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EPT Champion Andreas Hoivold knows a thing or two about big buy-in poker tournaments but he told PokerListings.com that it's a refreshing change to come to an event like the Battle of Malta where there's less pressure and more focus on having fun. Hoivold lives in Las Vegas and tells us how that compares to his first time on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
Malta is a small island in the Mediterranean outside Italy. It's a nice place, it's pretty warm year round. So far it's been pretty close to what I had expected. It's like some islands in the Mediterranean and I've been to a few of the other ones so the climate is something I would expect. The people are nicer than I would expect so that's a good surprise. But in general, I like it here. I like the weather here of course I used to live in Las Vegas we're used to nice weather. But I love the Ocean and I love the sun so those two things are really good for me. For me, I really like to see new places as well and I've never been here before so I'm enjoying seeing different things that I am not used to.
The things when you play bigger buy-in tournaments is that you have to take it super, super seriously. When I play tournaments like this I actually take combination of vacation and playing poker. Of course, I want to win still, and I'm gonna play good poker, at least I'm gonna try. But I also have the chance to do other things and it's different from the main events. You have other things you can do here so I will have a good time no matter what happens here.
I totally take this seriously, I really like to play good poker and for me that's what it's about most of the time. Playing good poker is really important to me and, of course, I do mistakes. Maybe I do more mistakes here than I will do in a higher buy-in tournament but I still want to play well and I want to win it. If the buy-in had been a hundred Euros in then I would have wanted to win it. So for me the buy-in isn't that important after I sit down. It's more important in my mindset before I register, but now I'm sitting down I really wanna win.
It was a little, I came a little bit late. It was quite a line to get in here so I haven't played a lot of poker, but I had one pretty bad bit. One guy backdoor flushed me and it was a pretty big pot. But I've been able to build myself back to $17,000 the starting stack is $20,000 so I'm not worried at all. It's a decent stack but not the starting stack.
Las Vegas is a different city to live in for sure. I came from Kristiansand in Norway, that is a pretty tiny city. And coming to Vegas, everything is big and everything is so 24/7 and it's partying. It's a lot of things going on all the time in Vegas so it's very different. The problem I have with Vegas is you never know what people want from you. They can be super nice to you, but very often they have bad intentions. That's something that I'm not getting used to, I believe the best in people and that's not very good always. In Vegas, you can play poker more or less. You can play poker 24/7 and you can play tournaments almost every day if you're playing all kinds of buy-ins. You can play daily tournaments every day. But it's also like tournaments here is going probably at least half the days in the year and some periods it's three or four different tournaments going at once so you can pick and choose. So you have a super good selection when you live in Vegas. I don't play a lot online in Vegas. To be honest, I haven't even tried the new sites yet because I don't like the software. I've just seen it and I don't like it. I will probably move back to Europe again. I really, really want to be the first one to win EPTS. So that's kind of my goal. Traveling back and forth from the US is, it's too far and the time difference is too much. So I'm not gonna be traveling back and forth.