Battle of Malta (BoM) Poker Festival

Back in 2012 the Battle of Malta began as just a single, 349-player freezeout in the basement of the Portomaso Casino in St. Julian's, Malta.

BoM2018 27

Today the Battle of Malta is a 9-event, multi-million Euro poker festival at Casino Malta that’s a fixture on the European poker circuit and a must-play stop for thousands of recreational and professional poker players from around the globe.

How has the Battle of Malta come so far in such a short time? Here's where to find out with our complete history of the Battle of Malta including:

  • Summaries of every event since 2012
  • Complete list of past winners and prize pools
  • Full archive of live hand updates from 2012-2018
  • Special Battle of Malta interviews, recaps and feature stories

To jump to a complete list of all past Battle of Malta Main Event winners, click the link below:

Check out our year-by-year summaries and related links by clicking on the links below:

Battle of Malta 2018 | Battle of Malta 2017 | Battle of Malta 2016 | Battle of Malta 2015 | Battle of Malta 2014 | Battle of Malta 2013 | Battle of Malta 2012

Battle of Malta 2018

Big changes came about for the 2018 Battle of Malta as earlier in the year the BoM brand and tournament was sold by PokerListings to the Eden Group, which runs and operates Casino Malta and the InterContinental Hotel Malta.


The venue was moved from the Hilton Malta to the massive Eden Arena in the InterContinental and the new space was much in demand.

With Casino Malta’s extensive partner casinos holding satellites throughout Europe and increased qualifiers running online, the Battle of Malta crushed its previous attendance records (and its new €1m guarantee) with 3,816 entrants.

The total prize pool for the Main Event soared to just under €2m with €300,000 originally reserved for the winner. After a 5-handed deal all five players walked away with €100,000+ including the eventual winner, France’s Julien Stropoli, who won €168,500.

Runner-up Maxime Canevet, also from France, took home the biggest share of the prize pool at €192,000.

New Host, New Stars

Long-time poker personality Laura Cornelius assumed the hosting duties for 2018 while a full live stream was run for every day of the tournament with hole cards and commentary added for the final table.

The annual Spirit of Poker Awards were discontinued but the pros and celebs still arrived in force. Included on the player sheets in 2018 were:

boris becker battle of malta
  • Patrik Antonius
  • Boris Becker
  • Ana Marquez
  • Espen Uhlen Jorstad
  • Anthony Gardner
  • Sofia Lovgren
  • Fernando Pons
  • Ivo Donev
  • Fabrice Soulier
  • Linni Meister

Also launched in 2018 was the first-ever Battle of Malta Ladies Event, sponsored by Lena Evans and her Poker League of Nations organization. The 2018 Battle of Malta final table and payouts:

1. Julien Stropoli fr €168,500
2. Maxime Canevet fr €192,000
3. Erik Ostergaard dk €139,500
4. Mantas Urbonas lt €121,500
5. Abdallah Fakhreddine lb €108,500
6. Andy Hills gb €53,000
7. Gustav Vadenbring se €41,000
8. Mateusz Moolhuizen nl €30,000
9. Jerry Mangum us €23,000

Watch the highlights from the final day below:

Battle of Malta 2017

Nadav Lipszyc winner battle of malta 2017

The 2017 Battle of Malta hit two remarkable milestones:

  • 2,000 entrants for the Main Event
  • €1 million prize pool for the Main Event

After 2016’s steady but static attendance expectations were modest for hitting the 2,000-entries mark in 2017 but the Main Event in fact eclipsed it fairly easily at 2,074 total entries.

Despite still having just its original €550 buy-in and a €500,000 guarantee the prize pool doubled to €1,005,890 and was the largest in BoM Main Event history.

As is fitting for the BoM, which puts such an emphasis on recreational players, Israeli farmer Nadav Lipsyzc stormed to the victory in his first-ever live tournament. Suggesting he might have “channeled Daniel Negreanu,” Lipsyzc refused to mkae a deal at the final table and walked away with the entire €200,000 first-place prize.

Four Israelis made the final table - all who came to the event on the same charter flight! Sweden’s Jonas Hähnert also made BoM history by becoming the first player to final table the BoM Main Event in back-to-back years. He finished ninth in 2016 and one better in eighth in 2017.

The official Battle of Malta 2017 final table and payouts:

jonas hahnert bom 2017
Jonas Hähnert
1. Nadav Lipszyc il €200,000
2. Yaron Borenstein il €132,000
3. Asbjørn Elvevold no €98,000
4. Joakim Wickström se €74,000
5. Avihai Benshoham il €52,000
6. Per-Eirik Koi no €34,000
7. Dor Adda il €24,000
8. Jonas Hähnert se €16,300
9. Fredrik Akerholt no €12,240

New Host Gaëlle Garcia Diaz

French TV presenter and model Gaëlle Garcia Diaz took over the hosting duties and also played the Main Event but didn’t make the money.  The final table was live streamed in its entirety with hole cards and commentary provided by Garcia Diaz and a rotating group of guests.

Eight side events in total were played at the 2017 Battle of Malta festival with over €400,000 paid out in prize pools. The fifth (and final) edition of the Spirit of Poker Awards were also awarded at the 2017 Battle of Malta. The winners were:

  • Living Legend: Per Hildebrand
  • Rising Star: Espen Uhlen Jorstad
  • Most Inspiring Player – Liv Boeree

Watch the interview and recap with the winner below:

Battle of Malta 2016

For the first time since its humble beginnings in 2012 the Battle of Malta levelled off slightly in 2016 although it still broke its own record for biggest ever poker tournament in Malta.

robert berglund battle of malta 2016

With 1,813 entrants it was only slightly larger than the 2015 Main Event but the growing schedule of side events blew away all previous records. Just under €1.3 million was paid out across all events, setting another record.

One of the best stories of the BoM’s history played out in 2016 with two best friends from Sweden battling it out at the final table.

Robert Berglund and Rasmus Eriksson are from a small town (Falun) in Sweden and made their way to BoM together to share the experience. They got that experience and more when they finished 1st and 3rd, respectively.

Berglund took home the title and the biggest BoM payout to that date at €160,000 while Eriksson took home €67,000. Ireland's John Finnigan Linkins was second for €110,000

As part of a bet the two Swedes made before the tournament, Eriksson had to get a tattoo of a Swedish horse for busting first. 

The full final table and payouts from Battle of Malta Main Event 2016:

BOM2016 69
1. Robert Berglund se €160,000
2. John Finnigan Linkins ie €110,000
3. Rasmus Eriksson se €67,000
4. Gonzalo Pro Fernandez es €56,000
5. Lawrence Brandt us €46,500
6. Flaviano Cammisuli it €37,500
7. Robert Sverre Eik no €29,000
8. Giorgio Ligasacchi it €21,400
9. Jonas Hähnert se €14,540

First-Ever BoM Live Stream

Introduced for the first time at the 2016 Battle of Malta was a full live stream with commentary for the final table. Hosted by Roland Boothby and Rikard Åberg with a rotating stream of guests, the stream covered all 5 hours of the final table live.

battle of malta live stream

Attendance was consistent with the year before and so was the star power as dozens of pros and celebrities again turned up to play. Included among them:

  • Leo Margets
  • Fernando Pons
  • Konstantin Puchkov
  • Amanada Harkimo
  • Petter Katastrofe
  • Fabrice Soulier
  • Salvatore Bonavena
  • Silje Nilsen

Poker pro Maria Ho hosted the event again for her third time. The fourth annual Spirit of Poker Awards, which recognize contributions to the game beyond just big tournament results, were awarded as follows:

  • Living Legend: Konstantin Puchkov
  • Rising Star: Silje Nilsen
  • Most Inspiring Player: Felipe Ramos

Watch the final highlight video below:

Battle of Malta 2015

The 2015 Battle of Malta continued the trend of perpetual record-breaking with another big leap. Not only did it again break the all-time record for biggest poker tournament on Malta it crossed the 1,800-player mark for the first time, finishing with 1,804 entries.

Nicolas Proust battle of malta champ

That made for an €875,000 prize pool (smashing the €500k guarantee again) and six-figure payouts for the top 3 finishers.

France’s Nicolas Proust was the last man standing this time and took home €110,000. Hendrik Koops, the third-place finisher, had the largest payout at €125,000 after a three-handed deal.

Norway's Henrik Jacobsen finished 2nd for €102,000.

Well known online high-stakes poker pro Carlo van Ravenswoud (Ravenswood13) finished 5th.

Five side events were played including the Siege of Malta Second Chance, a Deepstack Turbo, the PLO Knight's Crusade, the Grandmaster High Roller and the Win the Button.

The 2015 Battle of Malta was again nominated for a European Poker Award in the Best Poker Tournament Under 2k Buy-in category.

The full final table results and payouts for Battle of Malta Main Event 2015:

1. Nicolas Proust fr €110,000
2. Henrik Jacobsen no €102,000
3. Hendrik Koops nl €125,000
4. Uri Gilboa il €54,400
5. Carlo van Ravenswoud nl €41,300
6. Anders Kvam no €29,500
7. Paolo Palmieri it €21,800
8. Dimitar Aleksandrov bg €17,200
9. Guiseppe Grimaldi it €13,350
William Hung battle of malta

Celebs Can't Stay Away

The tournament was again played upstairs in the Grandmaster Ballroom at the Hilton while the final table was played below in the casino. Host Maria Ho returned for her second time. 

A raft of poker pros and celebrities were in the field for the BoM Main Event again in 2015 with notables being:

  • American Idol legend William Hung
  • Finnish model/singer Kim Herold
  • Dutch Field Hockey star Fatima Moreira de Melo
  • Tennis pro Raemon Sluiter
  • Norwegian TV star Tone Damli
  • Italian reality TV star Sabina Hiatullah

The list of established poker pros that attended was long and esteemed, headlined by:

Humberto Brenes BOM 2015
  • Humberto Brenes
  • Anatoly Filatov
  • Felix Stephensen
  • Silje Nilsen
  • Thor Hansen
  • Luca Moschitta
  • Fabrice Soulier
  • Valentin Messina
  • Claire Renaut
  • Jackie Cachia

The third annual Spirit of Poker Awards were awarded as follows: 

  • Living Legend: Humberto Brenes
  • Rising Star: Charlie Carrel
  • Most Inspiring Player – Anatoly Filatov

Watch the final highlight video from the 2015 Battle of Malta below:

Battle of Malta 2014

With the stakes now definitely raised from 2013 and a clear sign the demand for a low buy-in, recreational-centric poker tournament was almost bottomless, the Battle of Malta 2014 was again a record-breaker.

Antoan Katsarov Alan Brincat

Several notable firsts came at the 2014 Battle of Malta including:

  • Four additional side events
  • Over 30 professional players took part
  • New Host Maria Ho
  • A new €500,000 guarantee for the Main Event
  • First six-figure payouts
  • First time played in the Grandmaster Ballroom

The extra space of the larger ballroom upstairs from the Portomaso Casino was very much needed as the 1,447 entries smashed the previous record for biggest poker tournament ever held on Malta. The two finalists – Bulgarian Antoan Katsarov and Malta’s Alan James Brincat – both earned six-figure paydays.

The two played the longest heads-up final to date and actually hit the hard stop of the casino’s 5 am closing time. They split the remaining prize pool according to chip counts. Katsarov claimed the title as the chip leader at the time and took home the now iconic BoM Main Event trophy.

Full results and payouts for the 2014 Battle of Malta Main Event final table:

Battle of Malta 20141106 99
1. Antoan Katsarov bg €122,750
2. Alan James Brincat mt €107,250
3. Pär Ebenhardt se €53,000
4. Oskar Szwed pl €42,500
5. Hugo Lemaire fr €32,000
6. Declan Connolly ie €23,000
7. Pontus Dargren se €16,095
8. Johan Krans se €12,100
9. Wouter Beumers nl €9,100

First European Poker Award

The 2014 Battle of Malta also won the European Poker Award that year for Best Poker Tournament Under 2k Buy-in. Among the notable professional players in attendance at BoM that year included: 

Johnny Lodden
  • Johnny Lodden
  • Dominik Nitsche
  • Thor Hansen
  • Leo Margets
  • Dominik Panka
  • Luca Pagano
  • Gaëlle Garcia Diaz
  • Konstantin Puchkov
  • Rupert Elder
  • Dermot Blain
  • Fabrice Soulier
  • Luca Moschitta
  • Sofia Lövgren

The second annual Spirit of Poker Awards were handed out as well as follows:

  • Living Legend: Thor Hansen
  • Rising Star: Dominik Panka
  • Most Inspiring Player – Shannon Shorr

Watch the final highlight video from the Battle of Malta 2014 below:

Battle of Malta 2013

Building on the modest success of 2012, the 2013 Battle of Malta aimed even higher with popular poker personality and ESPN reporter Kara Scott brought back as the Battle of Malta host.

Louis Cartarius Battle of Malta winner

Poker pros including Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Naoya Kihara, Pierre Neuville, Ashton Griffin, Johannes Strassmann, Sam Holden, Giovanni Rizzo, Sofia Lövgren and Andreas Hoivold, among others, were brought on board to help add some cachet value.

It worked. The Battle of Malta main event drew an impressive 888 entries to jack the prize pool up close to a half-million Euros (more than double the €200k guarantee) and made the wider poker market around Europe sit up and take notice.

Semi-pro player Louis Cartarius from Germany took home €68,000 after a deal (the top prize was €80,000, originally) and the BoM had built some serious momentum for the years to come. Local Maltese player Konrad Abela finished 2nd.

The final-table results and payouts from the 2013 Battle of Malta Main Event:

Dan "Jungleman" Swims with Dolphins
1. Louis Cartarius de €80,000
2. Konrad Abela mt €52,000
3. Ambjørn Haga no €32,000
4. Arthur Popov pl €23,630
5. Lauri Pesonen fi €19,000
6. Alessandro de Ioco it €15,000
7. Sonny La england €12,000
8. Guiseppe Polichetti it €9,500
9. Daniel Lucasz hu €7,300

Biggest Poker Tournament Ever on Malta

Among the other additions for the 2013 Battle of Malta included the wild and fun-loving Dudesons from Finland as celebrity guests, an equally wild VIP party and plenty more celebrity guests.

Pierre Neuville

The 888 entries in the Main Event set a record for the biggest-ever poker tournament ever held on Malta – a record the BoM has gone on to surpass every single year after.

The first annual Spirit of Poker Awards, which aimed to recognize poker players who contributed much more to the game than just tournament victories, were also handed out in three categories.

The first-ever recipients, who were on hand to receive their awards in a live ceremony at the 2013 Battle of Malta, were:

  • Living Legend: Pierre Neuville
  • Rising Star: Luca Moschitta
  • Most Inspiring Player – Naoya Kihara

Watch the wrap-up video from the 2013 Battle of Malta below:

Battle of Malta 2012

The first-ever Battle of Malta was, really, a shot in the dark. With plenty of poker festivals around Europe for the professional player, including the tour-de-forces of the European Poker Tour and WSOP Europe, it was hard to see a one-off, low buy-in tournament in Malta in November finding its footing.

Nicodemo Piccolo first battle of malta winner

As it turns out the Battle of Malta’s €550 Main Event – the same buy-in it still offers – was a much needed sweet spot to hit a growing group of recreational poker players that found the atmosphere at the big events a bit too stifling for their liking.

They wanted to play poker, and maybe win a nice take home prize, sure. But they also wanted to have a good time, share some laughs with fellow poker enthusiasts and relax in the sunshine of one of Europe’s most scenic destinations.

So the Battle of Malta was born and, despite some last-minute fears of a minuscule crowd, it did well.

A burgeoning local poker community fuelled by the expanding iGaming industry and the convenience of being so close to Sicily helped, and 349 players came through the doors to battle it out for the first-ever BoM crown.

Popular poker personality Kara Scott was brought in to host and a few notable pros, including WSOP Main Event Last Woman Standing Gaëlle Baumann, came along too.

Retired Italian doctor Nicodemo Piccolo won the event for €35,000 over runner-up, fellow Italian Giulio Astarita, but, more importantly, the seeds were planted for what might be the future for poker in Malta.

Final table results and payouts from 2012 Battle of Malta:

Dan Jungleman Cates at 2012 Battle of Malta
1. Nicodemo Piccolo it €35,000
2. Giulio Astarita it €22,300
3. Luca Capostagno it €15,700
4. Roger Hardy ca €12,200
5. Christian Bergström se €9,100
6. Puk Nabuurs nl €7,100
7. Daniel Dalsborg no €5,500
8. Christopher Kiefert england €4,600
9. Alessandro Barone it €3,900

Watch the final highlight video from the first-ever Battle of Malta below:

All Past Battle of Malta Main Event Winners

Below find a list of all past Battle of Malta Main Event winners from 2012-present.

Listed are the number of players in the Main Event, the total prize pool, the winner, the second-place finisher and the final hands:

2018  3,816 €1,850,760Julien Stropoli fr vs. fr Maxime Canevet5 3 vs. K K

2017  2,074 €1,005,890Nadav Lipszyc il vs. il Yaron Borenstein4 4 vs. A 4

2016  1,813 €879,305Robert Berglund se vs. ie John Finnigan LinkinsJ 10 vs. A 5

2015  1,804 €874,940Nicolas Proust fr vs. no Henrik JacobsenA K vs. A 2

2014  1,447 €701,795Antoan Katsarov bg vs. mt Alan James BrincatA 8 vs. A 5

2013  888 €430,680Louis Cartarius de vs. mt Konrad AbelaA Q vs. A J

2012  349 €169,265Nicodemo Piccolo it vs. it Giulio AstaritaA Q vs. A 9



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