The 2014 Battle of Malta main event has surpassed all expectations to become one of the largest live, standalone poker tournaments ever held in Europe.
A total of 1,447 entries generated a prize pool of €701,795 to smash our own record for biggest poker tournament ever held in Malta.
In fact, there has never been a €550 buy-in poker event in Europe with more players or a bigger prize pool.
With numbers like that the BOM now ranks as the biggest standalone (ie not a part of a larger tour) poker tournament of comparable buy-in size in Europe this year.
Attendance in 2014 has beaten out several traditional standalone events like the Irish Poker Open in Dublin, which had 411 runners this year.
The event that comes closest to the BOM this year was the Norwegian Championship of Poker with 1,263 players in the main event.
The new King’s Cup, organized by PokerStars at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on the exact same date as the BOM, attracted 551 players.
That’s 40 players less than the BOM’s Siege of Malta Second Chance event with its field of 593 players.
Crazy Idea Not So Crazy
When the idea for the first Battle of Malta was floated in 2012 the general consensus was it was risky to try and draw a crowd to a poker tournament in Malta November.
Turns out it wasn't that risky after all
Around 350 players made their way to the small Mediterranean island for the first edition, easily cracking the €150,000 guarantee and putting the BOM immediately on the poker map.
One year later the BOM concept of combining a vacation with a low buy-in poker tournament for poker enthusiasts took off.
Instead of the expected 500 or so players an amazing 888 entries streamed in for the 2013 Battle of Malta main event, crushing the newly boosted €200,000 guarantee.
The guarantee was raised yet again to a daunting €500,000 this year but the players kept coming, making it the largest tournament prize pool of that buy-in size in Europe.
The pros noticed as well, with an elite list of names making their way to the island including Johnny Lodden, Thor Hansen, Leo Margets, Luca Pagano, Dominik Nitsche, Dominik Panka, Fabrice Soulier, Dermot Blain and more.
314% Growth Since Year One
From first to second year, the player field of the BOM main event grew by 154% and the event was nominated for “Best European Poker Event of the Year."
From the second year to this year it grew by another 63%. These are numbers you don’t see in any other poker event on the continent.
While the 2014 main event is currently down to its final two tables and side events are filling the tournament rooms, we would like to say thank you to all you hundreds of players, staff and sponsors from all over Europe who made this event possible.
From just an idea to an industry leader in under three years is an accomplishment all involved, on either side of the felt, can take pride in.