Battle of Malta 2015 Live Coverage

2015 Battle of Malta Main Event | Live Updates & Results - Day 4

2015 BOM Smashes Records, Wins Hearts, Pays Out €874,940


It came in with a blaze of glory, and it went out with a blaze of glory.

The 2015 Battle of Malta kicked off five days ago with a cadre of armored knights escorting host Maria Hointo the tournament room to announce the shuffle up and deal.

It ended about 30 minutes ago in the corner of the Portomaso Casino with a multi-national (and talented) final table, a raucous rail and three players walking away with over €100,000 scores - for a €550 buy-in tournament!

Needless to say, it was a blast from beginning to end. With 1,804 entries it again smashed its own record for biggest tournament on the island of Malta. With an eye-opening €874,940 prize pool, it also smashed its €500,000 guarantee.

First-prize was pegged at €165,000 but after a three-handed deal between Nicolas ProustHenrik Jacobsen and Hendrik Koops, all three walked away with over €100,000 - Koops with €125k, Proust with €110k and Jacobsen with €102 - the exact prize 2nd-place was supposed to pay.

The 29-year-old tennis coach who's taking some time off to explore poker for a year is a fitting champ for a tournament aimed at melding the amateur and professional worlds for the most fun and passionate tournament possible.

Mission accomplished.

It would take another few hours to run through all of the names and faces that made the 2015 Battle of Malta the most memorable yet, from Tournament Coordinator Ivonne Montealegre to our genrous sponsors 888poker, NordicBet, BEtsson, Betsafe, RedBet and more, to all of the Portomaso staff and the amazing dealers.

Host Maria Ho also deserves special recognition for her indomitable spirit and infectious personality as do all of the amazing pros who took time out of their schedule to share the BOM experience.

Humberto BrenesAnatoly FilatovFatima Moreira de MeloFabrice SoulierAndreas HoivoldFelix StephensenWilliam HungKen Lennaard and Sabina Hiatullah were just a few.

Read below for all of the day's action and check our new section for a full recap. See you next year!

Maria Ho Recaps Action-Packed BOM 2015

Level 37 Blinds 400000/800000 Ante 10000 Players Left 1 Tables Left 1

C'est Fini! Nicolas Proust Wins the 2015 Battle of Malta! (€110,000)


Of the three finalists left in the Battle of Malta main event, Nicolas Proust will actually take home the second-biggest share of the prize pool at €110,000.

By the look of his smile, and the raucous celebration from his friends on the rail after he finished things off, he's not the slightest bit concerned with that.

He will, however, take home the biggest trophy.

The 29-year-old former tennis coach from France is now etched in the Maltese history books for claiming the title at the biggest live poker tournament ever held on Malta.

When all was said and done Proust outlasted 1,803 other runners, navigated four treacherous days of tournament play and outlived a final table that included one of the top high-stakes poker players in the world.

By any stretch of the imagination it's a magnificent accomplishment.

Congratulations to Nicolas! Full recap of the day to follow!


Level 37 Blinds 400000/800000 Ante 10000 Players Left 1 Tables Left 1

Henrik Jacobsen Out in 2nd (€102,000)


From the button Henrik Jacobsen went all-in for roughly 13m chips with A♦ 2♦.

Proust had a really easy call with A♥ K♠.

The board came down Q♥ Q♣ T♠ K♣ 6♣.

The pot, the biggest trophy and the extra €10k go to Nicholas Proust.

Level 37 Blinds 400000/800000 Ante 10000 Players Left1 Tables Left 1

Proust Puts the Hammer Down

Sacre bleu

Sacre bleu

More chips in the stack of Nicolas Proust.

Jacobsen opens for 1.56m in the big blind. Proust calls

Flop: 8♥ 2♥ 2♥

Proust checks. Jacobsen bets 1.3m

Proust calls. Turn: 8♣. Check/check.

River: K♠

Proust bets 4.6m and wins the pot.

Level 37 Blinds 400000/800000 Ante 10000 Players Left 2 Tables Left 1

Momentum Swings to Proust

Man on fire.

Man on fire.

Over the last few hands Nicolas Proust managed to win some small pots and take the chip lead with 24m to 21m chips.

He then extended his lead.

In a limped pot on a K♠ 6♠ 4♣ flop Henrik Jacobsen bet 1m and Proust raised to 2.3m.

After Jacobsen called the turn fell 4♥ and Proust fired a bigger 3.4m bet.

To this Jacobsen folded and now it’s 28m to 17m chips.

With only 56 big blinds in play we will most likely see a decision here sooner than later.

Level 37 Blinds 400000/800000 Ante 10000 Players Left 2 Tables Left 1

Proust Doubles First Hand!


On the very first hand of the heads-up play, Nicolas Proust doubled up

He moved all-in from the small blind with 4♣ 4♦and Jacobsen called with K♠ J♣.

Board: 3♠ Q♦ 9♦ 8♦ 8♠.

And just like that Proust doubles to 20m chips.

We have an even match now with both players having over 30 big blinds.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000

Jacobsen v. Proust


We're heads-up for the 2015 Battle of Malta main event title!

After the surprising elimination of Hendrik Koops it's Norway's Henrik Jacobsen vs. France's Nicolas Prosut for the title and extra 10k.

Chip counts as we being heads-up:

Henrik Jacobsen: 35m

Nicolas Proust: 10m

Also: it’s now certain that the winner of BOM will receive less prize money than the third-place finisher.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 2 Tables Left 1

Jacobsen Knocks Out Koops in 3rd (€125,000)


In a surprising turn of events our former chip leader Hendrik Koops is out of the tournament.

Jacobsen made a standard raise from the button and Koops re-raised from the big blind.

Jacobsen shoved and Koops decided to make the call.

The players flipped over their hands:

Koops: J♠ T♥

Jacobsen: Q♠ J♣

The board ran out K♦ K♣ T♦ 4♠ Q♥ and Koops was suddenly on the rail and likely very happy he made that three-way deal.

Thanks to the deal Koops will take home €125k, which will still be the biggest payout of the tournament.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 2 Tables Left 1

Henrik Jacobsen Claims the Chip Lead!


In an enormous pot the Norwegian Henrik Jacobsen just claimed the chiplead.

He re-raised over Hendrik Koops' open-raise from the small blind to 3.2m and followed through with a 4m c-bet on a A♠ 5♠ 3♦ flop.

Koops called.

On the 6♣ turn Jacobsen moved all-in for 9m more without even blinking. Koops foolded as fast.

Jacobsen is up to 20m now and our new chip leader.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Proust Dodges Tournament-Ending Bullet

He will survive.

He will survive.

Nicolas Proust is a survivor.

His latest trick was to escape a seemingly disastrous all-in against Hendrik Koops.

Proust open shoved for 4.5m from the button and Koops called from the small blind in short order.

Henrik Jacobsen seriously considered calling from the big blind but eventually threw his hand in the muck.

Proust flipped over A♥ 2♣, which was crushed by Koops’ A♦ T♦.

The board ran out J♣ 6♥ 4♥ J♠… 2♥!

Proust doubles up to 10 million while Koops falls to 15m.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Jacobsen Rivers Straight


Now there’s a biggish pot:

French player Nicolas Proust defends his big blind against Henrik Jacobsen's min raise.

Flop and turn go check/check and on the river the board reads J♣ T♣ 3♣ Q♦ A♠.

Jacobsen brings a delayed, delayed c-bet and fires 1.25m. Proust raises rather quickly to 3.6m and as quickly Jacobsen makes the call.

The Swede turns over K♠ 2♦ for a rivered straight and he scoops this 9m pot. Proust is down to 3m now.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Counts Remain the Same

We'd want one, too.

We'd want one, too.

Not much movement in the counts after the deal:

Hendrik Koops: 20,000,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 13,000,000
Nicolas Proust: 11,500,000

The players are clinging to their chips like to their life. Our (really beautiful) trophies and the 10k for the winner are still up for grabs and it seems like the three aren’t giving up anything for free.

So we're seeing some slow hands, small pots and not much in terms of chip movement.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Play Goes Into Limit Mode

Drop it like it's Limit.

Drop it like it's Limit.

After the deal the action has been rather slow with some min raises and folds all around.

Nevertheless, there are still 75 big blinds in play meaning there’s quite some wiggle room for the players.

We just witnessed Nicolas Proust and Henrik Jacobsen battle out a limit-like hand.

Jacobsen opened to 1m (min raise) and Proust re-raised from the small blind to 1.5m (min-3-bet).

Flop: 3♦ 3♣ 5♦

Proust bet 1.6m and Jacobsen called.

Turn: 7♦. Now Proust checked and it was Jacobsen's turn to fire a small bet.

He shoved 1m over the line, less than one-sixth of the pot. The tiny bet was enough to persuade Proust to fold.

Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Business Class or Private Jet for Jacobsen?

Better ask Henrik
Better ask Henrik

We mentioned earlier that Henrik Jacobsen and his friend Mats Engeberg had to miss out on their flight back to Norway yesterday after making it far in the tournament.

This turned out to be a good decision as Jacobsen has now secured himself at least €102,000.

The tickets have not been booked yet so we asked Engeberg if they will be returning to Norway on business class or by private jet.

"A private jet sounds cool, but you better ask Henrik," Engeberg says with a smile. Level 36 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

We Have a Deal!

You get 100k, and you get 100k and you get 100k!

You get 100k, and you get 100k and you get 100k!

The three remaining players have agreed to a deal.

Here are the numbers:

Hendrik Koops: €125k
Henrik Jacobsen: €102k
Nicholas Proust: €100k

Left to play for: €10k

Cards are back in the air and they're battling it out for the extra cash, the trophies and the glory of becoming the 2015 battle of Malta Main Event champ!Level35Blinds250000/500000Ante50000Players Left3Tables Left1

Working Out a Deal

Goodbye yellow chip road.

Goodbye yellow chip road.

The clock is stopped right now while the three remaining players - Hendrik KoopsHenrik Jacobsen and Nicolas Proust - discuss a deal.

Koops, who's been dominating the final table, is looking to get the lion's share.

Proust told us he already knows Koops a bit from seeing him play here in Malta, especially in Omaha.

"Koops and his brother are good players," he says.

By the way the yellow 5k chips that accompanied us through the tournament from Day 1 were just removed from play.

They've been replaced with grey 100k chips. (20 yellows for one grey, that is.)

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Players of BOM: Uri Gilboa

Back in the office tomorrow at 8:30

Back in the office tomorrow at 8:30

Uri was on that special plane full of players that flew in from Tel Aviv.

He was chipleader for most of the time yesterday and he had the loudest crowd at the rails.

Accordingly, his evaluation of the Battle of Malta is thoroughly positive.

“I’m very happy with how I played here. Today, I just didn’t get any cards. I only had one pocket pair, jacks, and they lost to king-queen.

“With a little more quality hands I could have made it to the top three, which would have been nice because of the lovely trophies they hand out here.

“But never mind. It was a fantastic time and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now I’m going to board the next plane as tomorrow morning at 8:30 I’ll be back in the office.

"I will hopefully see you all again next year.”

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000

Players of BOM: Carlo van Ravenswoud

Carlo van Ravenswoud 3341

Carlo is a well-known online pro and you’d think that a €550 tournament is a little too low for him. But there were other incentives.

“I have a whole group of friends with me and they were all playing in the event, so I jumped in, too.

"Also things were going a bit downhill for me lately, so I was looking for some tournament with a lower buy-in."

It looks like Carlo’s luck has turned as he’s now taking €41,300 out of the prize pool. Carlo is from Holland but now lives in Malta so the Portomaso is kind of home turf for him.

We asked him for his professional opinion of the BOM.

“I think the first two days the tournament was very good. There was a lot of play and a lot of room to maneuver. But in the end it turned a little bit into a crap shot.

“Still, it’s been pretty good for me, finishing in fifth place.”

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

No More Pay Jumps for Uri Gilboa; Out 4th (€54,500)


The chronically short stacked Uri Gilboa, who definitely had the loudest rail in the tourney, just busted.

He moved all-in with A♦ 4♦ for less than 3 big blinds. Henrik Jacobsen called with K♦ 6♦.

The board fell 7♦ 5♣ 3♣ 7♣ 4♣.

The dealer was about to send the pot Gilboa's way until the tournament director informed her Jacobson actually made a straight.

With a big cheer from the rail Gilboa made his way to the exit, having earned €54,500

The remaining players are on a short break and will come back to the following counts:

Hendrik Koops: 20,000,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 13,000,000
Nicolas Proust: 12,000,000

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3 Tables Left 1

Players of BOM: Anders Gran Kvam


Anders is a football coach in Norway, but he sure stood his ground on the green felt, too.

“This was only my second live tournament after the Norwegian Championships in Dublin, so I should be very happy.

“However, I’m disappointed now that I only finished in sixth.

“I have a whole football club at home that I coach sitting there and following the live blog. They say they don’t even understand how I made it this far.

“I will come back next year and try to do better.”

In the meantime, he'll take €29,500 back to Northern Europe.

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 4 Tables Left 1

Carlo van Ravenswoud out in 5th (€41,300)

Carlo van Ravenswoud 3341

Henrik Jacobsen moved all-in from the button with Q♣ T♠ and Ravenswoud called with T♥ T♦.

Jacobsen looked a bit uneasy, being a 30-70 dog, but the board fell J♠ J♣ 8♣ 3♣ 9♠ to give Jacobsen the pot.

The loudest cheerer?

Again Uri Gilboa, who made yet another pay jump.

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 4 Tables Left 1

Koops' Relentless Shoving Reels in Kvam; Out 6th (€29,500)


Hendrik Koops is becoming a serious bully at the final table.

He’s been frequently open-shoving from late position to put the short stacks to a serious test. It finally claimed the tournament life of Anders Gran Kvam.

Koops once again shoved - this time from the button - and Kvam decided to call from the small blind. Henrik Jacobsen quickly got out of the way and the cards were on their backs:

Koops: A♦ 3♠

Gran Kvam: Q♦ J♣

The board ran out K♠ 7♥ 5♦ 7♠ A♥ to eliminate Gran Kvam in sixth place for €29,500.

After the hand Koops was up to 17m chips again.

Uri Gilboa, who wasn’t involved in the hand, let out a victorious cheer to celebrate surviving to another pay jump.

Kvam will return to his football club, Holden IF, in Norway with €29,500 to spread around.Level35Blinds250000/500000Ante50000

Players of BOM: Paolo Palmieri

palmieri FT2

Paolo is a professional player, so we thought we’d ask him if he found it easy to surge through the Battle of Malta all the way to the final table.

“It’s never easy to reach the final of a live event. There are quite a few players, especially from Northern Europe who I know from other tournaments, and they’re very good.

“Actually, any time I play outside Italy, the level is significantly higher.

“It’s a bit of a pity that the final table is mostly push or fold, but I’m very happy with this result considering I shouldn’t even be here.

"A friend of mine won a tournament package on Planet365 but couldn’t come. He asked another friend to go, but he couldn’t either. So I was number three in line.

"We contacted the provider and they allowed the transfer, but when I started playing it was still my friend’s name on the player list.”

"This is actually the second time I’m playing for someone else and the first time I just missed the final table. Seems I play my best when I don’t even plan to go somewhere.

“All in all, I had a great time here. I have no regrets.”

Thanks, Paolo. And enjoy the €21,800 for your efforts. Obviously our advice is to not plan to come back next year!

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Gilboa Doubles Back


The next shorty, former chip leader Uri Gilboa, also went all-in, but he had more luck than Palmieri.

Gilboa moved all-in from the small blind with K-T for 4 big blinds.

Hendrik Koops called with seven-four (those odds, though!).

The board didn’t improve either hand and thus Gilboa doubled up to roughly 4m chips now.

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 6 Tables Left 1

Paolo Palmieri Out in 7th (€21,800)


Two hands into the new blind level, Paolo Palmieri is out.

He was down to less than 3 big blinds and moved all-in with A♥ Q♥.

Nicolas Proust called in the big blind with Q♠ Q♣.

The board fell K♦ 4♣ 2♣ Q♦ 5♠ to give the Frenchman a set.

Palmieri didn’t play too many hands at this final tablebut he'll take home a tidy €21,800.

Level 35 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 6 Tables Left 1

5-Minute Break; Level Up

Hanging with Mr. Koopser

Hanging with Mr. Koopser

Players are on a quick 5 minute break.

Here's how they'll stack up when they return to blinds of 250k/500k with a 50k ante.

Hendrik Koops: 17,000,000
Nicolas Proust: 10,000,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 7,600,000
Anders Gran Kvam: 3,000,000
Carlo van Ravenswoud: 3,000,000
Uri Gilboa: 2,000,000
Paolo Palmieri: 1,400,000

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

Proust Nails Double Up



French poker pro Nicolas Proust refuses to go away and has suddenly catapulted into a big stack after a recent hand.

Proust open shoved for 4.9 million chips from UTG and Uri Gilboa snap-called from UTG+1.

Action folded around the table and the players flipped their cards:

Gilboa: J♣ J♥

Proust: K♣ Q♣

The flop was good to Gilboa when it came T♣ 9♠ 3♠ but the Q♥ turn certainly wasn’t. The T♦ river sealed the win for Proust.

After the hand Proust was up to nearly 10m chips.

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

Gilboa Pushes Back

Ain't afraid of no Koops.

Ain't afraid of no Koops.

Hendrik Koops is applying pressure at the final table with his huge stack but Israeli player Uri Gilboa just pressured back.

Gilboa opened up to 800k (min-raise) from early position and Koops reraised to 1.6m.

Anders Kvam in the small blind seriously contemplated a move himself, but eventually folded.

Gilboa called the reraise and moved all-in on a Q♥6♠ 2♠ flop for 2.9m.

Koops moaned a bit but folded after a couple minutes.

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

Players of BOM: Dimitar Aleksandrov

Dimitar Aleksandrov 3023

Bulgarian Dimitar Aleksandrov started the final table with a decent stack, but couldn’t get anything going.

“I lost a few pots, while the short stacks kept doubling up. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

"Then I got pretty short and it was push or fold, but it’s been like that for the last couple of levels.

“I didn’t really get any cards, so I just got shorter and shorter.

“I pushed with K-2 and got called by the chip leader with A-7. Didn’t hit anything so it’s back to Bulgaria for me tomorrow.

"It’s been a great tournament for me, though, and I’d like to come back for the next Battle.”

Chip Counts


Some new counts as we near the end of Level 34:

Hendrik Koops: 21,000,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 7,000,000
Nicolas Proust: 4,600,000
Anders Gran Kvam: 4,500,000
Uri Gilboa: 3,700,000
Carlo van Ravenswoud: 3,500,000
Paolo Palmieri: 2,500,000Level34

Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

Dimitar Aleksandrov Out in 8th (€17,200)


Bulgarian player Dimitar Aleksandrov wasn’t active over the course of this final table and eventually found his demise when he moved all-in from late position with K♠ 2♣ for 8 big blinds.

Hendrik Koops shoved all-in on the button with A♥ 7♠ and the blinds got out of the way.

Since Koops is running like Koops (i.e. hot) he won this all-in with the board falling 4♣ 7♦ 6♥ T♠ 3♦.

Aleksandrov exits in 8th place and returns home to Sofia with €17,200.

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

Allez! Proust Doubles to 4.9m



Allez les Bleus!

The first all-in and a call after the break:

Nicolas Proust moved all-in from late position with threes and Uri Gilboa called with ace-ten.

The board didn’t improve Gilboa's hand and Proust doubled up to 4.9m.

A rousing call of Allez! came from his rail.

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

Bringing it Home for Holmen IF


A whole football team in Norway is following our Battle of Malta live updates here on PokerListings.

Why? Their coach, Anders Gran Kvam, is on the final table and is certain to return to Norway with a prize that covers more than a round of post-match beer – even at Norwegian prices.

His team is Holmen IF from the suburbs of Oslo. They just finished their season in the Norwegian 2nd Division (third tier in Norway) but unfortunately got relegated.

Looks like he will have more success here as he is fourth in chips and well in the game for the top prizes.

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

€484,300 Still to Distribute; Level Up

Also a few trophies to play for.

Also a few trophies to play for.

We're down to the final seven players with a lot of money still to distribute.

By our math it's €484,300, which is a sweet pile of cheddar.

The big cake is reserved for the winner at €165,000 but the runner-up stands to make six-figures, too, at €102,000.

Our break took a bit longer as the Tournament Director Elio Capuccio removed the low denomination chips from the table to make things smoother.

Cards back in the air shortly.

Level 34 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 40000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

Players of BOM: Giuseppe Grimaldi

Not his last BOM

Not his last BOM

Signore Grimaldi plays poker purely for fun and he says he’s had a lot of it during the last couple of days.

“The first two days of play I was just enjoying myself, but then yesterday, I kept getting more and more messages on the phone and then I began to realize how big this actually is.

“So, today, I felt a lot more pressure than before.

“I don’t feel disappointed but a little angry, not because I busted but because I misplayed a hand earlier and lost a big stack.

“The hand I busted in was the last hand before the break. Most of the players were already standing up, and I was just hoping to steal the blinds and antes.

“I’ve been to Malta a couple of times, but this was the first time I played in the Battle of Malta. It will certainly not be my last time, though.”

As Mr Grimaldi never stopped smiling during this little interview, we figure the anger is not very strong. His reward for coming ninth out of 1,804 player is €13,350.

Chip Counts at the First Break

Koops building chip fortress.

Koops building chip fortress.

Hendrik Koops: 13,000,000
Uri Gilboa: 7,500,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 6,700,000
Anders Gran Kvam: 6,100,000
Carlo van Ravenswoud: 3,500,000
Paolo Palmieri: 2,900,000
Nicolas Proust: 2,300,000
Dimitar Alexandrov: 2,300,000

Level 33 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

Giuseppe Grimaldi Busts in 9th (€13,350)

Grimaldi 1

Italian Giuseppe Grimaldi was riding a short stack for the last two levels but managed to survive with less than 10 big blinds for quite some time.

Until he had an encounter with our chip leader Hendrik Koops, that is.

Grimaldi moved all-in with J♦ 7♦ from the button and Koops called in the big blind with J♥ 9♥.

The board fell K♥ T♣ 3♦ 3♠ Q♥ to give Koops a straight and bust Grimaldi.

Level 33 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

Railing Henrik Jacobsen

Mats (left):

Mats (left): "I'm twice as nervous"

Standing on the rail in one corner is Mats Engeberg, who is following his friend Henrik Jacobsen at the final table.

They travelled from Bergen in Norway to play the Battle of Malta last week and now his buddy is on the final table with a chance to win €165,000.

"I am twice as nervous as Henrik," Mats says, adding that this was what they were dreaming about when they took the flight from Norway to Malta.

"It is really cool to experience something like this. I busted on Day 2 myself but I am very happy to see Henrik doing well."

They were actually supposed to have taken a flight back to Norway yesterday afternoon at 4 pm, but the plane had to leave without them as Jacobsen was running deep in the tournament.

Level 33 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9 Tables Left 1

Royal Rumble

Tangles with Jacobsen

Tangles with Jacobsen

The two big stacks at the table, Hendrik Koops and Henrik Jacobsen, just got into a rumble.

Norwegian Jacobsen opened from UTG to 660k and Koops called in the big blind.

Flop: 9♥ 9♦ 7♦. Jacobsen bet a small fraction of the pot, moving 430k over the line.

This prompted Koops to check-raise to 1.3m. Jacobsen called.

Turn: 4♠. With roughly 4m in the middle Koops moved all-in for effectively 6m chips, leaving Jacobsen rather puzzled.

After several minutes of thinking he released his hand.

Level 33 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9 Tables Left1


Railing it up.

Railing it up.

The location of the Battle of Malta final table in the corner of the Portomaso Casino as opposed to the high-ceiling Grand Master Suite upstairs has added an intriguing variable to the day.

The hum of the casino floor is prominent behind us along with the corresponding cheers when a big pot is being played outside the ropes.

It's also provided a bit more of a traditional rail alongside the final table with friends of the players lined up trying to catch a glimpse.

When a big pot sees some chips change hands, the roar from the rail is real and immediate.

The players seem to be comfortable and in control as well, back in their native environment.

Nine players still remain but with blinds at 150k/300k, something's got to give soon.

Level 33 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9 Tables Left1

Unsinkable Nicolas Proust

Staying alive.

Staying alive.

Frenchman Nicolas Proust is on his last lifeline here but so far he seems to be unsinkable.

He just doubled his 4bb stack when he went all-in with 9♦ 9♥ against Hendrik Koops' A♠ 8♠.

The board didn’t improve Koops.

Proust is up to almost 3m again, sporting a full 10 bb short stack.

Level 33 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9 Tables Left1

Chip Counts

Quietly moving up.

Quietly moving up.

Hendrik Koops: 10,200,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 8,000,000
Anders Gran Kvam: 6,200,000
Uri Gilboa: 5,100,000
Carlo van Ravenswoud: 4,700,000
Dimitar Aleksandrov: 3,600,000
Paolo Palmieri: 3,500,000
Giuseppe Grimaldi: 1,700,000
Nicolas Proust: 1,200,000

van Ravenswoud Doubles Through Proust

No quit.

No quit.

Down to just 6 big blinds after getting his aces cracked, Carlo van Ravenswoud is back in the ball game.

After hitting a two-outer on the river on him earlier Nicolas Proust was all-in against him again.

Ravenswould went all-in from UTG for 2.3m and Proust called right behind him.

All other players folded and the cards were turned over:

van Ravenswoud: J♣ J♦
Proust: 9♣ 9♥

Board: A♣ T♣ 6♥ 8♣ K♣

This time Proust didn’t overtake his opponent and is down to a couple 100k. van Ravenswoud has 4.7m.

Koops Picks Off Gilboa Bluff for Chip Lead

Koops. Hendrik Koops.

Koops. Hendrik Koops.

Dutch player Hendrik Koops just claimed the chip lead by picking off a bluff by Uri Gilboa in the biggest pot on this final table so far.

Koops opened up to 500k from middle position and Gilboa called in the big blind.

Flop: Q♥ 8♦ 3♣. Koops bet 500k and Gilboa check-raised to 1.5m. Koops called after some thinking.

Turn: 8♣. Gilboa kept firing, shoving another 1.5m in the middle and again Koops called.

River: Q♦. With two pair on the board Gilboa slowed down and checked. With a sigh of relief Koops checked as well.


Gilboa: A♥ 2♦ for ace high and a bluff.
Koops: A♠ A♣ for the best hand.

Koops is our new chip leader with more than 10m chips now while Gilboa is down to 6m.

Player of BOM: Anne Meri

We'll see her again.

We'll see her again.

Anne hails from Turku, Finland, but she travels a lot for her favorite game.

She’s a regular online qualifier and goes to plenty of tournaments all over Europe.

She’s also the first woman to make the final table of the BOM main event.

“At the moment, I’m disappointed, also because I just missed my flight, but I’m proud to be the last woman standing and the first to reach the final table.

“It’ll take a couple of minutes to recover but at the end of the day I’m happy that I made it this far.

"I was already short-stacked when we reached the bubble and I was just trying to hang in there. But it’s been great to be here.

"I already played the Battle of Malta last year and I’ll come back next year if I can. I’m going back to Finland now but I’ll soon be on the road again to play the Unibet open and then the Redbet event in Prague in December.”

Congratulations, Anne, for what you’ve achieved. And for a €10,450 payday!

Level 32 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 20000

Paolo Palmieri Doubles Up

Average stack now.

Average stack now.

Our chip leader Uri Gilboa opened up to 480k (min raise) and Paolo Palmeiri moved all-in from the small blind for 1.68m.

Getting great odds Gilboa made the call with A♠4♣ but was behind Palmieris A♥ K♣.

The board didn’t improve either hand and thus Palmieri doubled up (and a bit more) and has an almost average stack now.

Gilboa still has plenty of chips.

Level 32 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9 Tables Left 1

van Ravenswoud Keeps Fighting


Despite the two-outer on the river to crack his aces, van Ravenswould keeps fighting.

He just won two hands in row (raise and take) and is up to 2m now.

That's 10 big blinds - still short, but not out of it yet.

We know he's battled some of the toughest players in the world at the highest stakes online so he's likely not phased one bit.

Chip Counts

Uri Gilboa: 10,600,000
Anders Gran Kvam: 7,500,000
Henrik Jacobsen: 6,700,000
Hendrik Koops: 5,300,000
Dimitar Alexandrov: 3,600,000
Giuseppe Grimaldi: 3,500,000
Nicolas Proust: 3,200,000
Paolo Palmieri: 1,700,000
Carlo van Ravenswoud: 1,700,000

Proust Cracks Ravenswoud's Aces


Carlo van Ravenswoud moved all-in from the small blind and Nicolas Proust called in the big blind.


Ravenswoud: A♣ A♥
Proust: A♠ 5♥

Proust was hopelessly dominated and the flop didn’t too much: 7♦ 3♠ 3♣.

But the turn gave him some hope: 5♦. On the river he managed to hit his two-outer as the 5♣ fell.

Thus Proust doubles up and high-stakes ro Carlo van Ravenswoud is down to 1.3k – less than 6 bb.

Level 31 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9 Tables Left1

Anne Meri Out in 10th (€10,450)


Just like that we lost our only female player at the final.

Even after doubling up Finland's Anne Meri was short, but found yet another great hand.

She moved all-in with Q♥ Q♠ over Uri Gilboa's open-raise. Gilboa called with A♠ 9♣.

The board fell A♥ J♣ T♠ 3♣ 4♣ and we’re down to 9 players with Gilboa extending his lead.



In case you were wondering, here's the payout table for the final table, barring a deal:


Level 31 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 10 Tables Left1

Anne Meri Gets a Big Boost


Anne Meri was in major danger just a few seconds ago with only 2 big blinds.

Then she tripled up.

Meri was in the small blind, Italian player Giuseppe Grimaldi limped and Meri moved all-in with jacks. Hendrik Koops called in the big blind and Grimaldi called as well.

The K♦ 7♥ 5♣ 2♣ 4♦ board was checked until the river where Koops made a small bet which got Grimaldi to fold.

But Koops could only muster 6♥ 5♦ and Meri is up to more than 1m now – still very short though.

Kvam Doubles


The first big hand sees Anders Gran Kvam double up.

The Norwegian opened from middle position with A♠ A♣ and Italian Giuseppe Grimaldi called in the big blind.

Flop: 7♣ 4♥ 4♦. Grimaldi took the initiative and bet 650k.

Kvam moved all-in for 2.5m and the Italian first asked him whether he had ace-queen but eventually called.

Grimaldi turned over 8♦ 7♥ for top-pair, but didn’t stand a chance as turn and river fell K♦ 2♥.

That left the Italian rather short and Kvam with lots of chips. He’s up to 6m now. Grimaldi down to 3.2

Fan Favorite: Uri Gilboa


Based on the hoots coming from the cash-game area behind us the fan favorite to begin the final table appears to be chip leader Uri Gilboa.

When you come on a plane with 100+ poker players and friends from your own country, odds are pretty good that'll be the case.

Lots of players at the table have their own supporters here and we'll try to get their take on things over the course of the day.

We also know Carlo van Ravenswoud is a well known online high-stakes pro who has his fair share of followers.

She is the short stack but there are also plenty of people rooting for Anne Meri, the first female player to make the Battle of Malta Main Event final table.

GL to all!

Level 31 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 10 Tables Left 1

Cards in the Air!


Cards are in the air for the 2015 Battle of Malta final table.

Tournament director Elio Capuccio has given his final instructions, Maria Ho welcomed the players to the table and gave the traditional shuffle up and deal and we're off.

We pick up in Level 31 with blinds at 100k/200k and a 20k ante.

More pics to follow!

Level 31 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 10 Tables Left 1

Stand By for Lift Off


The players are settling in to their seats, chips are coming out of the bags and a ring of photographers is lining the final table.

We're about to get underway momentarily and we'll be back with updates in a flash.

Chip leader Uri Gilboa just entered to a rousing round of applause from the cash-gam tables and he seems relaxed and ready to go.


Battle of Malta Final 10: Uri Gilboa, Israel


Country: Israel
Lives in: Tel Aviv
Age: 58
Occupation: Professional malpractice lawyer
Buy-in: Direct buy-in (he was in the Israeli Poker Championships charter)
BOM Experience: 1st BOM
Thoughts: "Excellent. Well run tournament. This is my first Battle of Malta but hopefully not the last one."

Battle of Malta Final 10: Henrik Jacobsen, Norway

jacobsenday3 2

Country: Norway
Lives in: Bergen
Age: 23
Occupation: Salesman + student
Buy-in: Qualified through Guts
1st BOM? Played in 2013
Feelings: Very good, players were better than two years ago.

Battle of Malta Final 10: Dimitar Aleksandrov, Bulgaria

Dimitar Aleksandrov 3023

Country: Bulgaria
Lives in: Sofia
Age: 31
Occupation: Works as affiliate for Betsafe
Buy-in: His friend won a package but couldn’t go so he went. 
BOM Experience: 1st BOM 
Thoughts: He likes the tourney so far. Casino downstairs, not too much though.

Level 31 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 10 Tables Left1

Battle of Malta Final 10: Giuseppe Grimaldi, Italy


Country: Italy
Lives in: Agrigento
Age: 46
Occupation: Architect
Buy-in: Direct buy-in (but tried a few satellites)
BOM Experience: 1st BOM experience
Thoughts: Great tournament, too bad the structure collapsed a bit when we were 30 left. Actually I play very few live tournaments, for me poker is just a hobby that I enjoy once in a while.

Battle of Malta Final 10: Hendrik Koops, Netherlands


Nationality: Dutch
Lives in: Malta
Age: 37
Occupation: Professional Poker player
Buy-in: Direct
Thoughts: “I am not sure if I played a previous BOM, I am playing so many tournaments at the casino I don't know…maybe. I am feeling so good making it to the final table, it is so exciting."

Battle of Malta Final 10: Carlo van Ravenswoud, Netherlands


Country: Netherlands
Lives in: St. Julian’s, Malta
Age: 23
Occupation: Poker Pro
Buy-in: Direct
BOM Experience: First time playing
Impressions: “It’s a lot of fun. I like it. Probably partly because I ran well.”

Battle of Malta Final 10: Anders Gran Kvam, Norway


Country: Norway
Lives in: Asker, on the outskirts of Oslo
Age: 35
Occupation: Football Coach/Trainer
Qualified: Here at Portomaso Casino through one of our satellites
1st time at BOM: Yes
Feelings/Impressions: Everything’s good so far. I haven’t thought what I will do if I win, it’s too early to say, but if I win I’ll probably party somewhere around the area.

Battle of Malta Final 10: Paolo Palmieri, Italy


Country: Italy
Lives in: Rome
Age: 31
Occupation: Poker Player
Qualified: He got the package from a friend that couldn’t come
1st Bom? Yes
Thoughts: “I was not planning to be here so It’s even cooler that I made it through the final table. The tournament looks really great!”

Battle of Malta Final 10: Nicolas Proust, France

Nicolas Proust 3048

Country: France
Lives in: Marignane (near Marseille)
Age: 29
Occupation: Former tennis coach. He quit his job to go to Australia but the project didn't work. He wasn't able to find a new tennis club, so he started to play poker and it has been 1 year now. 
Entry: Direct buy-in. He played a satellite but busted.
BOM Experience: 1st BOM
Thoughts: "It's the first time I final table a tournament with more than 1,000 players. My tournament started very well. I should have busted Day 1 but after that I doubled up against a big stack, and I stayed among the leaders. Today I went up to 4m but I started to get unlucky on the boards. Now it will be tough, but I will play for the win."

Battle of Malta Final 10: Anne Meri, Finland


Country: Finland
Lives in: Turku, Finland.
Age: Well… let’s say I was 25 not so far ago ))
Occupation: Owner of a pub.
Qualified by: Won RedBet Ladies tournament and got ticket here.
1st BOM? Nope, I was here last year but result was not so good. Better to forget it.
Feelings: It’s really good. I don’t understand what I’m doing on final table but I’m happy.

The Real November 10

Standing guard.

Standing guard.

And we're back! Or almost.

They're just putting the finishing touches on the final-table set-up down in the cash-game area of the Portomaso Casino.

The atmosphere is buzzing, the crowd is gathering and we're about ready to fire through the fourth-ever Battle of Malta final table.

There's another big final table in progress on the other side of the world right now but we can assure you this one will play much faster.

Back at 2 pm with live hand reports right from the table but in the meantime here comes some info about our 10 finalists.

Level 31 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 10 Tables Left 1

2015-11-07 10:15:56

Is Ken lenaard still in??

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