PokerListings Blog

2014 PokerListings Battle of Malta in Photos: Day 1b

Created By:
07 November 2014
Posted in: Battle of Malta Blog, Tournament Trail
Gaelle Garcia Diaz

If you're just catching up with the latest from the Battle of Malta, here's the scoop:

With a non-stop stream of about 900 players entering the tournament on Day 1b today we've simultaneously smashed the 500,000 guarantee and the record for biggest single-day turnout for a poker tournament in the history of Malta.

Combined with the 521 entries from Day 1a yesterday we're past the 1,400-player mark - a truly astronomical number!

We're firing out updates from the tournament floor over on our Live Coverage page but here you can find a collection of photos that capture the spirit of BOM.

Check back for updates to the gallery throughout the day. Click through/scroll down for the full gallery!

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2014 PokerListings Battle of Malta in Photos: Day 1a

Created By:
06 November 2014
Posted in: Battle of Malta Blog, Tournament Trail
Thumbs up

The 2014 Battle of Malta is underway with the heady mix of anticipation, anxiety and aspiration only a poker tournament can provide.

We're firing out live updates from the tournament floor all day over on our Live Coverage page but here you can find a collection of photos that capture the spirit of BOM.

Check back for updates to the gallery throughout the day. Click through/scroll down for the full gallery!

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If you've been to the Battle of Malta before you know it's not only about coming to the Portomaso Casino to play poker.

For some that's even just the side dish to the REAL centerpiece of the BOM - the parties off the tables.

With a spectacular setting and the kind of climate that demands regular stops at each seaside kiosk for a quick sip it's very hard not to get in the spirit of good times.

After a hard day at the tables - and with the new Betting Connections bar and lounge within arm's reach - a cocktail is also usually just the ticket.

If you want to carry on into the wee hours Malta's second-to-none nightlife offers you no shortage of options. Here are a few to keep in mind:

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Annette Obrestad

In September 2007 an 18-year-old girl from Norway named Annette Obrestad hit the live poker stage with a bang.

One day before her 19th birthday she won the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event and £1m in prize money. That made her the youngest bracelet winner in the history of the WSOP.

However, she had already caught the attention of the poker community two months earlier when she won a 180-player sit-and-go without looking at her hole cards.

Challenge: Win a 180-player SnG without checking your cards

Record Holder: Annette Obrestad (NOR)

Date: July 2007

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Get Your Feet Wet: Malta's Best Sand Beaches

Created By:
27 October 2014
Posted in: Battle of Malta Blog, Tournament Trail

You might be surprised to know that there are only a handful of sandy beaches on Malta.

Most of the coastline is actually covered by rocks and only in a few bays will you find short stretches of sand. 

During the summer then, as you might expect, the few beaches to be found are pretty packed -- even on weekdays.

In the beginning of November though, with the weather still plenty warm enough to enjoy the sun and sand, those beaches are almost all yours for the taking. Especially early in the morning.

And if you're a swimmer the opportunities are everywhere.

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barracuda restaurant

The Battle of Malta is all about poker, of course. But it's also all about having a good time - at the tables and away from the tables.

Food lovers, read on to find out what culinary adventures await you during your trip to Mediterranean Malta.

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One of the less-appreciated but key things you need to succeed in a long poker tournament is a state of relaxation in both body and mind.

Getting some exercise definitely helps but there's nothing quite like a massage, sauna or bath to ease yourself off the adrenaline high of a big pot or prepare you for a long day.

In short: the spa is the best option to unwind from stress and maintain your relaxed state either before or after the cards hit the air.

Thankfully the Portomaso Casino and Hilton Hotel, where the 2014 Battle of Malta festival will be held, is very close to five of the best spas on the island.

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The Battle of Malta is much more than just a poker tournament.

On top of this year’s BOM Main Event players will get a shot at new side events like the new €4,180 Grandmaster High Roller Event, the €165 Pot-Limit Omaha or the €300 Deepstack No-Limit Turbo.

Even though the main purpose of your stay is to play poker you’ll soon find out that there are many more things to do on the island.

That’s why we actually dare to say that the Battle of Malta is the perfect poker holiday. So before you board your flight make sure to bring your positive attitude, your poker skills, a pair of sunglasses and swimwear.

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With the 2014 Battle of Malta fast approaching it's time to start planning some of the potential side activites you can try on your trip.

PokerListings is here to guide you through the multitude of excursions and activities available outside of the casino and the more traditional tourist activities.

While Malta is a relatively small island there are an amazing number of things to do on this little rock in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Last year we gave you an overview of the main attractions on the island: monuments, beaches, boat trips, restaurants, bars & clubs, shops, etc.

This year we'll take you off the beaten track a bit and show you what other activities and events you can find.

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The anchor event of the EPT - EPT London - has appeared on every season of the famed poker tour and is back again for Season 11.

Already underway with the UKIPT Main Event completed and the first two Day 1s done, attendance numbers are strong and a susbstantial sum is up for grabs for the winner.

Live streaming begins today (Tuesday) with Day 2 of the Main Event and continues right through until Saturday when a winner is crowned

Big-name players through to Day 2 with big stacks include Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Vicky Coren-Mitchell, Liv Boeree, Sofia Lovgren, Stephen Chidwick, Anatoly Filatov, Johnny Lodden and Fedor Holz.

Commentary, as always, provided by James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton and special guests.

Click through/read on for the full webcast schedule!

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Phil Hellmuth

He didn’t get his 14th WSOP bracelet but every time Phil Hellmuth makes a final table it turns into an event.

There was a steady trickle of casual poker fans into Crown Casino today who wanted to see Hellmuth make a run at 14 or at least heckle him a bit along the way.

Hellmuth was his usual expressive self at the table and laughed, berated, complained and finally shook everyone’s hand at the final table.

Unlike stone-cold Phil Ivey or emotion-less Mike McDonald, Hellmuth puts on a show at a final table. It’s unique experience and the Poker Brat didn’t disappoint during his fourth-place finish in Event 7: $2,200 6-Max at the 2014 WSOP APAC.

“I just care so much!” he said during the final table. “I want to win so badly!”

You can tell.

Here’s a photo journal of his entire final table including a minor blow up and his elimination:

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Boku Challenge2

In 2009, there was no one in Europe who played as many poker tables simultaneously as Germany's Thomas “boku87” Boekhoff.

He played up to 50 tables and devised an entirely new system for playing online poker.

To prove that his system worked – and to promote a book he had planned – Boekhoff decided to play two bankroll challenges in low-stakes Sit-and-Gos (SNGs).

Challenge 1: Turn $100 into $10k within 15 days playing SNGs w/ $16 max buy-in

Challenge 2: Turn $5 into $100,000 within 12 months

Record Holder: Thomas Boekhoff (GER)

Dates: Challenge 1 March 3-17 2009; Challenge 2 July 15 2009 - May 19 2010

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Barry Greenstein, Chris Ferguson and Andy Black

In 2006, when Chris Ferguson was still Jesus, he set out to make a fortune without using any of his own money.

Ok, that came out wrong.

The goal of Ferguson's famous online poker challenge was to make $10,000 by starting with $0 and playing according to strict bankroll management.

The Mission: Turn $0 into $10,000

Record Holder: Chris "Jesus" Ferguson

Dates: March 2006-September 2007

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Watch the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event Right Here!

Created By:
07 October 2014
Posted in: WSOP Blog
2014 WSOP Main Event Bracelet

Forty-five editions in and there's still no more spectacular event in poker than the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event.

While one of the newer, International versions plays out all the way in Australia the march to the final table has begun again on ESPN.

Four episodes in and we've already seen virtually the full gamut of poker elation and heartbreak with heros and villains (we're looking at you, Curtis Rystadt) at every turn.

It just doesn't get any better than this. We, of course, encourage you to tune in to the ESPN broadcast every Sunday all the way until the live final in November but as a service to the absent-minded we'll embed episodes below.

Note of course that we (nor the posters) own the copyright so it could (rightfully) come down at any point. But if it's there, you can find it here.

Scroll down/click through to see the episodes:

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Screen shot 2014 10 02 at 3.24.00 PM

In just two years the Battle of Malta has established itself as the premier low buy-in destination poker tournament in Europe.

With 888 entries in the Main Event last year - and a €430,000 prize pool - it's already set the record for the biggest poker tournament ever held in Malta.

With a €500,000 guarantee this year and the same affordable buy-in, numbers are expected to swell again and shatter last year's record.

How do the numbers stack up in other areas? We've compiled some of the key stats from our first two events in the infographic below.

A generous thank you goes out to all of our sponsors, players, staff and volunteers from the community for helping to make the Battle of Malta such a success. We look forward to hosting everyone again in 2014 for another record-setting series!

Note: Statistics at the top refer to the Main Event only and don't include side events. Nationality breakdown for 2014 is based on pre-sales of Battle of Malta packages.

Scroll down/click through for the full infographic.

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Bertrand Grospellier

In 2009, France's Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier went after a world sit-and-go record during the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.

The goal: To play as many SnGs as possible within 60 minutes while remaining profitable.

In the first part of a new series on the Greatest Online Poker Challenges attempted we'll break down ElkY's World Record and see how it made it into the record books.

The Mission: Play maximum number of SnGs, make a profit

Record Holder: Bertrand Grospellier (FRA)

Date: April 28th, 2009

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Watch the 2014 WCOOP Main Event Final Table Webcast Right Here!

Created By:
29 September 2014
Posted in: The Poker Reporter Blog

Isildur1! Fedor Holz! Dylan Hortin! Faraz Jaka!

The 2014 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event final table is prepared to annoint one more very happy - and very rich - WCOOP champion.

With a massive $10.7m prize pool compiled $1.8m is guaranteed to this year's winner and you can watch it all shake down on the live webcast right here.

Estimated start time is about midnight ET Tuesday, September 30.

Big-name players prepared to battle it out include the one and only Viktor "Isildur1" BlomDylan Hortin, who final tabled the WCOOP Main Event last year, Faraz Jaka, Elior Sion and rising star/secret poker backer Fedor Holz.

Your hosts and commentators for all of the action will be the famed PokerStars live duo of James Hartigan & Joe Stapleton.

They'll be joined by a revolving group of esteemed commentators including Team PokerStars pros Ike Haxton, Mickey Petersen, Jason Mercier and Jake Cody.

Buckle up - it's gonna be a good one!

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5 Spectacular Poker Hero Calls Worth Watching Again (Video)

Created By:
24 September 2014
Posted in: The Poker Reporter Blog, PokerListed
Luke Schwartz2

The Hero Call is a spectacular showpiece move in the arsenal of a poker player.

Just like a goalkeeper deflecting an unsaveable ball in football, poker players can save a hand from a hopeless-looking situation by simply calling.

You don't always need a monster to invest your entire stack. A second or third pair - or sometimes even just ace-high  - is enough to expose an expensive bluff from your opponent.

When you get it right in a big hand, there's no bigger or better feeling in poker.

Here are five pretty spectacular - and instructive - Hero Calls in video form, picked out by PokerOlymp's Arved Klöhn.

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In just eight weeks or so, one out of the nine players at the final table of the WSOP main event will win $10m.

Getting that kind of money - basically for playing cards for a week, wrapped around a four-month break -  is a pretty unique thing.

The famed winner shots of the happy player standing behind a wall of cash also contributes to the general image of poker players as guys who live the good life without doing much for it.

It's true to some extent. Top poker players make millions of dollars. And the $21m Dan Colman has earned so far in 2014, which has spurred much debate about both the glory and realities of tournament poker, is an impressive number to say the least.

But, truth be told, top poker tournament players are miles away from what top earners in other businesses cash out every year. PokerListings Germany's Dirk Oetzmann breaks it down.

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iphone 6 pokerstars

With much fanfare and hype Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ in a high-profile keynote earlier today.

While more and more poker players seem to be hopping on the Android train these days the iPhone remains one of the most popular handheld devices amongst poker players.

There’s a good reason that most online poker sites have developed special apps just for iOS devices.

Today’s announcement actually heralded a number of new features (including an entirely new design) that could potentially benefit poker players who use iPhones to play poker.

Here’s a look at six ways the iPhone 6 will be a vastly superior way to play online poker than previous iterations:

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