We have a winner!
The 2018 Battle of Malta Main Event completed its quest to narrow 3,816 entries to just 1 and that sole survivor is France's Julien Stropoli!
A former Magic: The Gathering player and ascending poker pro Stropoli started the final table second-to-last in chips but showed no panic in working his way up the pay ladder.
After pocketing €118,500 in a 5-way deal Stropoli calmly continued his climb up the leaderboard until he found himself with the chip lead 3-handed.
After bouncing Erik Ostergaard in third Stropoli had an overwhelming chip lead going into heads-up and fought off a small charge from runner-up Maxime Canevet to finish things off.
When all was done Stropoli earns €168,500 with the extra $50k to the winner plus the dazzling Battle of Malta Main Event trophy.
Canevet, meanwhile, walks away with the biggest share of the prize pool at €192,000. All together the final nine split up almost €900,000! The final payout table:
"It feels totally amazing to win this," Stropoli said just after his win, "because I was one of the shortest stacks at the start of the final table. At that point I was just hoping to make a few pay jumps – I didn’t expect to win.
"The turning point was my pocket sevens against Mateusz Moolhuizen’s AQ when I hit a 7 on the flop. That took me to third in chips and I knew then I had a shot. By the time we got to three-handed, I really wanted that trophy!"
Check our Battle of Malta Live Coverage page for a full rundown of the final-table action. Check the full 2018 Battle of Malta Results & Payouts here. Look for a replay of the final table live stream up on Twitch. And watch our daily recap video below:
What a Ride!
What a rush the Battle of Malta has been!
Moving over to the Casino Malta and InterContinental Hotel for the first time the BoM greatly expanded its reach and offerings and the results were overwhelming.
An amazing 55 nationalities were represented here in the full Main Event field and 8 different nationalities on the final table.
The mass of attendees caused its small difficulties but, as Casino Malta Marketing Director Telly Bartolo said, it's a good sign that so many people already wanted to be here.
Full results and payouts from the Main Event and all side events will be posted on the main Battle of Malta page as soon as they are available.
We hope you had a grand time, and see you at an even bigger and better Battle of Malta 2019!
Battle of Malta Glory at Hand! 9 Finalists Eye €300k Tomorrow
And just like that the 2018 Battle of Malta Main Event is down to 9 players!
Paring 3,816 down to the final table has been no small feat over the past 5 days with long days of intense action, huge hands and painful busts sending the bulk of the field to the rail.
The final battler to be sent to the rail today on Day 3?
Brit Andrew John Hedley, who just missed claiming the final spot at the final table at the hands of Frenchman Maxime Cavenet - a not-unfamiliar destiny for many players today.
Cavenet put on a show all day today to rack up the biggest stack heading into the play down tomorrow.
He bagged up a dazzling 25,925,000 that makes him the decided chip leader to start the day.
In second is Grosvenor Poker Ambassador Andy Hills, with 17,250,000 and in third is Lithuanian Mantas Urbonas, winner of the UCOP Main Event earlier this year, with 15,900,000.
Dutchman Mateusz Moolhuizen and Dane Jens Ostergaard are also in the final nine. Here are the full counts:
As you can tell diversity reigns at BoM as we have representatives from France, Lithuania, Finland (by way of Holland), Malta (by way of Sweden), the UK, Denmark, Lebanon and even the US.
Check our full Battle of Malta Live Coverage page for a rundown of all the action of the day. Watch the daily recap video below:
Full Live Stream Final Table!
To catch all of tomorrow's action in thrilling, cards-up glory, tune in to the Battle of Malta Facebook page at 2pm local time.
We'll have 5 cameras covering the action, revolving commentators and cards-up display on a 30-minute delay.
A total of almost €900,000 will be paid out to players tomorrow and a full 1/3 of that will go to the winner (barring a deal).
It'll be a show not to miss!
Let's Get Paid! Battle of Malta ME Down to 60, €300k Up Top!
Another exhilarating day of poker has wrapped at the 2018 Battle of Malta and just 60 proud poker players remain.
Awaiting them tomorrow? The final 9 seats at the BoM final table where one player will walk away with €300,000.
You read that right. The winner of a €550 buy-in tourney will pocket €300,000.
Ain't that grand? The 2018 Battle of Malta winner will receive the biggest payout ever in a tournament of this buy-in level in Europe.
Urbonas Leads, Lövgren & Pavlova In the Hunt
With a huge surge at the end of the day Mantas Urbonas, who started the day with just 117,000 in chips,has soared into the chip lead and will take nearly 7,090,000 in chips into Day 3 tomorrow.
Other notables still in the field include the final 2 ladies in the field, Sofia Lövgren (1.27m) and Ina Pavlova (1.29m). 888poker pro Lövgren has been a BoM regular for years but this is by far her deepest run.
Pavlova made a deep run two years ago and finished 73rd.
Another BoM returnee, Flavio Cammasuli (2.36m),will join them on Day 3. He finished 6th in the 2016 Battle of Malta Main Event and now has a top 10 chip stack heading into tomorrow.
Hills is smiling.
Brit Andy Hills (5.26m) is another notable stack heading into Day 3 with an eclectic and diverse bunch surrounding him.
Here are the Top 10 in chips:
1. Urbonas Mantas 7,090,000
2. Hills Andrew Christopher (UK) 5,260,000
3. Guimond Florin Nico (France) 5,195,000
4. Yosifov Borislav (Bulgaria) 3,980,000
5. Hoyesveen Daniel Andre (Norway) 3,760,000
6. Di Mauro Giuseppe (Italy) 3,165,000
7. Biton Nave (Israel)2,945,000
8. Wozniak Mr Michal (Poland) 2,400,000
9. Cammisuli Flaviano (Italy) 2,360,000
10. Maimon Amir 2,255,000
Full counts can be found below.
Action resumes tomorrow at 1 pm local time and will continue until the final 9 is set. Check the live updates for the action or watch the live stream (on 30-minute delay) on the Battle of Malta Facebook page.
Watch the full recap video for the day below:
Full Chip Counts after Day 2
|Hills Andrew Christopher||5,260,000|
|Guimond Florin Nico||5,195,000|
|Hoyesveen Daniel Andre||3,760,000|
|Di Mauro Giuseppe||3,165,000|
|Wozniak Mr Michal||2,400,000|
|Carmi Eran Dov||2,165,000|
|Mangum Jerome Steven||-||1,950,000|
|Hedley Andrew John||1,845,000|
|Di Romualdo Tziano||1,800,000|
|Corral Juan Pablo Navarro||1,565,000|
|Benshoham Avihai Hai||1,460,000|
|Vasileva Pavlova Tsvetelina||-||1,295,000|
|Lovgren Sofia Linnea Matilda||1,275,000|
|Pinho Henrique Oliveira De Sousa||1,145,000|
|Abdalah 2 Fakhreddine||1,140,000|
|Canevet Maxime Thien-Duc||-||1,040,000|
|Hazan Mordechai Marko||985,000|
|Vadenbring Nils Gustav||975,000|
|Ostergaard Jens Erik Thorsten||835,000|
|Martinez Pedro Jose Arribas||790,000|
|Gruszczynski Sebastian Adam||785,000|
|Fernandez Crespillo Juan Maniel||-||710,000|
|Katz Darron Charle||665,000|
|Bonnardot Benjamin Raymond||640,000|
|Gravagna 1 Fausto||640,000|
|Inerud Jan Christopher||585,000|
|Della Ventura Sergio Domenico||505,000|
|Kettunen Miikka Juhani||480,000|
|Banks Gary Hillson||395,000|
BoM Gets Blitzed! 3,816 Entries, €1.85m Prize Pool Smash Records
We had a feeling the 2018 Battle of Malta was going to be big.
But this big? 3,816 Entries and €1.85m prize pool big?
That was a little unexpected. But it happened, and as Days 1c and 1d showed us again today there's an almost bottomless lust for mid-stakes poker on this island in November.
And who knows just how big the Battle of Malta might eventually become.
Mayhem From the Get Go
With 1,000 players registered before the doors even opened things got hectic out in the registration lines but eventually players got seated and in the action.
By the time late registration closed in Level 10 we'd seen 1,548 entries for Day 1c - yet another one-day BoM record.
To put things into context, Day 1C was by itself bigger than the first four BoMs. Add in the 412 entries in the turbo Day 1D flight and the 1,960 entries total for today was just under last year's total of 2,074.
Add all the Day 1s together and we find ourselves with 3,816 entries and a prize pool of €1,850,760 - virtually unprecedented numbers for a €550 buy-in.
By our estimation it's the third-biggest poker tournament ever in Europe, but that's unofficial.
Regardless; a lot of people came through the doors of the Eden Arena today including plenty of notable names such as Patrik Antonius, Ana Marquez, Fabrice Soulier, Linni Meister, Sofia Lövgren, Salvatore Bonavena, Sebastian Pauli and more.
By the time the bubbles burst to end the day just 232 from Day 1c and 62 from Day 1D remained. Flavio Cammisuli emerged as the chip leader heading into Day 2 with 808,000 but plenty of players are stacked close behind.
Full chip counts can be found below.
572 players will return tomorrow at 1 pm to resume the battle and position themselves for a run at the big money.
Just how big? €300,000 will go the winner! Join us then for more amazing action.
BoM Goes Wild! Prize Pool Soars with Gargantuan Day 1B
Every year since its inception the Battle of Malta has set a new record for biggest poker tournament held on Malta.
This year it’s already leaving those past records in the dust – and it’s only in the second day.
Kicking off yesterday for the first time in the spectacular Eden Arena in the Hotel InterContinental, the 2018 Battle of Malta drew 451 players on Day 1A – a record for the first day of play.
Today the number of entrants surpassed 1,400 – 1,404 to be exact - a record for biggest ever single day at the BoM. That means a couple of things:
- With 1,855 entries this is already the second biggest Battle of Malta ever
- The Main Event has almost already topped its €1m guarantee
And we’ve still got two more starting flights to come. With Day 1c tomorrow set to be the biggest day of them all, it’s a given the 2018 Battle of Malta Main Event will smash all records.
This year’s winner should walk away with nearly €250,000 which, for a €550 buy-in is, well, astounding.
Jalulins Leads Cavalcade of Nations
The Battle of Malta has become a truly international affair and a “must-play” for poker players the world over.
As we saw in the gargantuan field today players from dozens of nations have converged on Malta this week.
Players from as far away as the United States, Canada, China and Australia were in the field alongside dozens of nationalities from across Europe.
Emerging from that giant field with the Day 1B chip lead is Nikolajs Jalulins of the Netherlands with 683,000 chips.
Here’s the rest of the top 10:
- 1. Nikolajs Jalulins 683,000
- 2. Anders Jonsson 629,000
- 3. Anders Hagen 574,000
- 4. Avihai Benshoham 564,000
- 5. Joseph Portelli 514,000
- 6. Hendrik Koops 513,000
- 7. Andrew Hills 510,000
- 8. Johan Goslings 490,000
- 9. Giuseppe Spitale 459,000
- 10. Jerome Mangum 454,000
Full chip counts are available on our BoM Live Coverage page. Check the recap video from today below:
A look at some of the nationalities represented today alone:
- United Kingdom
Boris Becker Among A-Listers for Pink October Charity Event
With a field that big and a reputation so strong (Battle of Malta won Best Low Buy-in Tournament at the 2015 European Poker Awards), it’s no surprise major talent both within and outside of poker have been drawn to the island.
While past years have seen dozens of top flight poker pros hit the tables 2018 has taken things to the next level with Finnish high-stakes poker legend Patrik Antonius here to play alongside German tennis icon Boris Becker.
The tennis Hall of Famer, who became the youngest ever Wimbledon champion at 17, played the Pink October Charity tournament tonight and nearly won it, finishing runner-up to Paul Jux-Holderness.
Holderness won the first seat for the 2019 BoM Main Event while €20,000 was raised for charity.
Antonius jumped into the SnG alongside Becker when the first player busted but will again hit the tables in the BoM main event tomorrow.
Things Get Even Wilder Tomorrow !
As mentioned tomorrow's Day 1C will be as crazy as we've ever seen here at BoM with up to 1,500 players expected. A turbo Day 1D is also on tap to pump the prize pool up even more.
Is a 3,500-entry field out of the question? We wouldn't count it out.
Also still to come in the 6-day festival are 7 more side tournaments (including a Ladies Event), 2 player parties, ongoing cash game tables running alongside all the action in the Casino Malta and more impromptu social gatherings and bad beat stories than you can keep count of.
To follow along with the daily live stream, hand updates from the tables and more, check out BattleofMalta.com until Tuesday, Oct 30 when the 2018 Battle of Malta champion will be crowned!
Picture Perfect! 2018 Battle of Malta Begins in Style
We expected big things for the start of the 2018 Battle of Malta, and we were not disappointed.
Moving to the spacious InterContinental Hotel and Casino Malta for the first-time this year, the Eden Arena was decked out in its Sunday best to greet the players on Day 1a today.
Not only was there plenty of elbow room (and registration points) for everyone to breathe easy, the room was awash in red and blue balloons. They weren't there just to help set the festive mood - they were actually used to highlight the table numbers! And that was only the beginning.
Laura Cornelius, Live Stream Ease BoM Into Action
New host Laura Cornelius was on hand to kick off the shuffle up and deal and when the chips settled into play we found some familiar faces around the tables.
Sofia Lovgren, Ana Marquez, Espen Uhlen Jorstad, and two-time final-tablist Jonas Hähnert were all here.
So were former Premier League footballer Anthony Gardner, WSOP November Niner Fernando Pons and Austrian chess wiz Ivo Donev.
Did we mention former Battle of Malta Main Event champion Nicolas Proust?
By the end of the day 451 entries had made it into the prize pool to make it the biggest Day 1A since the BoM moved to more than two Day 1 flights in 2015. For reference, last year's Day 1a had 320 entries.
Play ran through 16 levels and ended the night in the money with 68 players left. Those players have all been paid out €500 but they can also choose to forfeit their stack and come back again tomorrow.
Any difference in prize money will be paid out when we starting busting people on Day 2.
Koops There It Is!
The chip leader for Day 1A is Alexander Koops with 497,000. Here are the top 10 counts:
Check in on our Italian language updates right here. Watch our recap video for the Day and enjoy some pictures below!