Timeline

BoM Main Event Hits 1,100 Mark; Primed for Huge Day 1c

Joel Nystedt

Day 1b of the 2017 Battle of Malta Main Event is officially done! And what a day it was.

An impressive 780 entries entered the books today to join the 320 from Day 1 and push the overall total up to an even 1,100 entering Day 1c tomorrow.

Valerio Citta with 438k and Sweden's Joel Nystedt with a stack of 395,500 appear to be the chip leaders but we can't say for sure until we get the official counts from the casino.

Several notables did make it through the day with a stack including 2016 BoM final-tablist Jonas Hähnert, Unibet Poker ambassador Espen Uhlen Jörstad and French star Valentin Messina.

Here's an unofficial look at the Top 10 stacks in the room:

Valerio Citta 438,000
Joel Nystedt 395,500
Peter Cameron 347,500
Madon Lipszye 332,500
Angelo Patane 326,000
Mark Attard 317,500
Alessandro Picchieri 316,000
Martin Gudvangen 293,000
Yotah Bar Yosef 269,000
Vencenzo Dainotti 265,000

We'll be back at it tomorrow at 2 pm so check back right here to see where this thing goes!

Level
14
Blinds
1500/3000
Ante
400
Players Left
159/780

Let's Call It a Day

Silje will be back in full effect, too.
Silje will be back in full effect, too.

The clock has stopped and all tables are down to their last two hands for the night.

The 162 or so survivors are eagerly awaiting their bags and looking at a 1 pm start for Day 2 on Sunday.

In the meantime, we're bracing for an epic Day 1c tomorrow that might just see the BoM Main Event field hit 2,000 entries and the prize pool hit unprecedented heights.

Is this the year the Battle of Malta crosses that monumental line?

We'll be back at 2 pm tomorrow to find out. Join us then! Stay tuned for an unofficial look at the chip leaders.

Full chip counts for all players will be sent out by the casino in the morning and posted as soon as we get them.

Level
14
Blinds
1500/3000
Ante
400
Players Left
162/780

Some Nice Pics to Wind Things Down

Like the pictures you've been seeing on the PokerListings Live Update page?

They're pretty sweet, we think. And they're all provided by our talented guest photographer Ariela Rojas Gonzales.

She flew in all the way from Costa Rica (via Paris) to shoot the 2017 BoM and is doing some great work on a lot of jetlag.

Enjoy a few of our favorites below; see more of her work on her Facebook page.

BOM 2017 1B 85
BOM 2017 1B 97
BOM 2017 1B 106
Silje Nilsen all in with two pair2
BOM 2017  75
Level
14
Blinds
1500/3000
Ante
400

Tea, Then Bag

BOM 2017 1B 87

At first glance we thought Espen Uhlen Jörstad was drinking a beer here to unwind near the end of the day.

Then we realized it was tea. Which feels about right for the vibe in the room right now.

Nice and calm. Soothing even.

There's about 40 minutes of play left in the night and, given how big we expect this prize pool to get, it feels like players are holding on to just bag some chips and make a big run on Day 2.

Feels like a good plan. We'll scope out some potential chip leaders and wrap things up shortly.

Level
14
Blinds
1500/3000
Ante
400
Players Left
180/780

Erik Sylvén is Back On the In List

Erik Sylven

When we spoke with Sweden's Erik Sylvén on the last break of the night he was down to less than eight big blinds and wasn't feeling very good about his chances to survive to see Day 2.

Now? He's crushing.

We don‘t know exactly what happened during the last levels but we did catch him collect multiple big-ish pots over the last two levels.

He just scooped another huge one. With A-K he was all-in for roughly 40 big blinds against A-Q. He held.

So now he has more than 200k chips -- twice the average and among the chip leaders.

Level
14
Blinds
1500/3000
Ante
400
Players Left
184/780

Here's a Duck and a Baby Bootie on Some Chips

Cute, huh?

BOM 2017  69
BOM 2017  68
Level
13
Blinds
1200/2400
Ante
300
Players Left
194/780

Let's Recap Day 1b in a Video, Yeah?

Level
13
Blinds
1200/2400
Ante
300
Players Left
201/780

Uri Gilboa is Not Here Anymore

He was, just a few minutes ago, settling in on table 25.

Now all that we can see is a sad and open seat.

We wonder how. We wonder why.

We just wonder. 

Blinds up to 1,000/2,000 btw as we play into Level 12.

Level
12
Blinds
1000/2000
Ante
300
Players Left
251/780

Let Us Throw GTO to the Wind

Loose poker 4 eva!!!!
Loose poker 4 eva!!!!

Valentin Messina's table is definitely one of the more interesting ones on this Day 1 at the Battle of Malta as some of its players seem to want to take the idea of a loose game to a new level.

It all started with the player under the gun opening to 3,300. Right behind him two players called and Messina called in the big blind too.

Flop: A Q 8

The initial raiser slid out a 5.5k bet and earned 3 (three) calls.

Turn: 5

Now the initial raiser went all-in for 16k. Without hesitation the player UTG+1 called and the player in middle position called as well. Messina quickly got rid of his hand.

Showdown

Initial Raiser: A 9 (top pair and a flush draw)
UTG+1: T 9 (a gut-shot)
MP: 8 5 (bottom pair, no draw on the flop, two pair on the turn)
River: 8

After his lucky turn the player in middle position scooped this rather big pot while the other two players lost huge chunks of their stacks. While the moves might not exactly be GTO, we‘re sure happy to see loose poker thrive here at the Battle of Malta.

Level
11
Blinds
800/1600
Ante
200
Players Left
260/780

Cartarius Departs

Louis Cartarius was the only former Battle of Malta champion playing today and, while he had a decent start to his day, nearly doubling his stack, the last few hours were not as kind.

After the last break he was down to less then 10 big blinds and he just lost his last pot for the day.

He moved all-in from late position with Q-9 (suited) and was called by the small blind with A-Q.

The better hand prevailed and now the seat of the former champion is deserted.

Level
11
Blinds
800/1600
Ante
200
Players Left
287/780

Sheriff Rocco Saddles Up

Hähnert bounces back strong.
Hähnert bounces back strong.

There's a new chip sheriff in BoM and his name is Rocco Maiorana. Or at least we think he's the chip leader.

With a 265k or so stack it looks like the biggest in the room - and after the last table broke out in the old buffet room, all of the remaining players are indeed now in one room.

9th-place finisher last year, Jonas Hähnert, has made very good use of his second bullet and now sits on a 160k stack.

2017 Rising Star Espen Uhlen Jorstad is up to around 115,000 and Anne Meri has around 50,000.

2nd Break Day 1B  
Rocco Maiorana 265,000
Martin Gudvangen 225,000
Christopher Stiehler 170,000
Jonas Hähnert 160,000
Patrick Robkamp 160,000
Michele Tocci 145,000
Espen Uhlen Jorstad 115,000
Valentin Messina 95,000
Andre Haneberg 95,000
Jimmy Joe Norin 60,000
Anne Meri 50,000
Carl Falk 35,000
Uri Gilboa 33,000
Erik Sylven 20,000
Aiste 20,000
Louis Cartarius 16,000
Level
11
Blinds
800/1600
Ante
200

Holding at 1,100

So the number on the board backtracked slightly but has since held steady at 780 for the total number of entries today.

Going back to our abacus to verify, that means we still have held fast at an even 1,100 entries over Days 1a and 1b.

That leaves the prize pool at €533,500 - well over the guarantee and bigger than the total prize pools of the first two BoMs.

Another 714 entries tomorrow would break our record of 1,813 set last year and get the total prize pool up over €880,000.

First-place last year was €160,000 - a tidy sum any way you look at it.

Players are back from their last break and tucking into the last 4 levels of the night trying to get a good angle on one of those appealing looking cashes coming.

Level
10
Blinds
600/1200
Ante
100
Players Left
307/780

Messina Logging Big Pots

Valentin Messina is originally from France but now lives in Malta. He plays poker professionally, and so far the small island in the Mediterranian Sea has been good to him.

He came 2nd at EPT Malta in 2015. In the same year he made a deep run in the Battle of Malta Main Event and finished 30th.

This year? It sure looks like another deep run is possible.

We caught up with him in a limped pot where only a couple thousand chips were in the middle and three players were in the hand.

The flop read A J 5 and a young player in the small blind bet out 2.2k chips. An Italian gentleman in middle position called and Messina called on the button as well.

The turn brought the 7 and the small blind slid out a 5k bet. The player in middle position promptly raised to 15k and without much hesitation Messina called the re-raise.

The initial aggressor folded and a river was dealt. The 8 seemed to complicate matters since it completed almost all possible draws. Nevertheless the player in middle position instantly slid out a 22k bet, leaving only a couple thousand behind.

Messina, who covered his opponent, thought for a bit and eventually moved all-in. Now the Italian gentleman pounded his fists on the table, quickly flashed the 8 and threw away his hand.

Valentin mucked and raked in this 90k pot. We‘ll never know what he had and why the Italian gentlemen played his hand the way he did, but we do know that Messina has over 120k now.

Level
10
Blinds
600/1200
Ante
100
Players Left
329/780

Side Event Frenzy!

People get ready for side event mayhem.
People get ready for side event mayhem.

Back in 2012 the Battle of Malta was pretty much an all or nothing affair. You played the Main Event and if you busted, well ... you either hit the cash games or went home, really.

It's a different story now. This year we have 8 side events you can pick from with buy-ins ranging from €100 to €1,320.

Registration for all of them opens at 1 pm tomorrow and things kick off with our first-ever Ladies Event at 8 pm. Read more about how much women make the Battle of Malta tick right here. Check the side event schedule below:

Saturday

20:00 - BOM Ladies Event - Buy-in: €90+€10 (Single Re-entry) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 100 players

21:00 - No Limit Hold’em Win the Cross - Buy-in: €100+€10 (Re-buys) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 150 players

Sunday

16:00 - Siege of Malta Second Chance Day 1 - Buy-in: €220+€25 (Re-entry available) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 400 players

18:00 - PLO Knight Crusaders - Buy-in: €200+€20 (Single Re-entry) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 100 players

21:30 - NLH Grandmaster High-Roller Super Satellite - Buy-in: €132+€18 (Re-entry available) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 100 players

Monday

12:00 - IPC "After Battle" Turbo No Limit Hold'em - Buy-in: €200+€20 (Single re-entry) Location: Portomaso Casino. Cap: 400 players

14:00 - NLH Grandmaster High-Roller - Buy-in: €1,200+€120 (Single Re-entry) Location: Portomaso Casino. Cap: 150 players

15:00 - BoM NLH Deepstack Battle Turbo - Buy-in: €300+€30 (Single Re-entry) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 300 players

19:00 - PLAY2CARE Crazy Pineapple Charity tournament - Buy-in: €150+€15 (Re-buys) Location: Portomaso Casino Cap: 200 players

The Siege of Malta is so big now it runs over 3 (!) days and guarantees €100,000. The Grandmaster High Roller runs over 2 days and guarantees €50,000.

Bonzai. It's good to be here at the Battle of Malta.

Level
10
Blinds
600/1200
Ante
100

Aiste from Vilnius: "Poker is an Allegory of Life"

Aiste

Aiste lives in Vilnius, Lithuania, and works for a start-up that broadcasts conversations of people in a café.

Yes, you read that right.

You can meet up with people there and have a discussion that goes live online in real time. Check out LiveDinner.tv if you want to know more.

Aiste discovered poker about 5 years ago and it’s become more than just a hobby for her.

“Poker is an allegory of life," she says. “You can do everything right and still lose, you can get lucky sometimes, and you have to enjoy every hand as if it’s your last – because it actually might be.”

“I was in a hand holding aces and queens against my opponent’s aces and kings, and I managed to not bust. So, even though I’m under average, I’m quite happy to still be here.”

Apparently, honing her skills in the Lithuanian capital is paying off.

“A couple of years ago it was difficult to find a place to play poker in Vilnius," she says, "but it has become quite popular now. We have many really good players, so playing in the casino is pretty tough.”

Even as a first-time visitor, we feel that Aiste has already grasped the whole idea of the Battle of Malta perfectly.

“I came straight from the plane to the tournament area so I didn’t get to see anything of the island yet. But it’s nice to be in a warm place, I’m enjoying that already. Depending on how long I’m playing, I want to take the time and do some sightseeing here, too.”

Level
9
Blinds
500/1000
Ante
100
Players Left
369/780

Floor! Remove This Card. Now.

Silje Nilsen all in with two pair

It was a jack. Silje Nilsen held it up and showed it around. And it was this jack that just cost her her tournament life. Twice.

When we came to Silje's table she had a 60k stack and was looking at a flop of J 7 6. There was roughly 10k in the middle and two players involved: Silje and a gentleman named Sturla Flataker.

We missed part of the action but there were certainly some bets and raises involved. Flataker had a 25k bet in front of him and Silje had just moved all-in for 55k in total.

After some deliberation Sturla concluded that he was pot-committed and called the all-in.

Showdown:

Silje: 7 6 (Two Pair)
Flataker: J 8 (Top Pair, no kicker)

Turn: J 

River: 4

After her opponent hit trips on the turn, Silje was drawing dead. She handed the pot over and was left with 200 chips – exactly 2 antes.

Those last two antes went into the middle on the next hand and this time she had K-9 against A-J.

She hit a 9 on the flop but her opponent managed to hit 2 jacks and sent Silje to the rails. She took one of those jacks, held the card up in the air and said "Floor, I hate this card. Remove it!“

We don‘t know if her wish will be answered but we do know Silje is planning on re-entering the Main-Event.

Silje Nilsen taking a selfie of herself
Silje Nilsens Two PAir counterfeited
Level
9
Blinds
500/1000
Ante
100
Players Left
389/780

The Last of the Satellite Seats are Gone

Dealers gonna get a work out.
Dealers gonna get a work out.

In the Spinola Suite downstairs 308 players have been counted in at the end of late registration for the last Main Event Super Satellite.

That means there are no ways left for you to satellite into the main event and you’ll have to come up with the whole buy-in yourself. Or, you know, sell some shares.

It also means that there will be 30 more hopefuls in their seats tomorrow for the last Day 1 of BOM 2017.

It’ll take until past midnight until we know who those 30 are, but we can confidently say they'll be quite happy.

By the way: these won’t be the only players jumping into the action tomorrow as we’re also kicking off our extensive lineup of side events.

First up is our very first Ladies Event. It starts at 8P M and has a €100 buy-in. Just an hour later at 9PM we’ll start the €110 Win the Cross tournament, which is our version of a Win the button event.

Registration for all side events opens at 1 pm tomorrow. More to come in the coming days!

Level
9
Blinds
500/1000
Ante
100
Players Left
400/780

Quick Stop & Go for Sally Stephens

Sally Stephens with her High Roller trophy from last year!
Sally Stephens with her High Roller trophy from last year!

We got a Facebook message from Sally Stephens around Level 4 announcing she had arrived at her hotel in St. Julian's and was heading over to register.

We weren't sure if she got in the field or not until we took a spin and witnessed a sequence of hands that saw her both double up and then hit the bricks.

After late regging Stephens doubled her stack quickly and was sitting comfortably above average. Then came the dinner break and things went south within minutes.

With blinds at 400/800 a young player in middle position raised and Stephens called on the button. The big blind called as well and the three saw a Q Q 6 flop.

There was over 14k in the middle already and both players checked to Stephens. She fired a 12.8k bet and only the initial preflop-raiser called.

The turn brought the K and after a check Stephens almost instantly shoved her stack in the middle. It was an all-in worth almost 40k chips and her opponent was visibly irritated and had no idea what to do.

After a couple of minutes a seemingly impatient short stack asked for the clock, which prompted the agonizing pre-flop raiser to eventually call the all-in.

He turned over pocket aces. Stephens almost sheepishly turned over her cards: king-jack for a bluff on the flop and either an elaborate attempted value bet or a continued (and also pretty elaborate) bluff on the turn.

Either way Stephens was way behind and lost the hand after the river bricked. She shook hands with her opponent, wished him good luck and quietly made her way to the exit. We expect she'll register again tomorrow!

Level
8
Blinds
400/800
Ante
75
Players Left
416/780

786 + 320 = 1,106

On track for 2k!
On track for 2k!

We weren't math majors in college or anything but we trust our basic arithmetic enough to say we've officially likely crossed the 1,100-entry barrier for Days 1a and 1b combined.

1,106 in fact if the number on the board is indeed the final tally for today.

With Level 6 done and dusted and the second half of the field on dinner, that's the number that's held steady for awhile so we'll go with it for now.

That's a pretty notable figure for us. At 940 total entries in 2015 and 930 last year, it's well past our Day 1a/b mark for the past 2 years - both of which ultimately resulted in record-breaking fields.

We still need to have a whopper of a Day 1c tomorrow to eclipse our 1,813-entry record from last year but if we were betting sorts, we'd put it all on the over.

Another 894 entries in fact will push us right to the 2,000 mark - a phenomenal number we might have thought completely unreachable just a couple of years ago.

So huzzah to that. And thanks to everyone here in Malta who's become a part of it. More updates incoming when the dinner break is over!

Level
7
Blinds
300/600
Ante
75
Players Left
465/780

Chips, All Dressed

A quick stroll around the empty tables has illuminated a few prominent stacks.

Tops among them seems to be Israeli Yonatan Koko, whose poker claim to fame is winning the biggest Romanian poker tournament ever, the WinMaster Poker Open, in 2015.

Kudos to that!

Dinner Break Part 1 Day 1B  
   
Yonatan Koko 135,000
Silje Nilsen 100,000
Sharon Sade 95,000
Darius Narmontas 80,000
Louis Cartarius 50,000
Level
7
Blinds
300/600
Ante
75
Players Left
580/780

Dinner!

For half the field, the dinner bell has rung and players are streaming out of the Grandmaster Suite towards the casino buffet.

For the other half of the field it's game on as they'll continue through for another 75 minutes before enjoying their own gustation.

Why does it have to be that way?

We simply can't fit everyone in the room where the buffet is hosted.

It won't be until Day 2 until we'll be able to seat everyone left in the same room for dinner. Some chip counts for the departed players coming soon.

Level
6
Blinds
250/500
Ante
50
Players Left
586/780

Merry Meri

Anne Meri

The only female player to make a Battle of Malta Main Event final table so far is Anne Meri  from Finland) and, to our great delight, is in the field today.

She's even just in front of us at the media table, actually.

Meri finished 10th for €10,450 at the 2015 BoM and since has racked up plenty of flags on Hendon Mob (Czech rep, Bulgaria, Estonia, Morocco, Austria...) for scores around the world.

At last check it looked like she was having fun again at BOM with around 55k as we head to the first dinner break.

Is a repeat final table in the cards?

Level
6
Blinds
250/500
Ante
50
Players Left
589/780

Silje Can Make That Happen For You

Silje Nielsen 2

The Battle of Malta and Silje Nilsen -- two things that seem to be meant for each other.

After cashing the last two years, Silje is on her way to making a third consecutive cash happen.

She‘s enjoying an orange-ish drink which looks suspiciously like vodka with orange juice and is chatting up the table. And she just scooped a massive pot.

On a Q T 6 J turn, more than 10k was already in the middle when Silje slid out a 4k bet. Her opponent in the big blind check-raised to 10k.

Silje called almost instantly, remarking: "You want to be all-in? We can make that happen!"

The river fell A and now her opponent checked to her. Silje didn‘t waste too much time before shoving her entire stack, roughly 22k, in the middle.

Her opponent moaned a bit, asked if she had ace-queen, and then eventually called the all-in. Silje turned over K 9 for the nuts and scooped the 75k pot.

Welcome to the chip leaders, Silje!

Level
6
Blinds
250/500
Ante
50
Players Left
609/780

Double up for Valentin Messina

Messina hangs tough.
Messina hangs tough.

Our French hero, Valentin Messina, was just about out of the tournament a few minutes ago with 5k left from his 25k starting stack.

"I played 10 hands, I lost all of them," he told us forlornly.

Fortunately he just managed to win a coin-flip to stay alive.

A player raised from middle position, Messina shoved, the other player called.

Hands: A-Q vs 6-6

Flop: 5-5-8-8-7

Messina's back to 10kish, a little bit more than 20bb at this point.

Level
6
Blinds
250/500
Ante
50
Players Left
618/780

PokerListings Big-Pot Cookbook Pt. 3

Espen Uhlen Jorstad2

For a pre-dinner appetizer we're cooking up a set vs draw Surf’n’Turf.

Do you bet on what you have or on what you might get? You need:

  • A tough play with pocket sevens making a draw
  • The Rising Star of the year with pocket nines making a set

Have the sevens open and the nines call with another caller behind to make a nice dough.

Turn the flop oven up to 6-8-9 off-suit degrees and leave the dough to rise a bit.

After just a few minutes you’ll find it has grown into a massive 45k pot while the over-caller just managed to leave the kitchen in time.

So, top set meets an open-ended straight draw like a steak meets a lobster. Add another 8 on the turn to finish it off quickly as some things have to be eaten hot.

Espen Uhlen Jörstad is way over average now - aka a literally rising star.

Level
5
Blinds
200/400
Ante
50
Players Left
630/780

770 and Inching Higher

BOM 2017 1B 2

We had a feeling it would be a pretty big Day 1b today and that feeling has proven true.

As of the first 15 minutes of Level 5 the tournament clock puts the number of entries for today at 770. That's 111 more than last year's 659 on Day 1b.

With registration ending at the end of Level 6 and a queue downstairs at the reg desk, that'll continue to creep up as the next hour ticks away.

Another thing we're quite sure of - the €55+5 satellite downstairs in the Spinola Suite at 7pm will be another whopper.

Last night's satellite put another 38 players into the Main Event and we imagine tonight will be comparable.

Also happening tonight is the NordicBet BlackJack Tournament down in a private room at the Portomaso Casino and the BOM All-In Friday Party at Level 22 in the Portomaso Tower.

Check the schedule here for more details.

Level
5
Blinds
200/400
Ante
50

Gettin' Chippy Wit' It

Louis Cartarious

As the players are on their first break we took a quick zip around the room to discover any interesting stack accumulations.

By the looks of things Guy Mueller might be the chip leader on around 85k. David Berlin is also off to a good start.

Former champ Louis Cartarius has doubled his starting stack and both Espen and Silje have gathered a few more chips.

Day 1B Break 1  
   
Guy Mueller 85,000
Devid Berlin 75,000
Torsten Saba 67,000
Samuel Dray 65,000
Diego Suter 59,000
Louis Cartarius 55,000
Carl Falk 53,000
Amihay Killstein 50,000
Uri Gilboa 48,000
Manuel Zapf 35,000
Espen Uhlen Jorstad 35,000
Silje Nielsen 29,000
Jonas Hähnert 25,000
Erik Sylven 23,000
Level
4
Blinds
150/300
Ante
25

Another Kick at the Can for Hähnert

We saw last year's 9th-place finisher Jonas Hähnert making his way out of the tournament room a while ago and later found out he had busted.

Good news, though, is he's bought back in and is now back in the field at table #1.

Let's see if bullet #2 works out better for him.

Level
4
Blinds
150/300
Ante
25
Players Left
751/780

Meet Marco Pizzurro

Our amazing photographer, Ariela Rojas, told us a cool story about a player she met years ago in Costa Rica… and met again at Battle of Malta this year.

Marco Pizzurro is from Italy and he's here playing BOM for the first time. Pizzurro came with his wheelchair to play.

His smile confirmed he’s having a pretty good time so far.

“The BOM is a very well organized tournament. It’s amazing," said Pizzurro when we stopped by for a chat.

Pizzurro says he's played poker for about six years. His other main hobby? Table tennis, which he also plays competitively in tournaments and which is where Rojas met him those years ago. 

Best of luck to him and his mates!

Level
4
Blinds
150/300
Ante
25
Players Left
749/780

The Demise of GGD

gaelle4

And we've lost Gaëlle Garcia Diaz.

After losing a couple of hands early in the day - and some more later on - Gaëlle  was down to just a few big blinds.

Her last chips went in the middle with Q-J after another player open-raised. The player in the big blind behind Gaëlle  called the all-in with A-K and the two went to showdown.

Gaëlle 's opponent hit a king on turn while she didn‘t hit any of her cards.

Let‘s hope she‘ll re-enter asap!

Level
4
Blinds
150/300
Ante
25
Players Left
738/780

Guarantee Smashed!

With more than 720 players already in for Day 1b today (and 320 yesterday), we‘ve already surpassed the 1,000-entry mark before the late reg period is over today.

That, of course, means we‘ve smashed our €500,000 guarantee before Day 1C - the biggest starting day - has even begun.

Last year we had 930 entries combined on the first two days and 1,813 entries in total. We don't want to get our hopes up too high but it just might come to pass that we hit the magic mark of 2,000 entries this year.

One re-entry per player is allowed and tomorrow we‘re expecting a huge waiting list so if you bust in the next little while and want to make sure you get another crack, you might want to hurry down to the registration desk.

We‘ve got three more levels (roughly two hours) of late reg left today!

Level
3
Blinds
100/200
Ante
25
Players Left
738/780

Stack Building with GGD

gaelle3

Gaëlle Garcia Diaz isn't just the host of this year's Battle of Malta -- she's also an avid poker player herself.

She skipped out on the action yesterday but today she‘s in there, trying to build a stack for the days to come.

So far Gaëlle's stack building scheme has hit a bump or two though. Just now we saw her lose a medium-sized pot when she called an open raise pre-flop in the small blind with A 2 and proceeded to check-call twice on a Q 9 3 4 Board.

While she had a flush draw and turned a gut-shot, the river bricked with the 8. After her opponent fired another barrel Gaëlle open-folded her ace-high.

She‘s down to 16k chips now – but still 80 big blinds and plenty to rebuild her stack with.

Level
3
Blinds
100/200
Ante
25

Faces in the Crowd

robertsverreeik
Robert Sverre Eik

Some more familiar faces we've seen at the tables across the wide plains of the Grandmaster Suite:

  • Uri Gilboa (2015 BoM Main Event final-tablist from Israel)
  • Our host Gaëlle Garcia Diaz
  • Valentin Messina, French hero (26th in BoM Main Event in 2014, 30th in 2015, 15th in the WSOP Main Event this summer, 2nd at EPT Malta 2015)
  • Fabio Assenato (54th in BoM Main Event 2014, 18th in 2015)
  • Lina Teuma (10th in BoM Main Event 2012)
  • Robert Sverre Eik (7th in 2016 BoM Main Event)
Level
3
Blinds
100/200
Ante
25

Activate the RNG Again

Some Random Numbers* from the field to consider:

Day 1B    
     
Players (while counting) 678  
Mustaches 18 2.65%
Three-Day Beards 201 29.65%
Full Beards 138 20.35%
Hipster Beards 46 6.78%
ZZ Top Beards 4 0.59%
Beers at the table 21 3.10%
Female Players 45 6.64%
Manbuns 3 0.44%

Note* : Methodology used was counts for 24 tables and then extrapolated. ZZ Top beard count may or may not be accurate.

Level
3
Blinds
100/200
Ante
25
Players Left
708/780

Recipe for Big Pots Pt. 2

Welcome back to the PokerListings cookbook for big pots!

Yesterday we recounted a JJ vs. QQ vs. KK spectacle that ended in a middle-set vs. two flushes 3-course tasting plate.

Today: An all-in pre-flop in Level 2. You need:

  • Two players who are 150 bb deep
  • KK and AA

Stir for a couple of minutes in a very hot pan and bring it to the boil. Add a 5-bet all-in that has to season and prepare your presentation.

Arrange your all-in on a flop bed of A-5-3 to make one of the two players stand up and grab his jacket, while the other one is already getting ready to check the leaderboard and take a screenshot of himself in first place.

Lightly season again with a fresh 4 on the turn for a glimmer of hope for the guy wearing the jacket, a tiny drop of the corner of the mouth of the top-set player, and a gentle round of sweat for everyone else at the table.

Finish off with an innocuous looking 2 on the river to cause a response from the table that can only be described as flambé, while the two players involved alternate between looking burnt and washed out.

This is the Battle of Malta, Level 2! Bon Appetit!

Level
2
Blinds
75/150
Players Left
704/780

Neutron Stars in the Center of the Room

Silje Nielsen 1

Last year Silje Nilsen won the Spirit of Poker Award in the Rising Star category. So far she finished in the money of our tournament twice and came in second in the Norwegian Poker Championships in 2016.

This year she's aiming for her 3rd Battle of Malta cash in a row and she's sitting at table 32 right in the middle of the tournament area.

So far after one and a half levels she's managed to increase her starting stack by roughly 20 percent and is chatting up the table.

Also chatting up the table is another rising star – Espen Uhlen Jorstad, this year's Rising Star winner. He‘s sitting two tables away from Silje and was fortunate enough to more than double his stack already.

He‘s hoarding more than 50k chips and is among the early chip leaders right now.

Espen Uhlen Jorstad
Level
2
Blinds
75/150

Hähn Solo

Jonas Hahnert

When Sweden's Jonas Hähnert made the final table of the Battle of Malta Main Event last year he came in very short-stacked with just 1m in chips and blinds at 80k/160k.

Everyone knew he had to make a move quickly and he did on the second hand, getting his A9 in against Lawrence Brandt's AQ and failing to catch up.

He took home €14,540 for his 9th-place finish which is still his solo official live cash - at least according to the Hendon Mob.

One thing Hähnert made sure of last year? That he had a good time, often having a few beers at the table and enjoying the nightlife Malta has to offer.

He seemed like a really good dude. And it seems he has some fond memories of his trip as he's back again for another go at that second cash here in Malta.

He’s got an uphill battle to that cash so far as he's been unlucky enough to draw former BoM Main Event champ Louis Cartarius at his table. To make things even worse, the German has position on him, too.

Hähnert just lost a decent chunk of his stack when he double barrelled on a J 7 J Q board but had to give it up when the small blind came over the top on the turn, indicating he either had a flush or even better.

He still has roughly 16k left though and definitely a chance to make something happen here today. We wish him the best!

Level
2
Blinds
75/150
Players Left
671/780

Who Dat?

BOM 2017 1A coctel bienvenida  89

Remember how we said that 554 number was gonna go up?

The board has hit 608 already and seems to be ticking over to the next number like a taxi meter. Among those 608 we've already seen a number of familiar faces.

Our 2017 Rising Star Espen Uhlen Jorstad will hit the felt today and will be streaming much of his day for his Twitch followers no less.

Last year's champ Robert Berglund was spotted at the restaurant across the street earlier today and is likely among us as we speak. We have to assume best mate Rasmus Eriksson is along for the ride as well.

Speaking of Swedes, we saw last year's 9th-place finished Jonas Hahnert walking among the tables this AM and our own famed PokerListings Sweden alumnus Erik Sylven will be chainsawing his way towards a min-cash today, too (we kid, because we love him).

We think Norwegian rapper Petter Katastrofe, who joined us last year, is back for another go as we saw him at the Hilton buffet this morning. If we're wrong, he's got a pretty good double floating around in Malta.

The shuffle up and deal has come and gone and players are riffling away in earnest already. Back in a flash with the latest!

Level
1
Blinds
50/100
Players Left
608/780

Big Day Coming

It's always tricky to predict just how many poker players will materialize on any given day.

The early signs on Day 1b are pointing to a big one. Perhaps a very big one.

After 320 entries yesterday, the board has 554 players registered for Day 1b so far with 25 minutes to go before the shuffle up and deal.

With registration open until the end of Level 6, that 554 is gonna get bigger. And it's a pretty safe bet we'll eclipse the 659 players of last year's Day 1b.

Here's a current running tally matched up with years past:

Year 1A 1B 1C Sum Prize Pool
2012 153 196   349 €169,265
2013 417 471   888 €430,680
2014 521 926   1,447 €701,795
2015 305 639 859 1,803 €874,455
2016 271 659 883 1,813 €879,305
2017 320 554 (+)  ??? 874 (+) €485,000 (+)

As you can see we're just 15,000 shy of meeting our guarantee so it's safe to say that'll be smashed once again. Back shortly with the start of today's proceedings!

Level
1
Blinds
50/100

Let's Do It Again!

BOM2017 1A 9

Another day, another battle.

The 2017 Battle of Malta got off to a gangbusters start yesterday with 320 entries, 68 survivors and one notable former champ on the Day 2.

Today we'll do it all over again - except this time with twice as many players!

There's a sizeable crowd gathering around the registration desk downstairs and a big group of Israeli poker hounds ready for action today on Day 1b.

If you're planning on playing Day 1c, our TD Ivonne suggests you register online today on the PL payment page so tomorrow will be smoother for everyone.

All side events open for registration tomorrow, too, so to avoid disappointment (aka being on the waiting list) it's a good idea to get your ducks in a row now.

We're settling in over at the reporting desk and awaiting with anticipation for the 700 or so players to start streaming in the doors.

En garde!

Level
1
Blinds
50/100
Event Name Battle of Malta 2017 Main Event
Venue Portomaso Casino, Malta
Date 2 November 2017
Final Day 7 November 2017
Buy In €550
Entrants 2074
Prize Pool €1,005,890
First Prize €200,000
Level Ante Blinds
Level 1 0 50/100
Level 2 0 75/150
Level 3 25 100/200
Level 4 25 150/300
Level 5 50 200/400
Level 6 50 250/500
Level 7 75 300/600
Level 8 75 400/800
Level 9 100 500/1000
Level 10 100 600/1200
Level 11 200 800/1600
Level 12 300 1000/2000
Level 13 300 1200/2400
Level 14 400 1500/3000
Level 15 500 2000/4000
Level 16 500 2500/5000
Level 17 500 3000/6000
Level 18 1000 4000/8000
Level 19 1000 5000/10000
Level 20 1000 6000/12000
Level 21 2000 8000/16000
Level 22 3000 10000/20000
Level 23 3000 12000/24000
Level 24 4000 15000/30000
Level 25 5000 20000/40000
Level 26 5000 25000/50000
Level 27 5000 30000/60000
Level 28 5000 40000/80000
Level 29 10000 50000/100000
Level 30 10000 60000/120000
Level 31 10000 80000/160000
Level 32 20000 100000/200000
Level 33 30000 120000/240000
Level 34 30000 150000/300000
Level 35 50000 200000/400000
Level 36 50000 250000/500000
Level 37 100000 300000/600000

LIPSZYC NADAV PATRICK
wins
€200,000

Battle of Malta 2017 Main Event

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. LIPSZYC NADAV PATRICK €200,000
2. BORENSTEIN YARON €132,000
3. ELVEVOLD ASBJORN €98,000
4. WICKSTROM JOAKIM MATS THOMAS €74,000
5. BENSHOHAM AVIHAI €52,000
6. KOI PER-EIRIK €34,000
7. ADDA DOR €24,000
8. HAHNERT LARS JONAS €16,300
9. AKERHOLT FREDRIK RONNEBERG €12,240
10. TOROSSIAN NICOLAS SEVAN €7,850
Past BoM Champions
Year Name Country Payout
2017 Nadav Lipszyc il €200,000
2016 Robert Berglund se €160,000
2015 Nicolas Proust fr €110,000*
2014 Antoan Katsarov bg €122,750
2013 Louis Cartarius de €68,000
2012 Nicodemo Piccolo it €35,000
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