Mirko Mostaccio defeated Thomas Harnes heads-up in the Malta Poker Festival (MPF) Autumn Edition €550 Grand Event Powered by partypoker for €136,970 after agreeing to a heads-up deal at the luxurious Portomaso Casino. Mostaccio also won a Las Vegas package sponsored by the World Poker Tour (WPT) valued at $2,500 and also won another €550 after winning the PokerDeals last longer competition.
The MPF Grand Event was a massive success with 1,326 entries generating a whopping €636,480 prize pool to smash the event’s €500,000 guarantee. A total of 143 players cashed for at least a €1,100 min-cash, representing exactly double the €550 buy-in.
Players came from far and near to play the Malta Poker Festival including from the United States and Canada making it one of the truly international recreationally minded poker events in Europe.
|5||Glen Gaines||United Kingdom||€25,000|
|7||Alessandro La Cava||Italy||€13,000|
|8||Steven Smith||United Kingdom||€9,000|
*Reflects heads-up deal at the final table.
The final day began with 39 hopefuls in the hunt for Malta Poker Festival glory with Humberto Galindo in the captain's seat. Galindo was unable to parlay his starting day pole position into a final table appearance as he eventually bowed out in 13th place for €3,500.
Meanwhile, Stefan Alvetjarn began the final day as one of the short stacks. But he doubled up twice early in the day to make it deep. However, he was eliminated in 10th place for €4,330 just short of the final table.
Runner-up Harnes began the final table with the chip lead with the eventual winner not too far behind in third place. The lead exchanged hands between a handful of players throughout what proved to be an entertaining final table.
On the other end of the scale, partypoker qualifier Karl Metz entered the final table with the shortest stack and hit the rail during the very first hand of the final table when his deuces failed to win a flip against the ace-six suited held by Alessandro La Cava.
Not too much later, Tobias Matuschuk delivered Steven Smith a cooler when his kings held against queens to send his opponent to the rail with Harnes sending La Cava packing shortly after to leave just six players remaining.
Although Matuschuk had the chip lead at this point, he lost some chips before getting involved in a monster pot with ace-queen. Instead, Harnes snagged the lead back while also eliminating Matuschuk when his sevens won the flip.
Glen Gaines, who a few months ago won the Tallinn Summer Showdown €1,100 Main Event that PokerListings also reported, lost his short stack to Luigi D'Alterio before local hero Andrew Cutajar hit the rail despite holding the nuts when the chips got in on the turn in a hand against Mostaccio.
D'Alterio was low on chips and was the next player to go when his ace-trey didn't hold against Mostaccio's ace-try. Mostaccio then had nearly double the stack of Harnes. Before a hand was played, the players took a break to agree on an ICM deal which left €23,400, the WPT package, and the €550 PokerDeals last longer prize on the line for the eventual winner.
The heads-up action didn't last long. Mostaccio won a few small pots and had Harnes on the ropes when he got it in good with ace-queen against king-jack to eliminate Harnes. Despite missing out on all the glory, Harnes did collect a trophy for finishing in the top three along with a handsome €97,330 prize thanks to making the deal.
We would like to thank MPF founder, the Portomaso Casino, and the amazing staff at MPF's technical partner Ludos Academy for their amazing work and hospitality. Of course, we appreciate the huge turnout by the players as well!
This concludes our coverage of the Malta Poker Festival. We look forward to seeing you soon!