It’s arguably the most exciting moment in a poker tournament.
The money bubble is the stage where people finally get a reward for their efforts … or walk away with absolutely nothing.
It’s also a rare moment where the poker faces are dropped and players show actual joy or disappointment based on how they fare.
The bubble at the 2016 Battle of Malta was particularly compelling with a couple of short stacks finding miracles to hold on.
Eventually, someone had to go home and Martin Ilavsky of Slovakia hit the rail in hand-for-hand. Ilavsky had some company, though, as Italian Manuel Raffl of Italy busted on the same hand at a different table.
Ilavsky and Raffl will actually split the payout for 179th place (€945), which will bring them close to even for the Battle of Malta. Everybody wins! Kinda!
Here’s a photographic look at the money bubble for the 2016 Battle of Malta: