A £2k side-event winner at EPT London earlier in the year Pesonen navigated expertly through the bomb-laden field to end Day 2 third overall with 1,241,000 in chips.
Loose cannon Jukka Hilden - 1/4 of the Finnish stunt crew The Dudesons - surprised a few people at the tables over the last couple of days to say the least. Moving chips around like a boss, Hilden swung up towards the end of Day 2 to also head to Day 3 in the Top 10 with 801,000.
Italians, Scandis All Over Final 24
An impressively international Battle of Malta field skewed decidely towards a couple of geographic areas as we wound down to 24 today.
Italians, perhaps feeling a slight home-court advantage given its proximity to Malta, and Scandinavians are all over the chip counts with several eyeing a big win tomorrow.
Norwegian Ambjorn Haga is the overall chip leader heading into Day 3 with 1,849,000 to join the two Finns in the top 10.
Marcus Holmstrom, Jan Erik Saelevik and Pontus Dahlgren add a bit more Northern flavor to the final 24. Norwegian pro Andreas Hoivold seemed set to join them but busted late in the day.
Giorgio Piazza leads the Italians in fourth overall with 1,023,000 while Malta's Konrad Abela leads the hometown charge in second with 1,492,000. Chip counts for the remaining 24 players below:
- 1. Ambjorn Haga - 1,849,000
- 2. Konrad Abela - 1,492,000
- 3. Lauri Pesonen - 1,241,000
- 4. Giorgio Piazza - 1,023,000
- 5. Mariano D’Aquila - 975,000
- 6. Alessandro De Laco - 966,000
- 7. Arthur Popov - 932,000
- 8. Sonny La - 854,000
- 9. Jukka Hilden - 801,000
- 10. Daniel Lucacz - 800,000
- 11. Vincenzo Severino - 780,000
- 12. Marcus Holmstrom - 768,000
- 13. Mark Attard - 764,000
- 14. Giuseppe Polichetti - 668,000
- 15. Even Froshaug - 512,000
- 16. Louis Cartarius - 509,000
- 17. Federico Oviedo - 461,000
- 18. Jan Erik Saelevik - 454,000
- 19. Pontus Dangren - 431,000
- 20. Keith Hathaway - 381,000
- 21. Romain Gravisse - 343,000
- 22. Deniz Maska - 305,000
- 23. Giovanni Accetta - 265,000
- 24. Giovanni Ceraso - 159,000
€80,000 On the Table for Winner
Given the phenomenal turnout for the 2013 Battle of Malta the inflated prize pool will make for an extremely exciting rundown to the title tomorrow.
The final nine will split roughly €240,000 between them with the winner snagging €80,000 - an incredible return on a €550 buy-in.
Tune in to our Battle of Malta live updates tomorrow at 1 pm CET to see how it all plays out. Learn a bit more about The Dudesons ballsy poker strategy below: