The Swede Patrik Falk just fell victim to the mechanisms of the bubble and to his apparently superior opponent Luigi D’Alterio.
There were 55k chips in the middle and on the river the board read K♥ 9♦ 2♣ T♦ 7♦.
Falk, who had already bet the turn, also bet the river. He put 35k chips in the middle. Seemingly unimpressed D’Alterio made it 105k to go, putting Falk all-in.
Now Falk was visibly uncomfortable. He moaned, he groaned and eventually he took out a coin, threw it and open-folded Q♥ J♥ – a straight.
D’Alterio had managed to convince Falk that he probably had a flush. But of course he didn’t. He elected to torture Falk even more and showed J♦ 9♥ for a perfectly timed bluff.
The bubble is the most brutal phase in a tournament. And this Battle of Malta has a bubble each starting day. Oh, we do love it!
Hand for hand play will only kick in at exactly 69 players.