Battle of Malta 2017 Live Coverage

From 2,074 to 1! Nadav Lipszyc is 2017 Battle of Malta Champion!

BOM 2017 FT 144

There can be only one, and that one is Nadav Lipszyc!

After quickly defeating his countryman Yaron Borenstein heads up Lipszyc is the sole survivor of the 2017 Battle of Malta Main Event and €200,000 richer!

The farm manager/amateur poker player from Israel outlasted three fellow Israelis, 3 Norwegians and 2 Swedes - one who had even made the final table here before - to claim the biggest prize in Battle of Malta history.

At €132,000, Borenstein in fact has claimed the third-biggest prize ever - second only to Robert Berglund's €160,000 from last year.

That's the kind of money that gets paid out when you make it to the Top 3 of the now-biggest poker tournament ever held in Malta.

Two of our famous trophies will now board the charter plane back to Israel and we imagine they might be passed around a bit in celebration.

Watch the full final-table live stream on replay right here! The full final table and payouts:

PlacesPlayerPayout
1Nadav Patrick Lipszyc€200,000
2Yaron Borenstein€132,000
3Asbjorn Elvevold€98,000
4Joakim Mats Thomas Wickstrom€74,000
5Avihai Benshoham€52,000
6Per-Eirik Koi€34,000
7Dor Adda€24,000
8Jonas Hähnert€16,300
9Fredrik Akerholt€12,240
BOM 2017 FT 139
BOM 2017 FT 135
BOM 2017 FT 138

2017 Done, 2018 Planning Starts Now!

What a ride!

As you've likely heard (a few times by now), a stunning 2,074 entries made their way into the 2017 BoM Main Event to both set a new record and push the overall prize pool up over €1,000,000 - another first.

Now that it's all over (at least the Main Event is), it's time for the final 9 to enjoy spending the spoils of their efforts - and for us to start planning the 2018 Battle of Malta.

A major thank you to all of our sponsors - platinum sponsors BetssonBetsafe &NordicBet in particular - for helping to make it happen yet again. See you next year!

Level 37 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 100000 Players Left 1

Stymied! Yaron Borenstein Out in 2nd (€132,000)

BOM 2017 FT 146

Coming into the heads-up, Nadav Lipszyc had a 44m-7m chip lead. It was going to take a couple of double ups for things to get a bit tense.

And on one of the first hands of the heads-up, the short stacked Borenstein got one.

He shoved all-in for 10 big blinds after an open raise with K-6 and Lipszyc called with A-2.

The board fell 5-K-8-2-J and Borenstein doubled into a position where he might have actually played a game against Lipszyc.

But that game didn't last longer than 2 more hands.

Borenstein went all-in from the small blind with A♣ 4♥ and Lipszyc called with 4♣ 4♦.

The board fell T♣ 2♦ 9♠ 9♣ 6♠ - no help for Borenstein and the heads up was over after less than 10 hands!

BOM 2017 FT 118

Level 37 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 100000 Players Left 1

Shelved: Asbjorn Elvevold out in 3rd (€98,000)

BOM 2017 FT 127

And we're down to two!

Nadav Lipszyc opened from the button to 1.3m with Q♠ 4♥ and Asbjorn Elvevold called with K♣ J♠ in the big blind.

Flop: A♣ T♥ 8♥

Check / Check.

Turn: K♦

Now that Lipszyc picked up a gutshot he fired a 1.4m delayed c-bet which Elvevold called with his pair.

River: J♦

Elvevold checked his two pair and now Lipszyc moved all-in. It didn‘t take Elvevold too much time to call the all-in but of course he couldn‘t beat Lipszyc's unlikely straight.

Just like that we‘re heads-up with the two Israelis Yaron Borenstein and Nadav Lipszyc fighting for the 6th Battle of Malta title!

Level 37 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 100000 Players Left 2

"I Came to Play. I Didn't Come to Make Deals"

BOM 2017 FT 5

Nadav Lipszyc has made it pretty clear how he feels about making a deal right now:

He's just not that into it.

With a massive chip lead and all of the momentum, it's hard to argue with him.

That full 200,000 up top is looking pretty appealing and when you have a 3-1 chip advantage on your nearest opponent, why give up a piece of it?

While Yaron Borenstein has made a couple of efforts, it looks like we're playing this out to the max.

Level 36 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3

Wick Snuffed! Joakim Wickstrom Out in 4th (€74,000)

BOM 2017 FT 112

Joakim Wickstrom had survived a few all-ins today but his winning streak has come to an end.

After Nadav Lipszyc opened from the button to 1.2m he went all-in for roughly 5m.

Lipszyc called the all-in. Showdown:

Wickstrom: Q♣ J♣
Lipszyc: A♥ K♥

Board: 2♣ 8♣ 9♠ 8♥ 3♦

While catching a lot of outs on the flop Wickstrom couldn't win this showdown and went out in 4th position. He was kindly consoled by his pals on the rail, though.

Level 36 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 3

Benched: Avihai Benshoham Out in 5th (€52,000)

BOM 2017 FT 103

Right after losing that big pot against Nadav Lipszyc,Avihai Benshoham has joined his countryman Dor Adda on the rail.

His other fellow countryman, Yaron Borenstein, had opened with Q-Q and Benshoham came on strong and shoved over the top with 3-3.

Borenstein snapped called and we went to the board.

Board: J-J-7-J-2

Borenstein took down the pot with the bigger boat and Benshoham headed off behind the ropes to the paydesk.

Level 36 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 4

The Lipszyc Gets Richer

Nadav Lipszyc just scored another big pot to add to his already impressive stack.

Avihai Benshoham opened from the CO to 1.25m and both blinds, Asbjorn Elvevold and Lipszyc, called.

BOM 2017 FT 93

Flop: Q♣ J♣ 2♥

Check / check / check.

Turn: 7♣

Now Lipszyc bets 1.6m and only Benshoham calls.

River: 4♥

Check / check.

Lipszyc turned over a rivered set with 4♣ 4♠ and took down that pot.

Level 36 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 5

Koi Hooked! Per-Eirik Koi Out 6th (€34,000)

BOM 2017 FT 29

Shortly after losing that pot against Yaron Borenstein we lose Per-Eirik Koi.

He only had a couple big blinds left and found himself in the big blind with K♥ 6♥.

It was folded to Nadav Lipszyc in the small blind and he shoved all-in with A♦ Q♠.

Koi was priced in and made the call.

The board fell 4♦ 5♦ 2♦ 3♥ K♥ to give Koi a straight on the turn but Lipszyc a flush on the river!

Lipszyc is up to 18m now and has a considerable lead with 5 players left.

Koi is the second Norwegian to leave the final table. The hopes of his countrymen now lie on Asbjorn Elvevold.

Level 36 Blinds 250000/500000 Ante 50000 Players Left 5

Borenstein Battles Back

BOM 2017 FT 53

Yaron Borenstein just doubled up with aces over the J-T of Per-Eirik Koi.

They got it all in pre-flop and the board fell Q-9-2-Q-7.

Borenstein, who was down to 6 bigs, is now alive again.

Koi, meanwhile, is on his last lifeline.

Level 35 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 50000 Players Left 6

Joakim Wickstrom Doubles Up Once More!

That makes three for the day for Joakim Wickstrom.

BOM 2017 FT 73

This time he was all-in with A-Q against Per-Eirik Koi's A-J.

The better ace prevailed after the board fell 5-8-8-3-9 and Wickstrom is up to 7m chips.

He's out of the danger zone for now but the blinds are still creeping up on him.

Level 35 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 50000 Players Left 6

Dor Closed: Dor Adda Out 7th (€24,000)

BOM 2017 FT 56

After an impressive uptick to start the day, the fortunes of Dor Adda turned south and he's the 3rd player to leave us today.

Adda shoved all-in with his tiny stack from the small blind and Asbjorn Elvehold had an easy call in the big blind with his ace.

Showdown:

Dor Adda: 3♠ 3♣
Asbjorn Elvehold: A♣ 6♠

The flop 9♠ K♥ T♦ was pretty safe for Adda but the 6♥ was a dagger on the turn.

The river 7♦ didn't reverse the tide again and Adda, who is clearly one of the prize students from the Poker Fighter Live Academy, is out.

Level 35 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 50000 Players Left 6

Köpped! Jonas Hähnert Out 8th (€16,300)

BOM 2017 FT 48

And just as we figured out where Jonas Hähnert is actually from, he's on his way back there sooner rather than later.

After Asbjorn Elvevold raised to 900k from early position with Q♠ Q♥. Hähnert shoved from the button with A♣ K♠

Elvevold called the extra 3m and they went to a flop: 5♦ 6♠ 2♠

The turn 4♥ and river 9♣ didn't save him and Hähnert was out in 8th

Two consolations:

1. He finished one spot higher than he did last year, which is still amazing in a field of 2,074 entries.

2. He took home €16,300 - also a little more than last year. And the cost of living in Lidköping is likely much lower than Linköping, making that cash go even further.

Congratulations to Hähnert on another amazing run! Let's see him do it again in 2018!

Level 35 Blinds 200000/400000 Ante 50000 Players Left 7

Lidköping: Home of the Mark Newhouse of BoM

Lidköping's Best Poker Player

Did we say Jonas Hähnert was from Linköping? We bluffed.

Turns out our Swedish editor managed to mix up the city of LiNköping with the town of LiDköping.

To clarify, Jonas Hähnert is from LiDköping. Which is a much smaller city with about 22,000 inhabitants.

The upside? Hähnert doesn't have to fight with Erik Sagström for best player in town.

Level 34 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8

Chip Counts After Level 34

BOM 2017 FT 63

Nadav Patrick Lipszyc 14,675,000
Avihai Benshoham 8,550,000
Per-Eirik Koi 7,725,000
Joakim Mats Thomas Wickstrom 5,550,000
Asbjorn Elvevold 4,745,000
Jonas Hähnert 4,225,000
Yaron Borenstein 4,150,000
Dor Adda 2,200,000

Level 34 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000

Another Double for Wickström!

BOM 2017 FT 70

After Avihai Benshoham opened to 750k and Yaron Borenstein called right behind him, Wickström went all-in from the big blind for 2.4m.

Borenstein called.

Showdown:

Wickström: A♦ K♣
Borenstein: 6♠ 6♣

Board: T♣ A♠ J♣ 5♠ 2♣

And the Swede is up to a 15 BB stack again.

Level 34 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8

Some Recent Chip Counts

FTChips

Nadav Patrick Lipszyc 15,660,000
Avihai Benshoham 10,175,000
Yaron Borenstein 6,765,000
Per-Eirik Koi 6,605,000
Asbjorn Elvevold 5,370,000
Dor Adda 2,864,000
Jonas Hähnert 2,685,000
Joakim Wickstrom 1,760,000

Level 34 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8

Where Poker Ideas Come to Life!

HahnertFT1

A quick little history lesson about Linköping, Sweden.

Why Linköping? Because our "Mark Newhouse of the Battle of Malta," Jonas Hähnert, is from there.

Linköping is currently the 8th-biggest city in Sweden with a population of 106,502 (according to Wikipedia). Almost 25% of the population studyies at the University of Linköping, which is one of the most respected universities in Sweden.

Linköping is the city that is considered to be the 'flight cradle' of Sweden and already back in 1912 the first flight school was started by Carl Cederström.

The city is well known in Sweden for their hockey team, Linköpings HC. They play in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) which is the highest league in the country.

If you are a poker player Linköping might not sound like the most interesting city but one of the biggest legends of the game is actually from Linköping.

Have you ever heard of Erik "Erik123" Sagström? Of course you have! Let’s see if Hähnert can make him proud tonight!

Level 33 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8

Lipszyc Takes No Lip

LipsyzcFT1

Huge hand between Nadav Patrick Lipszyc and Per-Eirik Koi.

Lipszyc opened up from early position. Koi reraised and Lipszyc came back over the top with a 4-bet to more than 2.5m chips.

Koi called and more than 5m was in the middle.

Flop: K♣ 6♠ 2♥.

Check/check.

Turn: Q♦.

Now Lipszyc bet 1.7m which quickly prompted Koi to fold his jacks. Lipszyc is increasing his chip lead quite considerably.

Level 34 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8

GGD/Bram Cops Takover!

gaelle5

As one Norwegian player has left the final table, one Norwegian commentator has left the booth.

After the elimination of Fredrik Akerholt, hosts Roland Boothby and guest commentator Andreas Hoivold have stepped out for a break.

Tagging in for a spell is our awesome BoM host Gaelle Garcia Diaz and BoM celebrity guest Bram Cops.

Watch it right here!

Level 33 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 30000 Players Left 8

Achy Breaky Heart: Fredrik Akerholt Out 9th (€12,240)

AkerholtFT1

And we've lost our first player!

Nadav Patrick Lipszyc opened from UTG to 550k.

Fredrik Akerholt went all-in for 1.9m. Behind him Yaron Borenstein went all-in as well for 4.5m chips.

After Lipszyc folded, a classic race was underway:

Q♠ Q♥ for Akerholt
A♦ K♣ for Borenstein

Board: 7♦ 8♠ K♣ T♠ 5♦

The King on the flop broke Akerholt's Battle of Malta heart and we're down to 8 players.

Level 33 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 30000

Adda Shakes His Head

AddaFT3

Dor Adda is not shying away from the action.

After Nadav Patrick Lipszyc raised from early position, Adda called in the big blind.

The T♠ 8♣ 7♠ Q♥ 3♦ board was checked until the river where Lipszyc bet 750.

It took Adda a couple minutes to call but his hero-calling instincts seemed off this time as Lipszyc tabled 5♠ 5♥ which Adda could not beat with his J♠ 3♥.

He mucked his hand and shook his head.

Level 33 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9

How Swede It Is (to Double Up)

WickstromFT1

And the next shorty doubles up!

Sweden's Joakim Wickström raised all-in for less than 5 bigs after Nadav Lipszyc opened from late position.

Lipscyc called and Wickström won the showdown with 99 > KQ on a A-A-2-8-3-Board.

The Swede is still short though.

Level 33 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9

Adda Strikes Again!

BOM 2017 FT 3

And Dor Adda takes down the next biggish pot.

After Yaron Borenstein opened to 550 he moved all-in for 3m.

He took it down after his fellow countryman folded.

He's up to 4m now and suddenly a big threat after starting the day as the short stack.

Level 33 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 30000 Players Left 9

Andreas Høivold in the Booth w/ In the Booth!

In the Booth!

We mentioned our live stream host Roland "In the Booth" Boothby would have a rotating cast of guests with him today and our first has stepped in to help him out.

It's none other than Battle of Malta VIP and ace Norwegian poker pro Andreas Høivold!

Høivold hasn't been a bit unlucky at the Battle of Malta as far as deep runs go but he always seems to have a good time.

With three Norwegians at this year's Battle of Malta final table he's also imminently qualified to jump in with his thoughts.

Watch it live here!

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

Opening the Double Dor!

BOM 2017 FT 26

Dor Adda (right)

Just four hands in and we have our first all-in.

Short stack Dor Adda moves all-in after Avihai Benshoam opened up.

Since Adda had a very small stack Benshoham called with T♥ 9♥.

Dor showed A♦ Q♦ and doubled up to roughly 3m chips after the board fell A♥ 7♦ 2♠ 8♦ Q♣.

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

Some Early Pics

BOM 2017 FT 33
BOM 2017 FT 20
BOM 2017 FT 22
BOM 2017 FT 31
BOM 2017 FT 27

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000

Last Year's Champ is Main Event Adjacent

berglund3

Last year's Battle of Malta main event champion, Robert Berglund, couldn't recreate his success in the ME this year but he might still leave Malta with another nice payday.

Berglund is actually Main Event adjacent this year playing out the Grandmaster High Roller. Over there, they're down to 24 players. 21 will cash.

By the looks of it from the rail his stack is about 112k. Average stack is about 168k right now.

There's a bit less up at the top than the Main Event - around 47,000. But we're pretty sure Berglund would leave pretty happy with that.

The Arena

If you're waiting anxiously at home for the live stream to start, play is underway and you're about 25 minutes from the start of the stream.

If you're desperate for a sneak peek of the battlefield, here's what it looks like.

BOM 2017 FT 2

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

It's GO Time!

METrophy3

There's a palpable buzz in the final table area as we inch closer to the start of the BoM ME FT.

The players have arrived and filled out their information sheets, taken a few photos and longingly gazed at the gigantic Main Event trophy waiting for one of them.

There are actually 3 trophies, btw - we're one of the rare tournaments to give trophies out to the top 3 in every tournament! They're becoming a pretty hot commodity too - and we've heared the resale market is high.

We'll have the shuffle up and deal, introductions of the players, remarks from Gaelle, etc, shortly. Remember everything will be on the live stream on a 30-minute delay. We'll be posting bustouts, photos, chip counts etc here but without any spoilers.

Watch all the action right here!

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000

€642,450

BOM 2017 day3 13

That's how much the final nine will split up today.

Most of that, of course, will go to the winner with a record €200,000 up top for the winner. 

First player out will collect €12,240. Here's how they'll be arranged in their seats:

Seat #PlayerChips
1Fredrik Ronneberg Akerholt2,520,000
2Joakim Mats Thomas Wickstrom1,840,000
3Jonas Hähnert4,865,000
4Avihai Benshoham10,720,000
5Yaron Borenstein5,555,000
6Adda Dor1,745,000
7Asbjorn Elvevold6,450,000
8Nadav Patrick Lipszyc11,590,000
9Per-Eirik Koi7,665,000

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000

Let's Go Live!

finaltable1

As you might already know, the Battle of Malta Main Event final table will be broadcast live (on 30-minute delay) on our Twitch channel and live stream page.

Our distinguished host for the commentary is the inimitable Roland Boothby, of GPL fame. He'll be joined by a revolving group of guests including 2017 BoM host Gaelle Garcia Diaz, PokerListings reporter Dirk Oetzmann and more.

Watch the live stream right here! If you'd like to host it on your own site, too, there's an embed code on the Twitch Channel.

It'll be shown around the Portomaso Casino on the in-house TVs also and there will be a small viewing area for spectators near the final table.

We'll be posting live updates here but only in sync with the stream so no spoilers. We'll also likely mix in a bit of color from the rail. Tune in on this page for pictures, hand write-ups, chip counts and a full recap at the end.

Enjoy! Things are about to get lit as we crown a new Battle of Malta champion!

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Nadav Lipszyc (1st - 11,590,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 100

Age: ?
Country: Israel
Home: Eindor
Occupation: Manages a cow farm

Won a satellite for the IPC charter plane to the Battle of Malta and is here for the first time!

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Avihai Benshoham (2nd - 10,720,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 76

Age: 37
Country: Israel
Home: Yashrsh
Occupation: Independent Consultant

1st time at the BoM, began play on Day 1C. Says he's "loved the experience so far."

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Per-Eirik Koi (3rd - 7,665,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 85

Age: 38
Country: Norway
Home: Kirkenes (pop. 3,400)
Occupation: Carpenter

He has been playing poker for 15 years. He runs a local poker club with about 100 members. They play once a week. It's his second BOM - first one in 2015 he finished 38th. He was short stack for most of the tournament and now comes in third.

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000

BoM Final 9 Profile: Asbjorn Elvevold (4th - 6,450,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 68

Age: ?
Country: Norway
Home: Norway

Has cashes in Ireland, Oslo, Bucharest and now Malta

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Yaron Borenstein (5th - 5,555,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 107

Age: 40
Nationality: Israel
Home: Herzliya
Occupation: Works in hi-tech. Just 2 months ago his start-up was bought by Microsoft

Borenstein has been playing poker for 10 years and more professionally for 3 years. But poker is illegal in Israel so he goes to tournaments 2-3 times a year.

His wife actually bought him the Battle of Malta trip as surprise for his 40th birthday.

About his tournament: "Was long long ride, like a marathon." But was setting his goals everyday. Now of course aiming for 1st place.

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Jonas Hähnert (6th - 4,865,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 87

Age: 36
Country: Sweden
Home: Lidköping
Occupation: Therapist

Hähnert is the first player in the history of BOM to make two final tables in a row. Last year was his first-ever live poker tournament.

“It was tougher than last year. Day 3 has been especially hard," he said.

Hähnert has a bigger stack than he had last year so he expects to “be more patient in the final table and enjoy the moment."

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Fredrik Akerholt (7th - 2,520,000 in Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 88

Age: ?
Country: Norway
Home: Malta

Works as a VIP Co-ordinator for Guts Poker. Third time playing BOM, 1st time running deep.

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

BoM Final 9 Profile: Joakim Wickstrom (8th - 1,840,000 Chips)

BOM 2017 day3 90
  • Age: ?
  • Country: Sweden
  • Home: Borlänge (Sweden)
  • Occupation: Builder

First time at the BoM, came with a friend. Had a "super positive experience so far." On the bubble he was down to 3 big blinds and made a huge comeback afterward the bubble burst.

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000

BoM Final 9 Profile: Dor Adda, Israel (9th - 1,745,000 Chips)

Adda Dor 2


Age: 27
Country: Israel
Home: Ein Hod (near Haifa)
Occupation: Restaurant Owner

"I heard about Batlle of Malta from my friends and even was close to be here 2 years ago. But I'm glad my first experience here so nice. Of course I will have the shortest stack tomorrow with only 9 bb but let's see"

Level 32 Blinds 100000/200000 Ante 20000

And Then There Were 9!

BOM 2017 day3 FT ME 2

Let's do this!

The 2017 Battle of Malta Main Event reached its final table last night and we're now just a couple of hours away from starting the journey to a new BoM champion.

Nine players will relocate from the Grandmaster Suite upstairs to a souped-up corner of the Portomaso Casino to play it all out under the lights of the PokerListings Live Stream.

All the action will be broadcast for your viewing pleasure on a 30-minute delay with hole cards and commentary! Watch the live stream right here!

We'll be posting updates here as well along with a bit of color from the rail so join us back here starting at 3pm. In the interim, let's get to know our final 9 ...

Level 32 Blinds100000/200000 Ante 20000 Players Left 9

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