Serghei Lisii wins Battle of Malta 2019 for €247,167; Zadelhoff runner-up


Moldovan player Serghei Lisii has won the Battle of Malta Main Event for €247,167 after cutting a heads-up deal with Dutch pro Steven van Zadelhoff.

Battle of Malta broke records for the eighth year running with 4,657 entries and a gigantic prize pool of €2,258,645. With 35 events on the schedule, an extra start day added to the €1 million guarantee Main Event and more than 13,000 tournament entries overall, the tournament venue was packed throughout the seven-day festival and made this year’s Battle of Malta a spectacular success.

Van Zadelhoff and Lisii cut a heads-up deal ­to lock up €217,167, and played it out for the additional €30k and the trophy. Click here for final table player profiles.

WCOOP champion Van Zadelhoff, who lives just minutes from the Intercontinental Hotel tournament venue, was the most experienced player at the final table but today’s €217,167 cash is certainly his biggest live tournament result. He first started playing poker in 2000 while working as a car mechanic and won the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event in 2017 for $1.6m. Live, he’s won over $2.2m, is ranked eighth on Dutch all time money list and this summer finished fifth in the EPT Barcelona High Roller for a (previous) best live cash of $209,090.

The new BOM champion Serghei Lisii has been playing poker since 2012 and relocated to Sochi last year to focus on playing live events. He bested a tough final table that included MPNPT qualifier Colum Higgins and WPT UK Main Event finalist Leo Worthington-Leese. BOM 2019 was his first visit to Malta after qualifying online with 32Red. Today’s win is more than four times his live tournament winnings to date. His best live result before tonight was finishing seventh in the WSOPE Little One for One Drop in Rozvadov two years ago for €20,710.


The Battle of Malta 2019 festival was hosted by Casino Malta and took place October 15-22 in the spacious InterContinental Arena at the InterContinental Hotel in St Julian’s.


With 4,657 entries (2,625 unique players) over five starting flights, the €555 buy-in event smashed all previous records for the event – including last year’s field of 3,816 players. The total prize pool was shared by 688 players and was more than double the €1,000,000 guarantee. The giant field included 270 players who qualified online with the MPN Poker Tour.


Among those who cashed in the record-breaking event were Scottish pro Ludovic Geilich (60th, €3,160), media influencer Dehlia de Jong (47th, €4,070), UCOP champions Niko Pakalén (48th, €4,070) and Mateusz Moolhuizen (285th, €1,720), Daragh Davey (104th, €2,260), Irish Open champions Patrick Clarke (166th, €2,030) and Ian Simpson (465th, €1,330), Patrik Antonius’ wife Maya Geller (170th, €2,030), 888poker Ambassadors Sofia Lövgren (245th, €1,810) and Ana Marquez (648th, €1,100), Betsson Ambassador Daiva Byrne (306th, €1,630), Norwegian veteran Rolf Woods (392nd, €1,470), award-winning podcasters David Lappin (400th, €1,470) and Dara O`Kearney (666th, €1,100), NordicBet Ambassador Jon Kyte (476th, €1,330), Main Event Travel CEO Fraser MacIntyre (493th, €1,330) and Irish veteran Mick McCloskey (630th, €1,170).


Main Event final table results:






 Serghei Lisii



 Steven van Zadelhoff



Josef Gulas

€ 102,050


Colum Higgins

€ 74,540


Leo Worthington-Leese

€ 56,470


Rune Moerk

€ 42,910


Bruno Massimo

€ 33,880


Shaun De Cesare

€ 27,100


Flavio Laudani

€ 24,620


History of Battle of Malta


2012: Winner Nicodemo Piccolo, €35,000, 349 entries, total prize pool of €169,265

2013: Winner Louis Cartarius, €68,000, 888 entries, prize pool was €430,680

2014: Winner Antoan Katsarov, €122,750, 1,447 entries, total prize pool €701,795

2015: Winner Nicolas Proust, €110,000, 1,804 entries, total prize pool €875,000

2016: Winner Robert Berglund, €160,000, 1,813 entries, total prize pool €879,305

2017: Winner Nadav Lipszyc, €200,000, 2,074 entries, total prize pool €1,005,890

2018: Winner Julien Stropoli, €168,500, 3,816 entries, total prize pool €1,850,760


Catch up on BOM 2019
Battle of Malta had live updates and a live stream throughout the event on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and the Battle of Malta website. Host Jason Glatzer and Phil “The Tower” Heald were joined during the event by dozens of special guests.


For all Battle of Malta videos, please see the Battle of Malta YouTube channel or website. The Facebook gallery has dozens of images from the event here


Side events at BOM 2019
Finnish player Hassan Sey won Battle of Malta’s first ever €5k Mega High Stack event for €43,050 – and also cashed in the Main Event later in the week. There were 24 entries creating a €116,400 prize pool with five players paid. The €1,320 High Roller event attracted 322 entries and was won by Chris Da-Silva, Ambassador for The Hippodrome Casino in London for €73,070. Among the 47 players who made the money in the High Roller were 2014 World Series of Poker champion Martin Jacobson, 2013 Irish Open champion Ian Simpson and French veteran Fabrice Soulier who finished fourth for €28,150.


There were 135 entries in the Ladies Event which was won by Italy’s Monica Poggi for €3,145. The penultimate event at this year’s festival was the €150 sell-out MPNPT Battle, involving 552 players and paying out €72,285. A late finish saw Mohamed Bouzgarrou from Tunisia take the trophy and €13,915 top prize. Raffaele Cecere won the €200 Road to Kings of Tallinn tourney and won a €1,650 package to next February’s festival in Estonia along with his €5,850 prize.


British player Kevin Houghton beat a 222-strong field to take down the €88 + €8 Crazy 888s tournament for €4,000. Denmark’s Soeren Dalgaard won the €300 Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge Pop-up Cup, sponsored by First Land of Poker, a new social media app for poker players. Davor Lanini won the Vincitu-sponsored Ultimate Knights tournament for €27,815 after besting a field of 423 entries. Battle of Malta’s first short deck event attracted 54 entries; the €225 “ante only” 36-card, six-max was won by Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev for €3,140.


More than €6,000 was raised for Pink October Malta through raffle ticket sales and the donation of the €1,350 registration fee from the Ladies Event. Prizes included BOM 2020 seats and packages for Grosvenor’s Goliath 2020, 888Live London, the MPN Poker Tour, the World Casino Championships, the V-Poker Challenge or the Kings of Tallinn and travel money from


Off the felt

There was tons of entertainment for players away from the poker tables at this year’s festival. In addition to the Aperol Spritz Welcome Drinks, Battle of Malta also hosted its second Bowling Competition at the Eden SuperBowl. Team Parnu from Estonia took it down (again) with each member of the winning team getting a seat for BOM 2020. Award-winning hit band Red Electrick made the official Battle of Malta Players’ Party at exclusive Paranga Beach a night to remember.


Event Director Diane Fenech said: “We’d like to thank absolutely everyone who helped make Battle of Malta 2019 such an incredible success – all our players, their guests, the tournament, casino and hotel staff, our many sponsors and all the media. The numbers were simply staggering this year – not just in the Main Event which had 4,657 entries, 841 more than last year – but also in all the side events. Congratulations to our champion Serghei Lisii and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year. Do come join us in 2020 and let’s break records yet again!” 

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