153 players bought into the first Day 1 flight and 196 registered to play on the second.
With that total the prize pool has swelled to almost €175,000. Official prize numbers will be out soon but in the meantime players are busy fighting for a berth in the roughly 36 spots that will get paid.
The full payouts will be posted soon on the Battle of Malta page.
Among the almost 200 players who bought in today were a few notable names, including Pierre Neuville and Andrea Dato.
We also had the chance to speak with two qualifiers who came all the way here from the United States. Don Ford from St. Louis and Mark Mattsson from Chapel Hill, North Carolina were both last minute additions to the Battle of Malta lineup.
Keep an eye on the Battle of Malta page to read their stories later today.
Another pro who found his way to the felt today was Johannes Strassmann but it didn’t last nearly as long as he had hoped.
Short Day for Strassmann
German professional Johannes Strassmann was one of the Battle of Malta ambassadors but unfortunately was unable to survive even the first skirmish.
Strassmann has been taking time away from poker to focus on other interests – his last live cash was in 2010 – so we had high hopes for helping him get back to his winning ways here in Malta.
Details of his exit are still unknown, more to come later, but we do know Strassmann was out of the event and out the door before we could even get a photo.
Strassmann’s early exit wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary today, however, as we saw a few players hit the rail in extremely speedy fashion.
One unlucky Swedish player in particular lasted barely two minutes, going broke on the very first hand of the day with pocket kings against a flopped full house.