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Let's Get It On! 2015 Battle of Malta on Brink of 5-Day Poker Blitz
It's finally here.
After a torturous 360-day wait and a sun-drenched city tour of Valletta yesterday for media and guests, the 2015 Battle of Malta is on the brink of the shuffle up and deal.
Kicking off today at 2 pm from the Portomaso Casino in St. Julian's we've got a sold-out five-star hotel, a massive and growing list of registrants and a buzz in the Malta air we haven't seen since, well, last year at this time.
Plenty of poker action is in store for the next five days but along the way a ton of fun, booze and light-hearted international poker banter will be spread liberally across the poker tables and beyond.
New additions are also in store alongside everything that helped make the 2014 BOM the toast of low buy-in tournaments at the European Poker Awards. Here's a quick look at what's to come
Massive Prize Pool, Low Buy-in, Side Action
First up: the poker.
The 2015 Main Event features the same affordable €550 and massive €500,000 guaranteed prize pool.
With 1,447 entries last year that ballooned to €701,795 and registration so far suggests this year will top that.
With one re-entry available players will get two stabs at taking home a share of it. If that doesn't work out the side action is also amped up from last year.
The €250+€25 Siege of Malta Second Chance is back along with the €300+€30 Deepstack Turbo.
A €1,200+€120 Grandmaster High Roller and €250+€25 PLO Knight's Crusade are new as is a €150+€15 (Re-buys) Win the Button event.
If you're still looking to get in the Main Event on the cheap €55+€5 re-entry satellites will run tonight and tomorrow night at the Portomaso Casino
Cash games will also be readily at hand. Check the full schedule of events here.
If the poker doesn't go as swimmingly as planned the parties will certainly bring your mood back up.
Things get started tonight at 10:00 pm with a special Karaoke night for our karaoke contest winner with Maria Ho, American Idol icon William Hung and the PokerListings Team at Footloose Bar in Paceville.
The comparatively mellow Opening Cocktail Party for Package Holders and Staff kicks off tomorrow night at 9:30 at the Hilton.
The pace picks up with the new All-In Friday spectacular at Club 22 and peaks on Saturday with the blowout BOM Official VIP Player Party.
Sunday's BOM After Battle Prosecco Breakfast winds things down for the bustees while the Main Event grinds down to the final table and the big paydays.
In between the schedules parties there's still plenty of consolation cocktails on hand in the Betting Connections Lounge overlooking the tournament floor.
Live Coverage Begins Today at 2 PM
If you want to follow the action as it happens it all begins at 2 pm from the Grandmaster Suite at the Hilton with live coverage available in eight languages.
Among our celebrity and pro guests expected to hit the field over the first two days include PokerStars pro Fatima Moreira de Melo, 2015 Spirit of Poker Award winners Humberto Brenes and Anatoly Filatov, American Idol William Hung, BOM regular Andreas Hoivold and of course our host Maria Ho.
Locals and past guests we wouldn't be surprised to see pop by include Sofia Lovgren and Jorryt Van Hoof.
2014 champ Antoan Katsarov will also be back to defend his title alongside a big contingent of local Maltese talent headed by 2014 runner-up Alan Brincat and the Poker Mama Jackie Cachia.
If you're looking for specific updates on friends and family in the field just hit us up in the comments here or on the live coverage page or drop us a note on Twitter or our Battle of Malta Facebook page. Use the #BattleofMalta or #BOM hashtags and will track it down for you.
Watch it all shake down for the next five days right here!