2015 Battle of Malta Draws 300+ Players on Day 1a

Felix Stephensen came to play.

The Battle of Malta — Europe’s leading stand-alone tournament — kicked off today in dramatic fashion.

Maria Ho provided the traditional shuffle up and deal with Maltese knights in her entourage.

A total of 305 players joined the action on Day 1A of the 2015 Battle of Malta. That’s just under the total number of players in the WSOPE main event in Berlin.

Twelve levels were played and when the dust settled at around 1:00 a.m. Ninety-eight of them made it into Day 2.

Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts to end the day:

1. Alexander Kosholap - 213700
Linus Loeliger - 200000

3. Rasmus Ericson - 176900

3. Mateuz Moolhuizen - 176000

4. Alexis Urli - 169600
Jacki Cachia - 169400

6. Alexandre Bey - 159800

7. Bernardo Cucio - 148600
Claudio Pagano - 141500

9. Sesay Sulaiman - 140000
10. Alan Gilmore - 133600

Felix Stephensen, Sabina Hiatullah Make Day 2

Humberto Brenes BOM 2015 7
The Chaaark was in the house.

Day 1a attracted notable pros like Fabrice Soulier, WSOP runner-up Felix Stephensen, Humberto Brenes, Andreas Hoivold, Sofia Lövgren, Anatoly Filatov and Sabina Hiatullah.

Most of them didn’t actually make it through, however. They will have to give it another try tomorrow, as the BOM allows every player one re-entry.

Brenes was the first of the pros to fall but he took it with the grandeur of a true poker gentleman, wishing everybody good luck and saying “see you tomorrow," which means there’s a very good chance he fires another bullet.

Andreas Hoivold and Fabrice Soulier had proper rollercoaster rides but also busted before the chips were bagged.

Sofia Lövgren and Anatoly Filatov got hit by the poker gods when they suffered bad beats and got busted in terrible fashion.

Felix Stephensen ended the day with a stack of 30,800 chips, which puts him at the bottom of the leaderboard, while Sabina Hiatullah finished only a little above that with 40k.

Kosholap Charges Hard on Day 1a

Alexander Kosholap

Our first chipleader at the BOM 2015 is Alexander Kosholap who managed to accumulate 213,700 chips, which will surely make him one of the top contenders in Day 2 no matter what happens on the other two starting days.

The only other player who finished the day with 200,000 chips (exactly) is Linus Loeliger from Switzerland, who had his first and only live tournament cash yet at the IPT Malta last March.

Last year, we had over 500 players on the first starting day but with an additional starting day this year there’s a good chance the final numbers will trump the record 1,447 total entries in 2014.

The second-to-last satellite for the Main Event was also running today, with a staggering 278 players taking part.

Seats Still Up for Grabs in Last Live Satellite

There will be one more satellite on Thursday evening at 9 PM. Use your chance to get a main event ticket – or maybe even a second one that you can sell to one of the unlucky poker fans who didn’t manage to get a seat.

If you’re still thinking of playing the Battle of Malta, make sure to take your seat tomorrow on day 1B, because the third starting day might be sold out.

There’s a good chance many of the busted poker pros will be back tomorrow. Maria Ho and American Idol legend William Hung are also going to play.

Day 1b begins at 2PM tomorrow and PokerListings is going to guide you through the whole day with live updates and videos.

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