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The Festival Series Malta – A Sweltering Mixed Games Success

The Festival Series Malta – A Sweltering Mixed Games Success

The Festival Series landed last week at the grand Portomaso Casino in St. Julians, Malta. The series, best known for its wide range of mixed games, had its fifth stop in its two-year existence. It promised to be a real spectacle with a big Main Event, mixed games such as H.O.R.S.E, 8-Game and OFC, but also the first Mystery Bounty event in the history of The Festival Series and of course our own PokerListings Championship was part of the crowded schedule. Three full months in advance, players from all over the world were able to qualify online and turned out in large numbers for this eccentric event, this time held in the Mediterranean sun.

PokerListings Championship

In previous editions of The Festival Series, the PokerListings Championship has always been at the top of the schedule, and this time would be no different. However, this time the event had no less than three starting days, a very promising initiative. They weren't disappointed as 354 players eventually turned up, resulting in a €250 buy-in for a total prize pool of €76,464. Never before has the prize pool been as big as in Malta, and it eventually resulted in a first prize of €16,200. In the end, a Dutchman would walk away with the gross of the prize money, as well as the unique trophy awarded by The Festival Series, and of course eternal fame!

PokerListings Championship Malta – Final Table.
PokerListings Championship Malta – Final Table

Younes Jarir Celebrates After a Class-Act at the Final Table

Younes Jarir, a Dutch poker player who also gave act-de-presence at The Festival Series in Bratislava in 2022, was also this time together with a group of friends who came to this event. As we know, this group of friends is always there to support each other when necessary, and this time it was necessary. In Bratislava, ninth place in this eponymous event was a disappointing end, but he was confident enough to blast through to the end this time. He was opposed by not the least players; Colin Lovelock from England, our winner from the previous edition, was actually playing with a good stack throughout the event. Manuel Blaschke, the winner of the edition in Bratislava ’22, was also there. So there were two players who participated back-to-back here to go.

No one could stop Younes Jarir, however, as he was determined to win this event and finally did so by settling heads-up with former champion Manuel Blaschke from Austria.

Younes Jarir €16,200 
Manuel Blaschke €9,990 
Niklas Borg €6,690 
Vahur Tima €5,250 
Karl Sundin €4,250 
Colin Lovelock €3,250 
Tanguy Pellerin €2,574 
Wooseun Kim €1,930 
Laila Hawaszadeh €1,340 

The Festival Series Malta - Main Event

The Main Event is the flagship of a tournament series, both online and live. Unfortunately, The Festival did not give a guaranteed prize pool this time, but this should not spoil the potential of this great event. It started with a quiet day 1a, in which 89 registrations were recorded, but eventually, due to a good turnout on days 1c and 1d, the total eventually came to 617 participations. The €550 Main Event, with so many registrations, within a prize pool of €296,610, is not bad for a tournament with no guaranteed prize pool! However, it was the second time in history that the event had no less than five starting days, and sufficient consideration was given to the working Maltese citizens.

Main EventMalta '23Nottingham '22Bratislava '22Tallinn '22Bratislava '21
Day 1A8412913458108
Day 1B101138171123134
Day 1C149224280250245
Day 1D1791184587172
Day 1E66 144  
Day 2 38 845062

The event had 617 players registering nicely, and with 193 players returning on Day 2, it didn't take much for the fireworks to erupt. This included players who were still able to register two levels on Day 2, another unique element in this series, who started the day with just 10-15 big blinds.

Main Event – Day 2.
Main Event – Day 2

In the end, 71 players would secure a minus cash in this event, a cash for €1,000. Oystein Brenden, a poker player from Norway, had enough chips during the opening day and day 2 and even ended the day as the chip leader. They would eventually end the day with 16 players. Here are the chip counts at the start of the third and last day of the Main Event.

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Oystein Brenden2,240,00090
Gytis Juskevicius1,840,00074
Andreas Holmsten1,730,00069
Stian Nostdahl1,695,00068
Balazs Somodi1,625,00065
Dario Barone1,550,00062
Samuel Stranak1,280,00051
Luigi D’Alterio1,275,00051
Mischa Wieten970,00039
Annika Haaviste940,00038
Clausin Sanz745,00030
Shimon Hagay710,00028
Matthew Micallef650,00026
Jelmer Schuurmans520,00021
Andras Balogh480,00019
Kerrien Clement475,00019

Final Day

The moment had arrived; The third day of the Main Event. 16 Players returned and all eyes were on the first prize of €60,700. With a couple of notable names such as Jelmer Schuurmans, Andras Balogh, Luigi D’Alterio, and Oystein Brenden, it would be a potential battlefield right until the end. Poker fans from all over the world wouldn’t be disappointed, as many big pots went up and down.

Final Table – The Festival Series - Main Event - Malta
Final Table – The Festival Series - Main Event - Malta

Nice detail, the final table consisted of eight different nationalities! The man with the largest rail, Oystein Brenden, eventually turned the battle in his favour by taking first place. Balasz Somodi, from Hungary, ended up being the runner-up for €40,500. Another nice fact, only Matthew Micallef from Malta managed to play his way to the final table from the last 16 with one of the shortest stacks.

The Main Event was a great success in Malta with 617 players.

1Oystein Brenden€60,700
2Balazs Somodi€40,500
3Luigi D’Alterio€27,900
4Dario Barone€20,300
5Stian Nostdahl€14,560
6Andreas Holmsten€10,950
7Matthew Micallef€8,350
8Gytis Juskevicius€6,250
9Mischa Wieten€5,150
Hospitality events at The Festival Series.
Hospitality events at The Festival Series

Side Events

If you look at the schedule of The Festival Series, you'll see that they don't just focus on the Main Event, which many other tournament series around the world still focus on. Side events, and especially mixed games, are the most important factor for these series and it paid off big time this time. With 50+ events, there were an incredible number of events available to players, events that did not exceed their expectations can probably only be counted on one hand.

The side events that topped the Leaderboard were the €250 H.O.R.S.E (69 registrations), €125 8-Game (93 registrations), €1,100 PLO High Roller (60 registrations), €1,100 NLHE High Roller (70 registrations), €250 Open Face Chinese (38 registrations), and the €250 Mystery Bounty (201 registrations).

Martin "Franke" von Zweigbergk.
Martin ‘Franke’ von Zweigbergk

In the end, it was the founder of The Festival Series, Martin 'Franke' von Zweigbergk, who won two winners’ portraits. He won the HORSE and the CashGame Challenge. The Norwegian Coolbet ambassador Svein-Olaf Eidsaeter also managed to get two by winning the Win The Button tournament and the Mystery Bounty.

Here is an overview of all the winners of the side events:

Tournament NameBuy-inEntriesPrize PoolWinner1st Prize
Sviten Special €      25079 €  16,353Totti Lind €          5,200
Texas Knock Out €      125130 €  13,986Linus Lauermann €          1,700
Heads-Up €      25028 €     6,048Mantas Petrauskas €          2,380
PLO Championship €      25075 €  16,200Mirko Romeo €          5,150
Roulette €      12519 €     2,006Martin Geiba €          1,000
Half 'n Half €      12570 €     7,084Mikael Gronvik €          2,045
Win the Button €      12588 €     9,292Svein Olav Eidsaeter €          2,380
8-Game €      12593 €     9,820Jonas Jurksaitis €          3,350
Blackjack €      12525 €     2,640Angelo Vietti €          1,100
PLO High Roller €   1,10060 €  57,600Levan Rozomashvili €        15,400
Texas Progressive Knock Out €      250150 €  33,000Joseph Jackson €          3,500
HORSE €      25069 €  14,904Martin 'Franke' von Zweigbergk €          2,850
Texas High Roller €   1,10070 €  67,200Cory Desmond €        18,000
PLO 4/5/6 €      25072 €  15,550William Lynch €          2,900
Matching Visions Slots €      12518 €     1,900Tobias Bollmann €          1,000
Turbo Midnight Madness I €      125112 €  11,827Kai Muller €          3,190
OFC €      25038 €     8,206Aaron Kupin €          2,880
Queens Ladies €      12547 €     4,963Beate Etim €          1,760
Texas Surprise €      125131 €  13,834Salvatore Ritrovato €          2,230
PLO/PLO8 €      12564 €     6,758Frank Visser €          2,220
The Hendon Mob Championship €      250102 €  22,032Jonas Engedal €          6,100
Turbo Midnight Madness II €      12564 €     6,758Guido Sanzione €          2,250
Sportsbook €      12512 €        806Sami Korpela €             526
PLO FO €      25066 €  14,256Daniele Marchesani €          4,480
Mystery Bounty €      250201 €  44,220Svein Olav Eidsaeter €          6,400
PLO Midnight Madness €      12590 €     9,504Andreas Sanden €          1,600
Low Roller €         60159 €     7,632Miguel Cuevas €          1,800
OFC High Roller €   1,10020 €  19,200Aaron Kupin €          9,600
Seniors 49+ €      25022 €     4,752Gerhard Brimmers €          1,950
Joachim B
2023-05-30 19:02:45

Congratulations brorsan/ Martin Franke v Z/ kram Joachim

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