Freeroll Winner Mark Mattsson Takes on Battle of Malta 2012
Published on Nov 2012 by Pokerlistings
Mark Mattsson traveled all the way from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to play in the PokerListings.com battle of Malta and he got his entire trip for free thanks to HogWildPoker. BOM host Kara Scott finds out how Mattsson convinced his wife to let him take a poker trip on Thanksgiving.
At the 2014 Battle of Malta, PokerListings honored three very special poker players with the Spirit of Poker Awards. Dominik Panka, Thor Hansen and Shannon Shorr took the second-ever SOPA awards in the categories of Rising Star, Living Legend and Most Inspiring Player, respectively. Both Panka and Hansen were in Malta to receive the award but Shorr was unable to attend and sent in a video acceptance speech. Each player beat out a tough lineup of poker pro's and received more votes in order to win. Check out the video and watch Battle of Malta host Maria Ho present the awards, plus a few words from each of our winners.
Thor Hansen was a teenager when he took over his brother's stack in a poker game and went on his first heater. Now, over 50 years later he's been around the world and seen more of what the poker world is all about than almost anyone. Hansen received the Spirit of Poker Living Legend Award at the 2014 Battle of Malta and spoke candidly about one of the most epic and inspirational poker journeys ever. Starting in Oslo in the 1960s Hansen played in poker clubs, at the racetrack and even in the woods. “Poker came naturally to me. I was playing a little bit of pool and I was always into gambling. I went to the racetrack when I was seven years old,” said Hansen. “I never thought about what I was going to become. Poker just meant so much to me so quickly I never thought about anything else. I just wanted to play poker. So that's what I did.” In his 20s Hansen began travelling. He set a course for Las Vegas and on his first trip won a WSOP bracelet and did well in the cash games. Hansen talks about how, years later, he became close friends with poker legend Stuey Ungar and went on to play for Larry Flynt in his famous seven-card stud game in LA. Hansen is joined by Johnny Lodden, one of Norway's most successful poker players ever. Lodden talks about how Hansen was and continues to be an inspiration to poker players in Norway and beyond. Check out the full interview and keep watching PokerListings for poker player interviews, short documentaries and poker strategy video.
Our final tip in this series is to make friends with poker players that are better than you and discuss hands with them whenever you get the chance. We've interviewed thousands of professional poker players and when we ask them how they got better, this is the number one answer. If you're already part of a group of poker friends chances are you're already talking strategy, but if none of your friends are into it, it'll pay off to branch out a bit and make friends with some good poker players. And the good thing is, it doesn't even have to be in real life. There's a ton of strategy discussion on poker forums like two plus two, and you can take it one step further by joining a skype group with people who play the same stakes and games as you. Advice That's Right for You Books are a great resource for learning strong fundamentals and lots of of hard data but you can't always find out how to fix the mistakes YOU'RE making. When you're talking strategy with a good player you can address the exact spots that are giving you the most trouble. Usually a better player will have already encountered them and can give you great advice based on their experience. The advice will be even more useful if you're talking to someone who's already beat the games and stakes you're playing. Staking Deals and Support It's pretty common in poker for good players to invest time in teaching their friends, and even go on to stake them in tournaments or cash games. If your goal is to become a more serious poker player getting a staking deal and a poker mentor is one of the best things you can do. And if you want to make a living playing poker, it's really valuable to have a support network to get you through tough times and motivate you to keep working hard and playing your best. If everything goes according to plan, sometime down the road you'll be one giving a new player the benefit of your experience.
This year at the PokerListings Battle of Malta there was more than poker on the schedule. Two men met to settle years of bitter rivalry in the boxing ring, on the poker felt and on the chess board. Ken Lennáard is a well-known poker player and writer in Sweden and it was in the comment section of his blog that he first met Andreas Bergman. Harsh words followed, mostly from Bergman if you believe Lennáard's story, before Bergman suggested they meet face to face to put their beef to rest once and for all. We captured it on video and although it didn't pan out the way we hoped, the ending surprised us all. Check out the full short documentary to see the story unfold for yourself.
Two and a half years ago Alex Dreyfus bought the Global Poker Index with the intention of making it the worldwide standard for poker rankings. He now says he's accomplished that goal and is looking forward to making poker a mainstream sport. Dreyfus competed in the PokerListings Battle of Malta, the biggest poker event in Malta's history, and says the event's low buy-in and major-tournament feel are a key way poker brands can attract new players to the game. Dreyfus says it's a format that's largely missing from the European tournament scene but that globally it's actually the fastest-growing style of poker event. Dreyfus goes on to explain his new projects the Global Poker Masters and the Global Poker League, two new initiatives to make poker more marketable to a mainstream audience. Through both events Dreyfus hopes to create a system where the best poker players in the world don't have to buy-in to major events, but can instead compete for big prizes supported by team owners and advertising sponsors, similar to professional golf. Check out the full interview and stay tuned for more interviews and highlights from the 2014 Battle of Malta.
Jan Peter Jachtmann is a high-stakes poker player from Germany who specializes in Pot-Limit Omaha but he took a shot in No-Limit Hold'em at the 2014 PokerListings Battle of Malta. Jachtmann runs down the list of who he thinks are the best German PLO players, plus talks about the new season of German High Roller, the country's most successful televised high-stakes cash game. Jachtmann also discusses his print magazine POKERBLATT and it's future after PokerStars recently pulled their advertising purchases. Check out the full video and keep watching for more from the 2014 Battle of Malta.
PokerListings.com has been to poker tournaments all over the world but we've never seen an event with the passion and excitement on display at the 2014 Battle of Malta. It not only broke it's own record for the biggest poker tournament in Malta history, with 1,447 entries, it brought together hundreds and hundreds of amateur poker players from all over Europe and gave them a major international tournament experience at a buy-in that's accessible even to low-stakes players. BOM Host Maria Ho did an amazing job anchoring the videos and interacting with fans and players, and she's back for one final event recap video to show you everything the Battle of Malta has to offer. After four huge days of poker Bulgarian Antoan Katsarov made a heads-up deal with local Maltese poker player Alan Brincat that saw Katsarov take home €122,000 and a killer Battle of Malta trophy. Check out the video for the winner interview, tons of footage from the Main Event and side tournaments, plus an inside look at the BOM VIP Player Party that was definitely one of the best parties in the poker world. The Battle of Malta will be back next year, bigger and better than ever, and we hope to see you there.
The 2014 Battle of Malta was the biggest poker tournament Malta has ever seen and after four action-packed days of poker it was Bulgarian Antoan Katsarov edging out the local favourite Alan Brincat to take the title, the trophy and the first-place prize. The two fought it out until the casino's 5am hard-stop and since Katsarov had roughly 65 per cent of the chips he became the 2014 Battle of Malta champion. The top two prizes were chopped according to chip equity which worked out to €122,750 for Katsarov and €107,250 for Brincat. BOM Host Maria Ho was on hand to present both players with their trophies and bring you up to speed with the daily highlight video. Check that out for a quick wrap-up and keep an eye out for the full 2014 Battle of Malta recap video coming soon.
The Battle of Malta VIP Player Party was definitely not your average poker party. The vibe was electric, the women were beautiful and the drinks were flowing. Hundreds of poker players descended on The Villa at Le Meridien to relax after a few days of intense poker action, and the party did not disappoint. Check out our full VIP Party video for a taste of the action and keep it locked on PokerListings.com
Former EPT Champion Rupert Elder took a break from poker for almost a year but is back in action at the Battle of Malta and says he's more motivated than ever to crush on the felt. Elder has been living in Edinburgh just a few blocks from fellow poker pro Dominik Nitsche. During his time off Elder joined a table-tennis league but admits he mostly just shows up to tournaments and loses. Elder has earned almost $2 million playing live poker tournaments but says with its small buy-in the Battle of Malta reminds him of the tournaments he used to play when his career was just starting out. Elder says it's great to play an event where the emphasis is on fun but you can still win a massive prize. Check out the full interview and keep it locked on PokerListings.com for more video updates from the 2014 Battle of Malta.