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Hirvonen Nabs First-Ever 888 Win the Button Trophy at 2016 BoM


This past Monday the 5th Battle of Malta ended with a Swedish player, just embarking on a career in poker, taking down the main event.

It was a great finale that included players from six different countries, best friends at the final table and a crowd on the rail that created a special buzz and atmosphere.

And while the main event grew once again, the side events also had more players than ever before too. In fact every single tournament drew more players than the 2015 BoM did.

One of the new events we added to the field, the 888poker Win the Button tourney, drew double the cap and proved it has a big future as part of the Battle of Malta.

A Fitting, If Late, End

For the first time 888poker sponsored one of the side events and, fittingly, it had a buy-in of €88+€8.

Trophy is icing on cake.

Inspired by the smash hit $888 Crazy Eights tournament at this year's WSOP, it was originally planned to have a field of a maximum 100 players.

There were so many players who wanted to join in, though, that the organizers allowed twice as many people in than what was planned.

That meant there was a prize pool of over €18,000 but it also meant that the tournament would go on longer than imagined.

“I think it’s going to go quick,” one of the floormen said, when it was closing in on midnight, “because the structure is pretty fast.”

He was wrong. In the end the “Win the Button” tournament went on into the small hours of the morning before things were decided.

At six o’clock in the morning, Swedish recreational player Tommi Erik Hirvonen defeated Salvatore Gamido from Italy to become the inaugural Win the Button winner and claim €4,000.

"They're Going to Love This"

If you’re not familiar with the concept in a “Win the Button” event the player who wins a hand gets the button in the next one.

Kids love 'em.

By the time the early hours came around both players were tired and Hirvonen and Gamido agreed on a deal to share the €7,440 to play for.

In the end Hirvonen took a €4,000 chunk of that money with Gamido getting €3,440. Both players, though received an amazing trophy based on the theme of Maltese knights.

“This is awesome,” said Erik, looking at the trophy. “I have two boys aged 10 and 12. They’re going to love this.”

Hirvonen played the BoM main event as well but after a great start, things started to slip.

“I was in the top 10 of the main event chip count after Day 1 but then bad things happened. This win is making up for it, though.”

Final-table payouts for the 888 Win the Button Event:


Hirvonen Tommi Erik



Gamido Salvatore



Assaf Massoud Boulos



Jahn Terje Kristoffer Klok



La Rocca Antonino



Graffouillere Pamela



Montagna Salvatore



Gary Ernest Tregunno



Fernandez Majvelos


Find all of the results for the 2016 PokerListings Battle of Malta poker festival right here.