that Ganem went all-in, Nima went all-in as well and Sposato got out of the way. Showdown:
Alaa Ganem: KXKX
Hassan Nima: AXAX
With a king on the river, Ganem managed to more than double up, leaving Nima crippled.
Alaa Ganem – 120,000
Hassan Nima – 30,000
Level 12: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Giovanni Russo jammed for 3,700 from middle position. The action paused on Jukka Vainio from the button. However, Alessandro Spata likely didn’t see this from the small blind and appeared prepared to act.
“How much is it?” asked Spata.
He reached for his chips soon after but the dealer stopped him before it was too late. Vainio three-bet to 8,000 and both Spata and Edikas Jurgitis folded from the blinds.
Giovanni Russo: 8♠2♣
Jukka Vainio: A♠T♥
Russo was unable to snag even a small piece of the 3♠9♥6♥J♥T♦ board for Vainio to snag all of his chips.
Jukka Vainio – 120,000
Giovanni Russo – 0
Level 12: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
There was a bit of betting going with not much in the pot preflop on the 6♣2♦3♥ flop when we caught up with the hand with Mateusz Pawlowski committed his stack of 24,000 against Henriques Pereira.
Mateusz Pawlowski: 3♦3♣
Henriques Pereira: A♥6♥
Pawlowski was miles ahead but Pereira still had slim hopes of getting ahead with a pair of runners. One of those runners came on the A♣ turn giving him a four-outer to a full house. Not that Pawlowski needed it, as all but four cards in the deck were safe, but the table erupted after the 3♠ landed on the river for Pawlowski to ultimately double with quads.
Mateusz Pawlowski – 60,000
Henriques Pereira – 40,000
Level 12: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
With the blinds ever increasing, the action becomes faster and faster and we are seeing all-ins virtually every minute.
Yigal Shafian just eliminated his countryman Assaf Cabra in one of those all-ins. Both had all their chips in the middle before the flop with Assaf Cabra being minimally ahead with TXTX while Yigal Shafian had two overcards with AXQX.
But a queen in the door of the flop sealed Cabra’s fate. The board fell QX5X2XJXKX and Cabra was eliminated from this flight, while Shafian, who barely covered Cabra doubled up.
Yigal Shafian – 61,000
Assaf Cabra – 0
Level 12: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Watching poker and playing poker doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Over at Table 13, Marco Labate spent most of the day watching poker episodes on his phone.
We just witnessed him increase his stack significantly while watching other people play poker on his phone.
We arrived at his table with 10k in the middle on the turn and the board reading A♠Q♠T♥4♠.
After his opponent, Federico Constantini checked, Labate bet 5k and Constantini check-raised to 12k. Labate called.
The river fell A♥ and again Constantini checked. Now Labate pulled out the big guns and bet all his chips – roughly 25k. Labate contemplated his actions, but eventually let go of his hand.
Marco Labate – 59,000
Federico Constantini – 30,000
Level 11: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Vitalii Seman fired out for 16,500 into a pot of 31,000 with the 9♣J♠9♠6♠2♥ on the board after the river. Andrea La Monica jammed for 55,600 and Seman went into the tank for around five minutes until La Monica called the clock.
The floor promptly came and the clock started after a brief discussion with the dealer.
“Five, four, three, two, one…” the dealer counted down.
“Call,” said Seman as he threw a chip in before the floor announced that his hand was dead.
La Monica turned over the A♠T♠ for the nut-flush. Seman nearly made a sick laydown but instead witnessed his stack dwindle as he turned over the K♠Q♠ for the second-nut flush.
A couple of the players at the table were either shocked that both players had a strong flush or that Seman nearly folded.
Andrea La Monica – 162,000
Vitalii Seman – 22,000
The most important people in the casino are the dealers. Without a skilled and motivated team of dealers, no cash game and no tournament can run.
Patrisha Rimfire met up with Marcello Caloro. He’s the senior Dealer Coordinator here at the Battle of Malta and shares his insights into running successful poker tournaments.
Learn how a tournament with hundreds of people and over 1,000 entries is run from a dealer and coordinator perspective.
Level 11: 600/1,200 (1,200)
It was a three-bet pot preflop when Cyril Vieira check-called a bet by Meir Vaqnin on the 7♠9♦6♦ flop. Things got more interesting after the J♠ landed on the turn.
Vieira led out for 9,000. Vaqnin jacked it up to 20,000. Vieira three-bet to 50,000. Vagnin four-bet shoved and Vagnin called off for about 137,000 in total.
Cyril Vieira: 9♥9♣
Meir Vaqnin: K♥K♣
Vieira got his stack in as a massive favorite and doubled his stack after the A♥ river completed the board. Meanwhile, Vaqnin was left with less than 10 big blinds which he dusted off not too much later.
Cyril Vieira – 300,000
Meir Vaqnin – 0
Level 11: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Players are back from dinner break, which means late registration has been closed. The Day 1c attracted a massive field of 799 entries with 284 players coming back from the dinner break to bring the total field up to 1,425 entries from the first three of five opening flights.
This means that Day 1c will conclude when there are 119 players remaining or fewer as each opening flight plays down to 15 percent of the field. All players that find a bag will advance to tomorrow’s Day 1c starting at 7 p.m. already in the money.
Below are the biggest stacks we could find in the field. It looks like Romain Nardin and Angelo Onorato are the chip leaders now. Albert Keuftedjian, who is on his 5th bullet today finally managed to run his stack up and he’s among the big stacks as well.
|Meir Israel Vaqnin||165,000||138||3||7|
|Vito La Barbera||140,000||117||4||8|
|Alessandro De Leo||125,000||104||27||6|
|Stan van Dijk||95,000||79||23||9|
|Nuno De Sales||95,000||79||27||9|
|Francesco Della Sala||80,000||67||8||1|
Registration is still open until the end of the day and turbo flight 1d is running in parallel as well.
We’ll be off on our own dinner break and be back at around 10pm.
With the end of Level 10, all players of Main Event Flight 1c will go on a 75-minute dinner break.
During this break, we will do our thing and count the biggest stacks. We will be right back!
Level 10: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Gediminas Dirmantas opened from middle position to 2.4k and Ahmed Abdulrahman called on the button.
Dirmantas checked and Abdulrahman bet 5k. The bet was called.
Both players checked.
Gediminas Dirmantas checked once more and now Ahmed Abdulrahman slid out an 8k bet. Abdulrahman quickly called.
Abdulrahman turned over 7♠5♠ for a whiffed draw and Dirmantas showed down A♥A♠ for a carefully played overpair.
Gediminas Dirmantas – 80,000
Ahmed Abdulrahman – 60,000
Our very own Patrisha Rimfire met up with Telly Bartolo, Event & Marketing Director of the Battle Of Malta tournament. They chatted about the event, the atmosphere at the event, the Casino Malta, and the general player experience.
You can check out the full interview in the video below.
Level 9: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Rocco Ascia opened from middle position with a min-raise and right behind him, Vito La Barbera called. All other players folded.
Ascia bet 4k and La Barbera instantly called.
Ascia fired another bet, 12k. And again La Barbera called without much hesitation.
Now Ascia slowed down and checked. In turn, La Barbera took over the betting and fired a fairly large 30k bet – close to the size of the pot. Rocco Ascia needed a few minutes to mull over the hand and eventually called.
Ascia showed JXJX for a weak overpair. La Barbera turned over 6X6X for a straight with almost perfect execution on the river for extracting maximum value.
Vito La Barbera – 130,000
Rocco Ascia – 76,000
Level 9: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Daniele Solidoro fired out for 10,000 into a pot of around double this amount with the 3♦7♥9♦A♠ on the board after the turn. Daniele Gugliotta tanked for a couple of minutes before he called.
The J♠ river completed the board. Solidoro jammed for 25,100. Gugliotta didn’t tank this time and made the quick call. Solidoro turned over the T♠8♠ for the nuts with a straight. Gugliotta was ahead until the river as he had A♦Q♦ and paid off Solidoro after not staying ahead by the time the showdown took place.
Daniele Solidoro – 90,000
Daniele Gugliotta – 10,000
The anticipation is building as the Battle of Malta Poker Tournament’s Main Event flight 1d is about to kick off in less than half an hour. With a €600 buy-in, players are ready to showcase their skills and compete for a shot at glory. The action begins at 8pm. The flight promises a fast-paced experience with 20-minute blind levels, ensuring that players need to stay sharp and make strategic moves to stay ahead. Re-entries are allowed for the first 10 levels, giving participants a chance to bounce back and secure a strong position in the competition. The stakes are high as players vie for a spot in Day 2, where they will continue their quest for the coveted title.
The pressure is on as players aim to survive until only 15% remain, securing a place in the money and a spot for Day 2. Every decision made at the table could be a game-changer, and the tension is palpable. As the chips continue to shuffle, the Battle of Malta Main Event flight 1d showcases the true spirit of poker, where skill, strategy, and a bit of luck can make all the difference in claiming victory.
We expect that this turbo flight will finish approximately as the ongoing Day 1c flight which just now enters the 8th level.
After doing my thing, here are the counts of the biggest stacks – all eyeballed and approximate, but hopefully good enough.
|Cosimo De Gennaro||120,000||100||35||2|
|Alvaro Da Silva||95,000||79||9||9|
Time seemingly flew by as we are already on another break. Of course, the time gap for this break from the last one was in fact shorter than before as it was after two blind levels of 40-minutes each instead of the three levels we had earlier.
Arved will be doing his thing.
Meaning he will be getting a beer. Meaning that he will be updating the chip counts of the biggest stacks at the break as we have been doing throughout the Battle of Malta each and every break.
Level 8: 400/800 (800)
Alfonso Simone limped from the hijack before Andrea Bracciali jammed for 10,000 from the cutoff. Domenico Zappia called from the button as did Alistair Sparrow from the big blind. Simone folded and Zappia turned his cards over as he perhaps didn’t see Sparrow’s call to show he had the A♣Q♣. The dealer forced him to keep his cards face-up as the 8♣4♠2♥ flop was dealt.
Sparrow fired out for 15,000. Zappia quickly folded and Sparrow and Simone showed their hands.
Alfonso Simone: A♠T♣
Alistair Sparrow: 6♦6♣
Sparrow’s sixes were good to felt Simone after the K♣ turn and the 2♣ river completed the board. Meanwhile, if Zappia was able to stick around, this same runout would have improved him to the nut flush.
Alistair Sparrow – 75,000
Alfonso Simone – 0
Level 8: 400/800 (800)
Slowly the action picks up pace. With 400/800 blinds and ante in play, players are enticed to play more aggressively and more and more players are working with shallow stacks, leading to more and more preflop all-ins.
One of those all-ins we just witnessed at Table 35. In a button vs blind clash, Alessandro Barone was all-in with AXQX against Giacomo Picone who held AXJX.
Picone was dominated but the board ran out KXJX4X2XAX, giving him two pair and awarding him the pot, and sending Barone to the rails.
Giacomo Picone – 55,000
Alessandro Barone – 0
Level 7: 300/600 (600)
While strolling through the tournament area we witnessed the Maltese local Alistair Sparrow win a decently sized pot against Marco Siciliano from Italy.
We arrived at the hand on the flop with 6k in the middle and the board reading K♠J♣8♠.
It was checked to Siciliano on the button who bet 3k. Sparrow called in the small blind and so did Andrea Argani in the big blind.
The 3♦ on the turn was checked by all players. After the river fell A♣ and now Sparrow fired 7k. Argani folded but Siciliano called the bet.
Sparrow flashed Q♣T♦ – the nuts and Siciliano mucked his hand.
Alistair Sparrow – 44,000
Marco Siciliano – 32,000
Level 7: 300/600 (600)
Emanuele Schembre checked with about 30,000 in the pot and the 2♦T♣7♥7♦7♣ on the board. His opponent jammed for around 15,000. Schembre tanked for a few moments before he called.
Schembre’s opponent tried to toss his hand without showing it into the muck but the dealer fished it out and forced both players to show their hands. Schembre’s opponent had an open-ended straight draw but really had nothing at showdown with just the 9♦8♦. Meanwhile, Schembre turned over the 6♥2♥ and the table commented in shock at Schembre’s correct hero call.
Emanuele Schembre – 70,000
Level 7: 300/600 (600)
We caught up with the action with Ignazio Cugliandro having a three-bet for 4,900 in front of him. Grant Pirie four-bet to 12,000. Cugliandro tanked for a few moments before he called.
Cugliano checked the Q♠3♦A♠ flop before Pirie jammed for his six-figure stack.
“Ace-queen?” asked Cugliandro.
Pirie shrugged his shoulders to say, ‘Maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong.’
Cugliandro called a short while later and the cards were turned over.
Ignazio Cugliandro: A♥K♥
Grant Pirie: Q♣Q♥
Cugliandro was correct with his thought about being behind but he was close to drawing dead despite flopping the top pair with the top kicker with Pirie holding a set of ladies. Cugliandro was drawing dead after the 8♠ turn and was officially out of chips after the 7♠ river completed the board.
Grant Pirie – 160,000
Ignazio Cugliandro – 0
The Battle of Malta Poker Tournament is about to unleash a frenzy of poker prowess in its latest spectacle, the Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) Side Event starts at 6pm. Get ready to dive headfirst into a world of four-card madness and jaw-dropping pot-building action!
This ain’t your grandma’s ordinary poker game, folks. We’re talking about PLO, the variant where players hold not three, but four secret weapons up their sleeves. Oh yes, you heard that right – four cards of sheer power, ready to lay waste to the competition. It’s like watching an octopus juggle chainsaws while riding a unicycle on a tightrope. Exciting? You bet!
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details that make this PLO Side Event a must-attend shindig. First things first, the buy-in is a humble €200. Re-entries are allowed. It’s like getting a second chance at love, only with fewer sappy rom-com moments and more intense poker faces.
And hold your horses, because the structure is as fast and furious as Vin Diesel in a rocket-powered go-kart. With 20-minute blind levels, you better buckle up and prepare for a wild ride. It’s like speed-dating, except instead of awkward conversations, you’ll be throwing chips into the pot faster than a cheetah chasing down its dinner.
While at the break, we tried to count the biggest stacks. No guarantees, as there are way too many tables to accurately assess all stacks. But those should be the biggest stacks in the room:
|Nuno De Sales||95,000||158||27||9|
|Alessandro De Leo||65,000||108||41||3|
|Stan van Dijk||60,000||100||23||9|
Players are on their second break of Day 1c. We will have an assorted big stack update during the break as usual.
Blinds will increase to 300/600 with a 600 big blinds ante before moving onto 400/800 with an 800 big blind ante. Another break will take place after both of these 40-minute blind levels.
Level 6: 200/500 (500)
Salvatore Cristiano opened for 1,500 from early position and was called by Ricardo Lukauskas before Oded Glam three-bet jammed for 6,300. Yaniv Tomsis flat-called before Cristiano four-bet shoved for 10,200. Lukauskas folded and Tomsis called having his two opponents at risk.
Oded Glam: 5♥5♦
Salvatore Cristiano: K♠Q♦
Yaniv Tomsis: J♥J♦
Glam and Cristiano both got out of their chairs after the 6♥3♣9♦ landed on the flop. The 3♥ paired the board on the turn before Tomsis muttered something under his breath after Cristiano got there on the K♦ river to win the hand with a better two pair than both his opponents.
Yaniv Tomsis – 40,000
Salvatore Cristiano – 30,000
Oded Glam – 0
Level 6: 200/500 (500)
Over at Table Eight, Xavier Zuczkowski just lost his last flip on his second bullet today.
The action was folded to Yiftach Atia in the small blind and he opened up with a raise. Zuczkowski moved all-in for 7,300 and after some deliberation Atia made the call. Showdown.
Xavier Zuczkowski: A♠9♦
Yiftach Atia: 5♠5♣
No help for Zuczkowski and he had to take his leave. He’ll have to fire a third bullet if he wants another shot at making Day 2.
Level 6: 200/500 (500)
There is a saying in poker that deuces never loses. Now between us, we know this isn’t always the case or even usually the case. But what if you flop a set of deuces? Typically you would expect them to never lose as well but that wasn’t the case just now for Danilo Scevola.
There were 6,400 in front of Alessandro La Barbera and a jam by Scevola that more than covered the 24,500 that La Barbera had behind with the 6♥4♥2♥8♠ on the board after the turn. La Barbera found a call and the cards were turned over.
Alessandro La Barbera: Q♦Q♥
Danilo Scevola: 2♦2♠
Scevola was ahead but La Barbera had some equity to survive with the two remaining queens still alive as well as any heart. Scevola slammed the table lightly before taking out his phone to snap a photo of the board in disbelief after La Barbera got there with a flush with the T♥ river completing the board.
Meanwhile, Day 1c is approaching 700 entries and counting. Great job to the players and Battle of Malta organizers for an amazing day.
Hold onto your poker chips and buckle up for a whirlwind of excitement, because the “Italia Play Side Event” is about to kick off at the Battle of Malta Poker Tournament!
Sponsored by the folks at “Italia Play,” this event promises to be a rollercoaster ride of chips, bluffs, and nail-biting moments. Get ready to dive into the adrenaline-filled world of No Limit Hold’em, where fortunes can change faster than a cheetah on Red Bull.
With a buy-in of €300, this tournament attracts poker enthusiasts from all walks of life. Whether you’re a seasoned pro with a poker face that could rival Mount Rushmore or a newbie looking to hit the jackpot, there’s a seat at the table for everyone. And hey, if Lady Luck isn’t on your side, fear not! Re-Entries are allowed, so you’ll have more chances to turn your poker dreams into reality.
The Italia Play Side Event brings the heat with its turbo structure, featuring lightning-fast 20-minute blind levels. That’s right, buckle up your seatbelts, because the action will be faster than a racecar driving through a tornado. So, grab your lucky rabbit’s foot, your favorite poker hat, and get ready to shuffle up and deal. The Italia Play Side Event at the Battle of Malta Poker Tournament is about to take the poker world by storm! May your hands be full of aces, your bluffs be legendary, and your opponents quake in their boots. It’s time to let the chips fall where they may and see who will emerge as the true poker royalty. Good luck, poker warriors!
There’s a saying that Poker is moments of sheer terror and hours of boredom. So what do the players at the tables do during those hours of boredom?
We did some counting on the side activities that the players pursue while at the tables. Here’s what we counted:
- Listening to music: 83 players
- Messaging on their phone: 72 players
- Making phone calls: 1 player
- Watching a movie or series on their phone: 9 players
- Watching sports on their phone: 4 players
- Watching poker streams on their phone: 1 player
- Swiping through Insta or TikTok: 9 players
- Playing games on their phone: 6 players
- Playing poker on their phone: only 2 players
- Browsing Sports Betting Sites: 3 players
- Eating something: 2 players
- Getting a massage: 2 players
- Reading an e-book: 1 player
- Reading a proper book: 1 player
Level 5: 200/400 (400)
Day 1c is now officially bigger than both Day 1a and Day 1b combined with the total field now approaching 1,300 entries. One player that will need to re-enter if he wants a shot at a massive payday in the Battle of Malta Main Event is Vittorio Morello after he lost his stack to Sharon Moalem as follows:
Morello fired out for 4,000 into a pot of around 12,000 on the 3♥T♥6♥ flop. Moalem called while Giuseppe Privitera folded. Morello bet 5,000 on the 5♠ turn. Moalem called and Morello bet another 5,000 on the 9♣ river. Moalem asked for a look at Morello’s stack before he jammed for far more than the 10,000 remaining in Morello’s stack if he folded.
Morello shrugged his shoulders before he called. He then attempted to muck his cards after Moalem turned over the A♥8♥. The dealer turned over Morello’s cards as it was an all-in and a call and he held an overpair with K♦K♠.
Sharon Moalem – 95,000
Giuseppe Privatera – 12,000
Vittorio Morello – 0
Level 4: 100/300 (300)
There were about 20,000 in chips in the pot when Cory Desmond jammed for more than the approximately 12,000 in chips Tanel Evert had left in his stack by the time the turn came around with the Q♠3♥9♠K♥ on the board.
Evert tanked for a few moments before opting to call.
Tanel Evert: A♠K♦
Cory Desmond: K♠K♣
Evert was drawing dead despite holding a decent hand with the top pair and the top kicker as Desmond held the top set. The blank 6♣ river made the hand official and Evert’s chips, at least on this bullet, went over to Desmond.
Level 3: 100/300 (300)
Within the first four levels of today, David Keuftedjian entered the main event a whopping three times.
So far, he had absolutely no luck with any of his bullets as we just saw him lose another all-in.
Keuftedjian was already down to roughly 10k chips and we arrived at the table when the river was dealt: 7♦6♠Q♥T♥T♠. Keuftedjian moved all-in for roughly 6k and his opponent, Rocco Ascia called.
Keuftedjian showed JXJX – not good enough against Ascia’s top pair with K♦Q♦.
Rocco Ascia – 35,000
David Keuftedjian – 0
Without missing a beat, Keuftedjian re-entered. Maybe his 4th bullet will prove more successfull!
Tarmo Tammel is one of the most accomplished Estonian poker players. Patrisha Rimfire sat down with him to talk about his Battle of Malta experience so far.
Tammel mentions that he has played in the Battle of Malta six times in the past, primarily in the main event, and although he hasn’t had any deep runs, he is satisfied with his overall performance and results. He describes Battle of Malta as a great place to compete.
When asked about the differences between Battle of Malta and other tournaments, Tammel compares the energy and players. He notes that in Estonia, where he usually plays, there are more Nordic players, while Battle of Malta attracts players from Mediterranean countries like Italy and Israel. He highlights that these players are generally more emotional and less aggressive, making it easier to understand their emotions and play styles.
Tammel shares some memorable hands from the tournament. He recalls a critical bubble hand where he successfully squeezed with a weak hand, causing an opponent with Ace Jack to fold, ensuring his survival in the tournament. In another hand, he played pocket Aces deceptively, extracting good value from an opponent with Jacks before the flop, resulting in a significant pot win.
Tammel mentions that Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant, with some players also enjoying Omaha and a few participating in an eight-game format. He acknowledges a slight influence from Swedish poker culture in Estonia, where unique games are played, though not as widely.
Check out the full interview here:
During the break, we did a super quick eyeballing of all the chip counts. We’re not sure we got all the big stacks (due to the sheer amount of tables right now), but we’re quite positive, we got the most of them.
|Nuno De Sales||95,000||317||27||9|
Day 1c is on its first break. The field has climbed to 528 entries with 465 players still with chips in front of them.
We will update assorted big stack chip counts on the break and blinds will increase to 100/300 with a 300 big blind ante when the action resumes in 20 minutes.
Eleven years ago the first Battle of Malta was launched, back then by PokerListings.
The very champion was the Italian Nicodemo Piccolo who prevailed in a field of 349 entries.
This year, Piccolo is back, he just took his seat at Table 58, trying to repeat his success from more than a decade ago.
Level 3: 100/200 (200)
The Day 1c field is approaching 500 entries! It won’t be a surprise at this point if Day 1c attracts around the same number of entries as Day 1a and Day 1b combined with the first two opening flights bringing in 626 entries.
Grant Pirie jammed for more than the 13,000 Christian Bobbone had left in his hand into a pot of nearly 15,000 and the Q♦4♥K♠6♦T♠ on the board after the river. Bobbone tanked for three minutes before he tried to get a reaction from Pirie.
“You have ace-jack of diamonds?” Pirie asked.
Pirie went back into the tank for another three minutes before he tried again after getting no reaction the first time.
“Two pair, no good?” asked Pirie. “You have ace-jack of diamonds?”
Another few minutes passed by before another player not in the hand called for time. The floor arrived, chatted with the dealer, and Bobbone folded shortly after.
Bobbone was telling the truth as he showed his K♦4♣ for two pair before mucking his cards. Pirie quietly collected the pot without showing whether he indeed have the ace-jack of diamonds or any other cards that might have beat Bobbone’s two pair.
Level 2: 100/200 (200)
As the clock ticks away, we find ourselves in level 3, where the stakes are getting higher and the tension is palpable. The small blind is 100, the big blind is 200, and a sassy ante of 200 is keeping everyone on their toes!
A whopping 450 brave souls stepped up to the plate so far, aiming for poker glory and a chance to claim victory at the Battle of Malta. However, Lady Luck has been unpredictable, as 26 players have already hit the rail and are probably sipping cocktails by the beach. Will their fortunes change in future battles? Only time will tell! Re-entries are still up for grabs until the beginning of level 11, right around 10pm. If you’ve been bitten by the bad beat bug, don’t fret! There’s still a chance to dust off those poker chips and rejoin the fray. You never know when the poker gods might smile upon you!
Level 2: 100/100 (100)
With so many players in the room, the action is fast-paced and after less than two levels we already lost 10 players. One player who will most likely not be among those anytime soon is the Italian Giovanni Gentile.
In a massive pot against Ga Bar-Gal he just doubled up. We arrived at the table with the board reading 8♠8♣2♦Q♦9♥. Roughly 11,000 chips were in the middle and Bar-Gal bet 3,100. Gentile quickly moved all-in and Bar-Gal called after he could not figure out a better course of action.
Bar-Gal tabled 8♦3♦ for trips, but was crushed against Gentile 9♦9♠. The Italian had rivered a boat and took home this massive pot.
Giovanni Gentile – 44,600
Ga Bar-Gal – 6,000
Level 1: 100/100
The turnout has been smashed for the €500,000 guaranteed 2023 Battle of Malta Spring Edition €600 Main Event with 374 entries already coming into today. The guarantee eventually be decimated as the prize pool will continue to grow and grow for the next couple of days.
Additionally, the tournament has reached its magic number of 1,000 entries and counting including 374 entries and counting on Day 1c.
Level 1: 100/100
While the pots have been relatively small as expected at many tables during Level 1, there have been some bigger spots already at other tables.
In a recent hand on Table 32, Igor Buda checked with more than 10,000 in the pot and the 9♣4♦5♠5♦3♠ on the board. Claudio Lauretta jammed for 17,400. Buda tanked for a couple of minutes before giving up on the hand.
Meanwhile, Grigoris Kyriazi and Kostadin Mihaylov hit the rail at around the same time at other tables.
Level 1: 100/100
Our predictions look like they will be correct that Day 1c will grow into the largest opening flight of them all in the Main Event. There are already more than 300 entries and this will continue to climb with late registration not closing until the start of Level 11.
Day 1a attracted 273 entries with Day 1b coming in even bigger with 353 entries to bring the Main Event closer and closer to smashing its guarantee. At this point, it would be shocking if the guarantee wasn’t broken soon and then it is just a matter of how big the Main Event will grow as in addition to Day 1c there are two turbo flights taking place tonight and tomorrow before the start of Day 2 on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Best of luck to all of the Main Event players. The atmosphere is buzzing, so be sure to have some fun as well.
This is going to be a big one. With 200 players registered for Day 1c already, we expect a full house in the Casino Malta today for the “Battle of Malta” Main Event.
Just as on the last two days, Patrisha Rimfire opened the action and welcomed all the players before “Shuffle and Deal” was announced, marking the beginning of most likely 16 levels of play today.
The action is set to reach new heights today with an array of thrilling tournaments designed to cater to every poker enthusiast’s taste. Prepare yourself for an exhilarating day as we break down the lineup of events that will keep players on the edge of their seats.
Main Event Day 1c (€600 buy-in) – 1pm
The centerpiece of the Battle of Malta, the Main Event, continues with Day 1c, offering players another chance to showcase their skills and compete for a share of the colossal prize pool. With a buy-in of €600, the competition promises to be fierce as seasoned professionals and rising stars battle it out on the felts.
“Itlia Play” Side Event (€300 buy-in) – 5pm
For those seeking a unique and thrilling poker experience, the “Itlia Play” Side Event steps into the spotlight at 5pm. With a buy-in of €300, this tournament offers a more accessible entry point while still providing ample opportunities for players to demonstrate their expertise. Expect a lively atmosphere and fierce competition as participants vie for a coveted spot among the top finishers.
Pot Limit Omaha Side Event (€200 buy-in) – 6pm
Pot Limit Omaha enthusiasts rejoice, as the Pot Limit Omaha Side Event takes center stage at 6pm. With a buy-in of €200, this tournament presents a fantastic opportunity for players who excel in the four-card variant of poker. Brace yourself for thrilling hands, strategic maneuvers, and the unmistakable intensity that Pot Limit Omaha brings to the felt.
Main Event Day 1d Turbo Flight (€600 buy-in) – 8pm
As the day progresses, the stakes are raised even higher with the Main Event Day 1d Turbo Flight at 8pm. This fast-paced turbo flight injects a sense of urgency into the competition, pushing players to make quick decisions and adapt to the accelerated pace. With a buy-in of €600, participants will need to bring their A-game to secure their spot in Day 2 and keep their dreams of claiming the ultimate title alive.
Today marks an exciting milestone of the Battle of Malta as we embark on Day 1c, the third and final regular starting flight of this thrilling competition. Players from around the globe have gathered at the stunning Casino Malta venue, eagerly awaiting their chance to showcase their skills and claim their stake in this intense battle of wits and strategy.
At precisely 1pm, the cards will hit the felt, signaling the commencement of gameplay. With 40-minute levels and breaks scheduled every 2-3 levels, the action promises to be non-stop, with players engaging in calculated moves and bold bluffs to outwit their opponents. As the day progresses, anticipation builds towards the evening’s dinner break, a moment of respite for participants to recharge and reflect on their progress thus far.
Late Registration remains open until the dinner break, allowing those who wish to join the fray a chance to test their mettle against the formidable competition. Today, we expect a formidable turnout of over 500 players, each with their eyes set on victory and the coveted title of “Battle of Malta” champion.
Surviving Day 1c is no small feat. Only the top 15% of the field will advance to Day 2, where the intensity will undoubtedly escalate. However, there is an added incentive for those who make it through the day: all players who survive Day 1c are guaranteed a share of the prize pool, adding an extra layer of excitement and tension to this leg of the tournament.
But the action doesn’t end here. For those who miss out on Day 1c, two turbo starting flights lie ahead. The first turbo flight will take place tonight, providing a second chance for players to make their mark. Tomorrow morning brings the final opportunity with the last turbo flight, ensuring that every contender has a shot at glory.
Please note that we will not provide live blog coverage of the two turbo flights except the final chip counts.
Already, the “Battle of Malta” has proven its appeal, with a staggering 623 entries after the conclusion of Day 1a and Day 1b. Out of those entries, a formidable 94 players have managed to secure a seat at Day 2, a testament to their exceptional skill and resilience. As we move forward, the excitement mounts, and the anticipation for who will emerge as the ultimate victor intensifies.
Stay tuned as we bring you live updates, riveting hand analyses, and exclusive interviews with the competitors throughout this enthralling poker tournament. Brace yourselves for the Battle of Malta, where fortunes will be won, legends will be born, and the spirit of competition will reign supreme. Let the cards fall where they may, and let the games begin!
Here you can follow yesterday’s action in one video: