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The 2013 Battle of Malta is the biggest poker tournament ever held in Malta, more than doubling the €200k guarantee, and that's thanks in large part to event organizer Ivonne Monteleagre. We speak to the woman behind this event and she tells us why organizing a record-setting poker tournament brings her so much satisfaction.
Well, the first Battle of Malta came as a pilot experimental thing Poker Listings started to do. Poker Listings works with all operators so it's so exciting to be the brand that brings everyone together. So that was really exciting and I never expected it to be so good. The first one was good but the second one is insane. We've had 600, 700 players. It's big and we're just loving how everybody is catching up with the concept. How people are appreciating the fact that it's low buy-in poker holiday. It mixes a bit of fun, It's a friendly environment. It's a low risk tournament, low stress. I think those elements make it a really, really nice fun tournament to play for everyone, especially for the low buy in player.
Battle of Malta number two has that interesting element. The feel, you get to this room and it's so exciting because you get a WSOP feel without the stress. People are having fun. We're hosting great parties at night. So, in that sense, I think Battle of Malta number two gives you the feel without the sweat. It's a very friendly tournament.
The pros that we have invited and as guests for Battle of Malta are here because they love the atmosphere. There are guys, Dan Cates, used to thousands of dollars buy-ins. This event is about the fun. So it's about making friends. Its about the community and that gives a lot of value. It's a friendly environment, peak of European summer, low buy-in, Malta is gorgeous. What else it there?
What is the future of Battle of Malta? I think it's going to be growing still and we have to really think about new surprises and new exciting side events. We have a side event called The Siege of Malta which is a second chance. I foresee that this second chance is going to take on an unexpected strength. So that's exciting. Just more people, more fun, more parties, more crazy nights out.
On a personal level, the Battle of Malta means a lot to me. I really strive for the integrity of poker tournaments. I've been working in poker for 10, 15, 10 years or more in live events so I do this with such passion. I'm very passionate about it. I live for this thing for a year. So finally when it happens it's really intense for me on a personal level and I love it every second of it. The complaints, the satisfaction but you know when I get this guy that satellited a package an X operator and then he takes a little bit of a struggle to come. Maybe he's never traveled to a tournament before and we sort of push him a little to "Come, come." And when they're finally here and they tell me, "This is the best time of my life," that is insta-satisfaction to me. That's the gratification my career brings me.