Battle of Malta 2018 Main Event

Timeline

Incroyable! Julien Stropoli Wins 2018 Battle Of Malta Main Event!

BoM2018FT17

It was an all-French heads-up and it ended in spectacular fashion, worthy of a great tournament.

The two French players who remained, Julien Stropoli and Maxime Canevet (who both live in Malta), started heads-up play with 75 million for Stropoli and 20m for Canevet.

Canevet managed to hold his own for a while but eventually fell in a hand he had no chance to get out of – see below.

And with that we have a champion in the biggest Battle of Malta in history!

Thanks to a 5-way deal, Stropoli cashed for 168,500 -- by far the biggest cash of his career. He let out a primal scream when it was done and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the trophy even before the ceremony began.

Our runner-up Maxime Canevet, who held the chip lead for most of the final table, earned the biggest payday thanks to the deal. With the extra 23k for second, he takes home €192,000.

And so ends the Battle of Malta 2018! It’s been another week full of broken records, but most importantly it was an amazing event with thousands of players who loved the experience. And we did, too.

Thank you to everyone who took part, everyone who worked at the BOM, and of course, everyone of you who followed it. Why not be there next year?

If you'd like to read a recap of all the days at the Battle of Malta 2018, we have exactly that prepared for you. Watch the daily recap video below:

Final 9 Payouts

*payouts reflect a 5-way deal

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
BoM2018FT20
BoM2018FT24
BoM2018FT30
Level
40
Blinds
600000/1200000
Ante
1200000
Players Left
1
Tables Left
1

Le Rêve est Terminé: Maxime Canevet Falls in 2nd (€192,000)*

What a ride for Maxime Canevet.

After that last double up Canevet won another hand and was up to 33 big blinds again. With his opponent, Julien Stropoli, on 46 big blinds the game looked completely open.

But the poker gods didn't fancy a long heads-up and delivered a nasty bad beat to end the tourney.

From the button Stropoli opened with 5 3. Canevet found K K in the big blind.

He made it 6.6m as a 3-bet and Stropoli made the call.

Flop: J 4c 3 (14m)

Canevet kept firing and made it 5.4m. Stropoli instantly called.

Turn: 5 (25m)

Now Stropoli made two pair and got a huge reward for two loose calls. Canevet checked his overpair and Stropoli bet 9m.

Canevet moved all-in, Stropoli instantly called.

River: 6

And just like that the Battle of Malta is over! 

Julien Stropoli is the 2018 Battle of Malta Main Event champion and takes home €168,500, which is actually less than Canevet because of the 5-handed deal.

Still, both of our French finalists are heading back to their Maltese homes with heavy pockets. Allez Les Bleus!

Level
40
Blinds
600000/1200000
Ante
1200000
Players Left
1
Tables Left
1

Canevet Remains Afloat Via Boat

Maxime Canevet doubles and is back in the game!

There's still €73k on the line. The deal that was made 5-handed left €73k on the table - €50k for the winner and €23k for 2nd place.

So you knew it wasn't just going to be a friendly French surrender match.

With only 16 big blinds Canevet's game plan was easy - just find a hand and go with it.

Well, he found a hand: J 9 in the big blind.

Stropoli moved all-in from the button (as he has done repeatedly) with K 5 and Canevet called.

Board: J A 9 9 4.

Canevet made a boat and doubled up.

Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1

Erik Ostergaard Says Goodbye in 3rd (€139,500)*

That's a first.

Six previous Battles of Malta and we've never had players from the same country face off in the heads-up match.

Now we do. Julien Stropoli and Maxime Canevet made it to the final battle of the Battle as the Dane Erik Ostergaard was eliminated just after the dinner break.

So what happened to Ostergaard, who was in the lead going into the break? It only took two hands for him to succumb to the French domination.

1st hand:

On the button Stropoli held A J and opened up to 2.4m - a min raise. Ostergaard in the big blind held A 4 and bravely moved all-in.

Stropoli thought for some time and called the 22 big blind all-in.

Board: A Q 9 K 3

Boom! Just like that Stropoli doubled up and Ostergaard lost more than 80% of his chips.

2nd hand:

After this hand Ostergaard only had 10 big blinds left. The very next hand he moved all-in from the button with J T and again he found his master in Stropoli who called with Q J.

The board fell Q 8 3 K 3 and just like that we are heads-up without the dinner break chip leader!

Here how the two players will start heads-up

Julien Stropoli fr 76,000,000
Maxime Canevet fr 20,000,000

Easy game for Stropoli? We'll see!

*Payout determined from 5-way deal

Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1

Canevet Traps Himself Again

Erik Ostergaard found 9 8 on the button and opened with a raise.

In the big blind Maxime Canevet found K K and decided to trap and simply called.

Flop: 9 9 J (6.5m)

That's what can happen if you slow play kings. Ostergaard out-flopped the Frenchman, and after a check the Dane bet 3.25m. Canevet called.

Turn: Q (13m)

Now Ostergaard bet 6m and Canevet called again.

River: 7 (25m)

With 25m in the middle, this pot was huge and it was bound to grow bigger. Canevet checked a third time and now Ostergaard moved all-in for effectively 16m.

After a short time Canevet managed to find a fold - a good one. But with this hand Ostergaard took the lead once again and Canevet is at the bottom of the leader board again.

The players are now on a half hour break.

Erik Ostergaard dk 41,000,000
Julien Stropoli fr 30,000,000
Maxime Canevet se 24,000,000
Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1

Chip Lead Flip-Flops Again!

Another shorty all-in, another shorty wins the showdown.

Erik Ostergaard was down to only 14 bigs and he moved all-in.

Julien Stropoli found a call and they saw a showdown:

Ostergaard: A 9
Stropoli: K Q

Board: 8 6 6 T T

Ostergaard doubled up with the better kicker and we're still 3-handed. With this hand Canevet, who wasn't even involved, was propelled back into the chip lead.

Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1

Canevet Doubles with Quads!

Canevet builds again.
Canevet builds again.

From the button Erik Ostergaard opened to 1.3m with A 4.

Maxime Canevet defended the big blind with an all-in raise with T 9.

Ostergaard decided to call the all-in for almost 20 big blinds and the two saw a showdown.

The board came down 9 5 6 9 9 to give Canevet quads!

After this hand Canevet doubled up to 40m chips and now he's second behind Julien Stropoli with 42m.

Ostergaard is down to 13m chips.

Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1

Canevet Doubles Back

Erik Ostergaard has had the better of Maxime Canevet most of the time in the past few hands, but now Canevet has score one double up against the Dane.

After a raise and re-raise both were all-in pre-flop:

Ostergaard: T 7
Canevet: A 8

Board: K 6 2 Q 8

With his top-pair Canevet doubled up to 20 big blinds and while he is still last on the leader board, he has some wiggle room again.

Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1

Ostergaard Takes the Lead Again

Our former chip leader, Maxime Canevet, is down to just 8 big blinds and Erik Ostergaard has taken the lead again

Ostergaard found A A on the button and raised to 1.9m.

In the big blind Maxime Canevet defended with A 5.

The two of them saw a flop.

Flop: A 4 K (5m)

Top-Pair vs. Top-Set - this flop hit both players quite well. But both checked.

Turn: T

Again Canevet checked his top pair. Now Ostergaard bet 4m and Canevet called.

River: 6 (13m)

Another check by Canevet and Ostergaard now bet 4m again. Canevet called and lost the showdown.

Canevet is down to 8 big blinds with this hand. The deal he made when he was still overwhelming chip leader is looking good now.

Level
39
Blinds
500000/1000000
Ante
1000000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1

Mantas Urbonas Bounced in 4th (€121,500)*

Mantas, out.
Mantas, out.

As mentioned Mantas Urbonas was down to just a couple of big blinds, but managed to double up twice against Erik Ostergaard.

First hand:

Ostergaard: J 8
Urbonas: Q T

Board: T Q 4 2 8

Second hand:

Urbonas: K 9
Ostergaard: A 4

Board: J 2 T K K

Now Urbanas was almost back in contention with 12 big blinds but he eventually lost his 3rd all-in against the Dane.

Ostergaard opened with A A and Urbonas got A Q behind him, moved all-in and of course Ostergaard called.

The board fell Q J 6 4 4 and wasn't not enough for Urbonas.

Urbanas is out in 4th position and will have to settle for the agreed-upon deal money, €121,500.

*According to a five-way deal.

Level
38
Blinds
400000/800000
Ante
800000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1

When Two Huge Hands Collide

Two huge hands collided when Julien Stropoli and Mantas Urbonas were all-in preflop.

After a bet and raise both were all-in and we saw a showdown:

Julien Stropoli: K K
Mantas Urbonas: A Q

Board: K T 3 A 2

And just like that Mantas Urbonas, who started 3rd in chips today, was left with only 3 big blinds.

Stropoli doubled into the lead.

What a game, poker.

Level
38
Blinds
400000/800000
Ante
800000
Players Left
4
Tables Left
1

Ostergaard Hits the Ace

Things have taken a turn for the worse for Maxime Canevet.

Once (and mostly) the overwhelming chip leader he just took a big hit from Erik Ostergaard.

Four-handed he ran got his QQ in vs. Ostergaard's AQ in power position.

An ace on the flop changed that quickly and now he's found himself on the shorter side.

Ostergaard, meanwhile, has built a wall of chips and claimed the lead.

What a game, poker.

Level
38
Blinds
400000/800000
Ante
800000
Players Left
4
Tables Left
1

Everyone Has Mixed Feelings About a Chop(ped) Pot

Wtf, right?
Wtf, right?

The pressure is off after the deal.

There's still €73,000 to play for but it seems like most players are very happy with their take home so far and seem chill and relaxed.

Nevertheless we just saw a huge hand between Maxime Canevet and Mantas Urbonas.

It was an all-in for more than 33m chips - one third of the chips in play.

Canevet and Urbonas were all-in with kings. Both of them.

Maxime Canevet: K K
Mantas Urbonas: K K

The board did not bring a flush to either player and the pot was split evenly. Contrary to the lyrics of the well-known Stapes/Hartigan ditty "Everyone Loves a Chop Pot," we still sense some mixed feelings about them.

Level
37
Blinds
300000/600000
Ante
600000
Players Left
4
Tables Left
1

Abdallah Fakhreddine Falls in 5th (€108,500)*

With a deal being made, busting out comes easier. And being the short stack with only 20 big blinds also makes it easier to try and go for a double up.

Abdallah Fakhreddine was the shorty after the deal and he found A Q. In front of him Maxime Canevet raised with T T and Abdalah moved all-in.

Canevet called quickly and the board fell 3 5 8 8 5. This meant Abdalah was out in 5th place and Canevet won another huge pot.

The Battle of Malta was Abdallah Fakhreddine's first-ever live tournament and his inexperience might have shown in some spots. But he played with a lot of heart and soul and he took home €108,500 - not too shabby for a first tournament.

Now Maxime Canevet has almost half of the chips and it's his tournament to lose.

*According to a five-way deal.

 

Level
37
Blinds
300000/600000
Ante
600000
Players Left
4
Tables Left
1

5-Way Deal, Five 6-Figure Payouts!

With five players left the clock was stopped for about half an hour to give the players a chance to discuss a deal.

It’s a reasonable decision although you’d usually expect this to happen with maybe four or even three players.

As it turns out, what they come up with sounds like a very fair deal.

This agrees with the impression that the whole final table has been played in very good spirits. There’s some banter here and there, and nobody got out of line even once!

Everybody has a six-figure score secured and these are the deal agreements:

  • Maxime Canevet; €169,000
  • Jens Erik Ostergaard; €139,500
  • Mantas Urbonas; €121,500
  • Julien Stropoli; €118,500
  • Fakhreddine Abdallah; €108,500

This leaves €73k left to play for which will be distributed to first and second place. First place gets €50k extra, second place gets €23k extra.

Congratulations to everyone!

Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000
Players Left
5
Tables Left
1

Andy Hills Razed in 6th (€53,000)

Day of promise ends early.
Day of promise ends early.

He started the final table 2nd in chips but Andrew Hills just couldn't hold on.

First he lost a huge chunk of his chips against Maxime Canevet and then doubled up luckily against Erik Ostergaard, but he soon found himself at the bottom of the counts again.

Now, he was just all-in again against Ostergaard.

After Abdallah Fakhreddine opened from the hi-jack Ostergaard moved all-in with A 6.

Hills found J J and called the all-in.

The board fell 3 Q 8 3 Q and Ostergaard made a flush.

It took him and the dealer some time to realize it, but eventually he did win the pot. And did a small dance at the side of the table.

Hills is out in 6th position for €53k. Players have begun discussing a deal and play has paused while they do. Here are the current chip counts:

Maxime Canevet fr 29,825,000
Erik Ostergaard dk 21,350,000
Mantas Urbonas lt 16,150,000
Julien Stropoli fr 15,425,000
Abdallah Fakhreddine lb 12,450,000
BoM2018Ft14
No hard feelings
BoM2018FT10
Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000
Players Left
5
Tables Left
1

Wait Until You See Battle of Malta 2019

Expect even more balloons in 2019
Expect even more balloons in 2019

More tables. Bigger numbers. Better service. Big plans.

The 2018 Battle of Malta had its small hiccups but to Casino Malta Marketing & Events Coordinator Telly Bartolo, that's still a good sign - that more players showed up at the 2018 BoM than even expected.

The ballooning of the prize pool to a gasp-worthy €1,850,760 was obviously enough to compensate for most people but players on the fence about returning next year should fear not for the small obstacles to return next year.

The BoM powers that be have made their notes on what could be even better and the 2019 Battle of Malta, says Bartolo, will be bigger, better and smoother than ever before.

Our host Laura Cornelius sat down with Bartolo and Events Director Diane Fenech to learn more and they went in-depth on just how much work it took to take this massive first step in BoM's evolution and how they'll take it even further in 2019.

888poker's back on board, the sponsors are lining up to participate and the buzz emanating around Europe about this now-essential stop on the poker circuit will only grow bigger.

Congratulation to Bartolo, Fenech and the entire Casino Malta/Intercontinental staff for putting on a poker show to remember! More below:

Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000

Simone Speranza Wins BOM High Roller Event for €60,000!

The €1,320 High Roller event of the Battle of Malta was a 3-day tournament and drew 240 runners.

The final table today included a World Championship finalist. Fernando Pons from Spain is a former WSOP November Niner and he was happy to make another final table in a major event.

However, it wasn’t him who would take down the title and €60,000. Instead, it was the Italian Simone Speranza who prevailed and collected all the chips.

Speranza is not in this situation for the first time. Two years ago he won the €550 ME of the Campione d’Italia. Speranza also won the €550 IPO main event back in May.

He now has six entries in the Hendon Mob tournament database, all of which are final tables and three of which are tournament wins.

His victory at the BOM High Roller tournament marks the third-largest win of his career.

Congratulations to a strong performance and a great result!

GG Gustav: Vadenbring Vanquished in 7th (€41,000)

The next all-in followed shortly after and it was the Swede Gustav Vadenbring, now the super short stack at the table.

He was left with less than 5 big blinds and thus his gameplay simplified enormously. He just had to find a somewhat decent hand, move all-in and hope for the best.

So that's what he did.

He moved all-in with 9 7 and was called by Maxime Canevet with T 5 in the big blind.

The board fell 2 3 K 4 6 and Vadenbring was out with a €41k payday.

It's by far the biggest payday for the recreational player and once he's over the disappointment of busting he's going to realize what a great feat this was for him.

With only 6 players left the level time will now be reduced to 45 minutes to ensure the play finishes in a timely manner.

Next payout: €53,000

Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000
Players Left
6
Tables Left
1

Impressive (and Correct) Laydown by Ostergaard

Wp.
Wp.

Shortly after doubling up against Gustav Vadenbring the Dane Erik Ostergaard found another banger: J J in the hi-jack.

He raised to 1.3m and just behind him Mantas Urbonas woke up with A A.

Urbonas raised to 3m and it folded to Ostergaard.

With 7.5m left, Ostergaard just called the re-raise out of position.

Flop: K 6 2 (7.3m)

Ostergaard checked and Urbonas bet 1.9m.

Ostergaard instantly let go of his hand, making a surprising laydown. A correct laydown nonetheless.

Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000
Players Left
7
Tables Left
1

Ostergaard Doubles Up through Vadenbring

Reprieve for Ostergaard
Reprieve for Ostergaard

After losing the all-in against Andrew Hills the Dane Erik Ostergaard was the shortest stack at the table and quickly found himself all-in.

With only 8 big blinds Ostergaard found A A in the cut-off.

Abdalah Fakhreddine limped before him and Ostergaard shoved all-in.

Gustav Vadenbring found A Q behind him and moved all-in over the top.

Abdalah let go of his hand. The board fell K T 2 8 5

Ostergaard doubled up to 10m and Vadenbring was left with 2.6m

Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000
Players Left
7
Tables Left
1

Massive Double for AH with AK

That look is called relief.
That look is called relief.

It didn't take long after the first break of the day for the first massive all-in.

Andy Hills had a horrible first two levels today and lost 2/3s of his stack, mostly against Maxime Canevet to his left.

He was down to 6m chips (12 big blinds) and found himself at the bottom at the leaderboard.

Hills found A K in the hi-jack and moved all-in. In the small blind the Dane Erik Ostergaard had K K and moved all-in.

In the big blind Mantas Urbonas looked down to find 9 9, but let go of his hand.

Andrew and Erik went to showdown.

The board fell A A Q 4 Q

With a boat Hills doubled up and Ostergaard was left crippled with 8 big blinds.

Surprisingly, the most nervous player during this all-in was the chip leader Maxime Canevet. He got up from his seat, paced around the table and was not too happy to see Hills win this all-in.

He probably would have preferred the seasoned pro being eliminated. But now Hills again is a force to be reckoned with, holding 13m chips - 26 big blinds.

BoM2018FTAK
Level
36
Blinds
250000/500000
Ante
500000
Players Left
7
Tables Left
1

Meet the 2018 BoM Ladies Event Winner, Madara Sviska!

The €110 Poker League of Nations-sponsored Ladies Event at this year's Battle of Malta was a grand success this year with 104 entries.

The winner, Madara Sviska, earned €2,533, a bomber handmade Mdina Glass trophy and a Tiffany's bracelet.

Needless to say she was pretty chuffed about it.

Maybe even more chuffed about it was her boyfriend, Janis Saulitis.

Saulitis says he was playing the Main Event at the time but had more interest in Madara's final table run, which ultimately ended in triumph.

Even better? She had all of her own action despite his offer to stake her!

Well played, Madara. Check out the two of them telling Laura all about it:

First Break – France Rises to the Top

We’ve already lost two players in the first session of the Battle of Malta final table today.

Jerry Mangum, the only American player at the table, was the first to go after only a couple of hands.

After that, not much was happening for a while until the two big stacks, Canevet and Hills, clashed and the hand went the way of the bigger stack.

Julien Stropoli is the only shortstack yet who has managed to propel himself into a much better position. He’s now in third behind the runaway chip leader Maxime Canevet, while Andy Hills has lost a lot of chips.

The shortest stack is now Gustav Vadenbring, who nursed one of the shorter stacks for most of the tournament and is definitely the survival kid of the bunch.

Click here to watch the Battle of Malta Main Event Final Table live.

Chip Stacks at First Break

1. Maxime Canevet; 36,275,000 chips

2. Mantas Urbonas; 15,900,000

3. Julien Stropoli; 15,475,000

4. Erik Ostergaard; 8,275,000

5. Andy Hills; 7,250,000

6. Abdallah Fakhreddine; 6,750,000

7. Gustav Vadenbring; 5,275,000

------

8. Mateusz Moolhuizen; out; €30,000

9. Jerome Steven; out; €23,000

Level
35
Blinds
200000/400000
Ante
400000
Players Left
7
Tables Left
1

Canevet Runs Over the Table, Traps Himself

Vandenbring (left), Stropoli (right).
Vandenbring (left), Stropoli (right).

Maxime Canevet has been running over the table. He's increased his stack to 40m chips - more than 40% of all the chips on the table.

He was raising virtually every hand in position, abusing the power of ICM and the smaller stacks trying to ladder.

The only one to stand up against him was his countryman Julien Stropoli.

Stropoli opened with K Q from the hi-jack and Canevet came over the top from the button with Q T with a min-re-raise. Stropoli called.

Flop: T 5 4 (4.4m)

Stropoli checked and Canevet checked his top pair behind.

Turn: 2

Now Stropoli tried to get whiffed overs to fold and bet 2.2m. Canevet quickly called.

River: 5 (8.8m)

Stropoli completed the bluff and moved all-in for 7.6m. Canevet was visibly unhappy with how this hand played out.

He trapped himself with his check on the flop. He underrepresented his hand, but gave Stropoli plenty of credit. Stropoli called the clock on him after some minutes and Canevet interpreted this as strength and folded.

Stropoli turned over his bluff, raked in the pot and Canevet jumped out of his seat, gasping for some air.

Stropoli put a small dent in Canevet's stack and maybe put some brakes on him.

Level
35
Blinds
200000/400000
Ante
400000
Players Left
7
Tables Left
1

Moolhuizen Muted In 8th Place (€30,000)

Mateusz Moolhuizen has more than poker in his life.
Mateusz Moolhuizen has more than poker in his life.

Mateusz Moolhuizen started the day in the middle of the pack, but could not make much happen in the first level today.

In the end it was a lost flip that essentially sealed his fate.

Frenchman Julien Stropoli moved all-in from early position with 7 7 for 4.6m (roughly 15 big blnds). Behind him Mateusz found A Q and moved all-in as well.

The board fell Q 7 6 Q 9 to give Stropoli a full house and double him up.

Moolhuizen was left with 6 big blinds despite hitting trips and, after one more orbit and the blinds going up, he found himself on his very last lifeline.

He moved all-in from UTG with Q 9 and in the small blind Maxime Canevet called with A 9. Moolhuizen was dominated and the board fell A Q 6 J 3 and now we're down to 7 players.

Unlucky ending for the Dutch player who hit the board twice and still couldn’t win the hands.

Next payout: €41,000

Level
35
Blinds
200000/400000
Ante
400000
Players Left
7
Tables Left
1

Clash of Chip Titans Goes to Canevet

Canevet living the dream.
Canevet living the dream.

Andy Hills and Maxime Canevet are by far the biggest stacks at the table and the two of them are seated right next to each other.

Canevet has position on Hills and we just witnessed a huge clash.

Hills opened to 650k from MP with Q Q and behind him Canevet 3-bet to 1.7m with 9 8. Hills took some time and eventually called.

Flop: 9 7 6 (4.1m)

Hills checked to the aggressor and Canevet, who just hit top pair, bet 1.2m. Hills fumbled a bit with his chips and called after some deliberation.

Turn: 5 (6.5m)

Canevet just hit his straight in a 3-bet pot against the only other big stack on the table. But somehow both players checked.

River: 4 (6.5m)

Now a possible flush appeared on the board and Hills checked to Canevet. The Frenchman slid a whopping 3.4m over the line and Hills made the call in the end.

With this hand Canevet extended his lead to 33m chips - one third of all the chips in play.

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
8
Tables Left
1

Jerry Mangum Ousted in 9th (€23,000)

Fountain of youth, found!
Fountain of youth, found!

And the first bust of the afternoon is Jerry Mangum from the USA.

He came into the day very short and had very little room for any moves.

He found T 5 in the small blind with 6 blind blinds left and, after all players folded to him, he moved all-in.

In the big blind Mantas Urbonas looked down to find A J. Of course he called.

The board fell 9 9 6 Q J and Jerry Mangum, the 68 year old who - according to the commentator on the stream "played like a rampant teenager" - had to take his leave.

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
8
Tables Left
1

Battle of Malta Main Event Live Stream Up!

The game is on and the stream is running. Our nine contenders have taken their seats at the table and in the spotlight.

Who will take down the €300,000?

Find out in real time as you watch the live stream on the Battle of Malta Facebook page.

There are more than €850k on the line on this table alone.

Click here to watch the Battle of Malta main event live stream.

Shuffle up and deal! Oh, but first: Let's hear from our final nine:

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

Raise Your Hand If You Want €300,000!

Two hands mean you REALLY want €300k
Two hands mean you REALLY want €300k

What's the scene like inside the ropes at the Battle of Malta Main Event final table?

Have a gander below as our players are introduced and the chips get ready to fly.

If you're in Malta and would like to see it in person, head to the Casino Malta and you'll be directed to our conference room set-up with room for spectators.

If you're not able to motor down and see it in the flesh, we have the perfect solution for you.

The whole thing will be live streamed on the Battle of Malta Twitch page on a 30-minute delay with hole cards up, expert commentary and no shortage of spills, chills and exasperated facial expressions.

And that's just from our live reporting team! It'll be a hoot - come watch.

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Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

Two Final Tables at Battle Of Malta Today!

It’s the final day of the biggest Battle of all times (at least regarding the BOM poker world).

The players are sitting down and the first hand is about to be dealt.

We’re playing down to a winner today and that person is going to win €300,000!

Parallel to the main event, the High Roller event will also play to find a winner today. Former WSOP November Niner Fernando Pons is one of them so this is going to be a high class final as well.

In the regulations it says that we will shorten the level times in the main event to 45 min when we are down to six players, and then again to 30 min when we’re down to three.

Of course the TD can still make changes if they deem it necessary, but this should prevent the event from going deep into the night.

For now, let the battle begin!

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

BoM Final 9: Maxime Canevet, 29, Paris, France, (25,925,000)

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Maxime Canevet is from Paris but lives in Sliema (Malta). He started playing poker 11 years ago when he was 18 in the big gambling clubs (cercles de jeu) in Paris. He's only just become a poker pro in February. He admits he wasn’t really good before arriving in Malta but is better now that he has focused on his game.

Canevet previously worked in marketing for 7 years but had had enough and wanted a change. Now he spends 100% of his time playing poker almost only online (maximec25). His best result online was winning a High Roller on Winamax for €13,500

He's a big fan of baseball and played for 5 years. He also likes tennis, movies, and art (exhibitions, contemporary art).

As for the BoM Canevet says he had some luck to start Day 3 when he was down to 12BB then had AA vs AT, doubled to 28BB, and right after had QQ vs JJ. He then went up to 70BB. Says Maxime:

"There are some very good players in the field, but as they have between 20 and 40BB they don’t have much room to play, so they can’t really exploit their skills. And I can play my hands easily.

"It's a top-notch atmosphere, better than the DSO in September. Top organization for such a tournament with more than 3,000 players. Floor and dealers very helpful. Structure is also good with the levels of 60 minutes you have time to play. Dinner offered is also something cool. Nothing bad to say, everything is great.

"It’s not only the prize and the final table, it's a superb experience overall with this great atmosphere. When you play live you want to play tournaments like this one."

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000

BoM Final 9: Andy Hills, 40, (Grosvenor Poker Ambassador), UK (17,250,000)

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Grosvenor Poker Ambassador Andy Hills has had a stunning year on the tournament circuit, but this week he’s had, “Probably the best run in any live comp I’ve ever played.”

He’s won several big tournaments in 2018 but notes that they were “not even close” in comparison to the massive 3,816-strong field in Malta. This is his second MPNPT final table appearance after coming ninth in Bratislava, and he is looking forward to improving on that result today, as well as adding a second Malta flag to his online trophy cabinet.

“I think I have the two most polarized Malta flags of anyone on the Hendon Mob,” he said, pointing to his last Malta cash - a mere €420. “I’ve bypassed the four-figure cash and gone straight for five figures.” Then, after a pause: “Well, hopefully.” He’s being supported at the rail today by his girlfriend Georgi.

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

BoM Final 9: Mantas Urbonas, 31, (Olybet qualifier), Lithuania (15,900,000)

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31-year-old poker professional Mantas Urbonas is largely an online player but, displaying excellent taste, when he plays live it is mostly on the MPNPT tour. His previous results are impeccable, with a third-place Main Event finish at MPNPT Tallinn in 2016 and a 12th-place finish the following year, as well as numerous MPNPT side event final table appearances.

As always, he has greatly enjoyed this MPNPT stop - although he laments that he wasn’t able to come to all the parties as he was too busy playing. Asked what he intends to do with the money if he wins today, he paused for a few moments and glanced at his fiancé at the rail before answering with a smile, “Let’s say I will invest in poker.”

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

BoM Final 9: Abdallah Fakhreddine, 38, Lebanon/Dubai (9,700,000)

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Abdallah Fakhreddine is playing his first ever live tournament! The 38-year-old, who bought in four times to make Day 2, runs a chain of hair salons in his adopted home of Dubai. He’s been playing poker for some 18 years and Texas Hold’em for about ten years.

He booked his flight to Malta three months ago after a friend persuaded him it was a good idea. His friend busted Day 2 but Abdallah, who plays a lot in high-stakes home games with friends, has managed to make it right through to the final. He said:

“It’s a fantastic event, I’m definitely coming back next year. It’s more than amazing, it’s the best feeling ever. All my friends are watching the live stream, they think it’s incredible. I haven’t been able to play this kind of event before because I’m just too busy at work – but I’ve left my Mum to look after all the salons!”

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

BoM Final 9: Mateusz Moolhuizen, 29, (Betsson Poker Qualifier) Netherlands (8,625,000)

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Mateusz Moolhuizen is no stranger to MPNPT final tables, having finished fourth in MPNPT Mazagan back in January. He also recently won the UCOP Leaderboard, and on top of that has scored himself a €1,500 package to MPNPT Tallinn as one of the three winners of the MPNPT Last Longer after qualifying for this event on Betsson Poker.

Moolhuizen is here with his girlfriend - poker player, vlogger and online influencer Dehlia de Jong - and at one point on Day 2 they found themselves at the same table for the first time ever.

One of the most experienced players in the field when it comes to major final tables, Moolhuizen will have his eyes firmly set on the €300,000 first prize here in Malta today.

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

BoM Final 9: Erik Ostergaard, 47, Copenhagen (5,400,000)

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Erik Ostergaard is a construction manager is his home city of Copenhagen. He’s been playing poker for three and a half years and making the final table at Battle of Malta is by far his biggest result to date.

He has played some 30 tournaments online but more than 750 tournaments in private home games in Copenhagen. His recorded live tournament results total more than $15,000 including making the final table of a €170 Danish event at Kings Casino in Rozvadov. He said: 

“I was down to three big blinds after two and a half hours and chip leader seven hours later. I made the final table but was first out and cashed for €1,216.”

Erik has also cashed in Malta and in Marrakech where he had his biggest result to date - $11k for a fifth place in the Marrakech Poker Open last year. He bought in twice to Battle of Malta and got through via the Day 1d Turbo. He said:

“I’ve been winning since I took up poker, even when I was a bad player. But then I really started studying hard – DVDs, books, the lot. Everyone I have competed against here I compare against players I know well at home and then I can read them. So I think “this guy is like Peter” or “that guy is a half-George” etc.

"I played a really aggressive player today and if I hadn’t played against someone like him at home, he would have run me over. I’m thrilled to make the final. I emailed my boss earlier and said ‘I hope I’m a day late for work.”

Erik was supposed to be catching a flight home at 9am Tuesday.

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

BoM Final 9: Gustav Vadenbring, 44, Malta via Sweden (5,075,000)

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Gustav Vadenbring is originally from Sweden and is a Chief Financial Officer for a Malta-based i-gaming company. Making the final of the Battle of Malta is by far his best live result. He started player poker as a youngster with his grandfather but started taking the game seriously around ten years ago, specializing in Sit n’ Gos.

He said: “Actually, I really like playing live SnGs. I used to do it a lot when I was young but now I’m very busy with my kids so I don’t have time to play – I just fit it in when I can. That’s why I am here today.”

Vadenbring has loved playing Battle of Malta. He said: “It’s a fun tournament with a lot of players and I think it’s very well organized. Thanks to the pretty low buy-in, a lot of players can join and enjoy some nice days of ‘true poker’. It’s been amazing since the start – a huge event – but what I have liked most is that it’s given me the chance to play close to poker pros and learn from them.”

Gustav said it would be hard at the final table as he’s short-stacked. He added: “I will just try to make it happen. I hope I can do my best.”

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000

BoM Final 9: Julien Stropoli, 29, Lyon, France (4,600,000)

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Julien Stropoli is from Lyon, France, but now lives in Sliema. Like chip leader Maxime, he also arrived in Malta at the end of February/early March. He's been playing poker seriously for two years but other than has always played poker for fun.

Stropoli was also a semi-professional in Magic: The Gathering and he played big tournaments when he was younger.

Best online result: €80,000 (Millions Event)

About the BoM:

"Marvellous welcoming, super organization, great buffet and rake is also good. This is rare."

About the Final Table:

"There are 3 short stacks and a lot of ICM. We’ll not really have time to talk about strategy, but I’ll play my game. And I will give everything and do my best tomorrow."

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000

BoM Final 9: Jerry Mangum, 68, San Diego, USA (2,950,000)

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Jerry Mangum is having the time of his life on his first-ever trip to Europe. The 68-year-old retired computer hardware engineer only decided to come to Battle of Malta two weeks ago when he was invited by Poker League of Nations founder Lena Evans.

Mangum, a talented amateur photographer, was taking pics for the Poker League of Nations Ladies event on Saturday. Mangum, who has two children and two grandchildren, has been playing poker since he was 13 and took up Texas Hold’em in 2001.

He had to stop playing online after Black Friday but is still a regular in home games with friends, as well as competing at California poker rooms such as LA’s famous Bicycle Club. He said:

“I’m having a great time. Lena invited me a couple of weeks ago and I jumped at the chance. My kids haven’t been able to watch the live stream because they’re at work but a ton of other family members and friends are watching and cheering me on.”

Mangum’s live earnings already total $194,928 with results going back to 2007. His biggest result to date was winning a Legends of Poker event in 2007 for $138,577.

Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Players Left
9
Tables Left
1

Let's Do This!

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The biggest Battle of Malta Main Event in history has reached its final day and our 9 finalists are ready to get chips moving.

When all is said and done these nine players will divvy up just under €900,000 today - a truly astounding number rarely if ever seen in a tournament with a buy-in this small.

It's been a blast so far and we have a feeling the fireworks have only just begun. If you need a reminder, here are the payouts for the final table:

1 €300,000
2 €170,000
3 €115,000
4 €80,000
5 €65,000
6 €53,000
7 €41,000
8 €30,000
9 €23,000

Live coverage starts here on this page at 2pm today with the live stream starting 30 minutes later. Tune in for that right here.

Now, let's get to know our historic Final 9 ...

Here's how they'll start the final table:

Canevet Maxime fr 25,925,000
Hills Andrew Christopher gb 17,125,000
Urbonas Mantas lt 15,900,000
Abdalah Fakhreddine lb 9,700,000
Moolhuizen Mateusz fi 8,625,000
Ostergaard Erik dk 5,400,000
Vadenbring Gustav mt 5,075,000
Stropoli Julien fr 4,600,000
Mangum Jerry us 2,950,000
Level
34
Blinds
150000/300000
Ante
300000
Event Name Battle of Malta 2018 Main Event
Venue Casino Malta
Date 25 October 2018
Final Day 30 October 2018
Buy In €550
Entrants 3816
Prize Pool €1,850,760
First Prize €300,000
Level Ante Blinds
Level 1 0 100/100
Level 2 100 100/100
Level 3 200 100/200
Level 4 300 100/300
Level 5 400 200/400
Level 6 500 200/500
Level 7 600 300/600
Level 8 800 400/800
Level 9 1000 500/1000
Level 10 1200 600/1200
Level 11 1600 800/1600
Level 12 2000 1000/2000
Level 13 2500 1000/2500
Level 14 3000 1500/3000
Level 15 4000 2000/4000
Level 16 5000 2500/5000
Level 17 6000 3000/6000
Level 18 8000 4000/8000
Level 19 10000 5000/10000
Level 20 12000 6000/12000
Level 21 16000 8000/16000
Level 22 20000 10000/20000
Level 23 25000 10000/25000
Level 24 30000 15000/30000
Level 25 40000 20000/40000
Level 26 50000 25000/50000
Level 27 60000 30000/60000
Level 28 80000 40000/80000
Level 29 100000 50000/100000
Level 30 120000 60000/120000
Level 31 160000 80000/160000
Level 32 200000 100000/200000
Level 33 250000 100000/250000
Level 34 300000 150000/300000
Level 35 400000 200000/400000
Level 36 500000 250000/500000
Level 37 600000 300000/600000
Level 38 800000 400000/800000
Level 39 1000000 500000/1000000
Level 40 1200000 600000/1200000
Level 41 1600000 800000/1600000
Level 42 2000000 1000000/2000000
Level 43 2500000 1000000/2500000
Level 44 3000000 1500000/3000000
Browse More from BoM 2018
Past BoM Champions
Year Name Country Payout
2018 Julien Stropoli fr €168,500*
2017 Nadav Lipszyc il €200,000
2016 Robert Berglund se €160,000
2015 Nicolas Proust fr €110,000*
2014 Antoan Katsarov bg €122,750
2013 Louis Cartarius de €68,000
2012 Nicodemo Piccolo it €35,000
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