Just ask Battle of Malta 2013 winner Louis Cartarius, who's taken the confidence (and profit) from his win to move up in stakes, set new goals and, as it turns out, make the island his new home.
The 22-year-old online pro from Germany came to Malta last year for fun and ended up taking down the biggest score of his young career when he won the BOM main event for €68,000 (after a deal).
”It definitely gave me a lot of confidence," Cartarius told PokerListings in Talinn, Estonia late last year where he was playing the annual Superweekend tournament.
“Before Battle of Malta I was playing mid-stakes heads-up hyper turbo Sit-n-Go’s, but now I've moved up to high-stakes.
"The win gave me that comfort zone you have to be in to resist those swings there are in hyper turbo SNG’s. It made me play those games more comfortably than before."
Huge Value in Low Buy-in, Big Field Tournaments
Talinn's Superweekend is a similar tournament to the Battle of Malta with a €500 buy-in and a field mostly consisting of recreational players. Cartarius opted for Tallinn although most of his poker playing friends from Germany went to Prague for the bigger annual poker festival.
Cartarius got his seat at Superweekend through a rake race on Betsafe, one of the organisers of the tournament, but he actually also prefers playing smaller events.
“I like playing tournaments like this and there can be huge value for good players to go here. For a good player from Estonia it can be really good for him to play, because you might have many package players and drunk guys at your table."
“There are very few players who take it very seriously and I must also admit that I came here mostly for the fun."
Cartarius also mainly chose to play Battle of Malta because of its fun and friendly atmosphere. He remembers that on Day 2 he had a small nap at the table after a long night out and he also did not get that much sleep the night before the final day.
He went to bed early but his friend, who he shared a room with, came home later that night accompanied by two girls. Twins even.
“So I had to get out and sleep in front of my own hotel room while he had fun with the girls in the room," recalls Louis with a big smile.
Relocates to Malta, Expected in BOM 2014 Field
Later that day Cartarius was the one to smile when he took down BOM for his biggest career score.
He started the final day with a mid-sized stack, entered the final table with the smallest stack but eventually triumphed over the massive field of 888 players.
“Battle of Malta was no skill accomplishment. I had 15 big blinds after Day 1, I had 15 big blinds after Day 2 and I was just lucky to win the tournament."
Cartarius’ memories of Malta are so fond that he even moved to the sunny Mediterranean island this month. Malta is already a popular destination for many online grinders and he'll join a few fellow German players there.
Find out how you can join him at the 2014 BOM via our main Battle of Malta page.