Category Final Day

Arthur Navellou Wins MPF Autumn Edition Grand Event (€115,000)

It was the early hours of Tuesday morning when France’s Arthur Navellou etched his name in both the Malta Poker Festival and Unibet Deepstack Open (UDSO) history books at the luxurious surroundings of Portomaso Casino.

After a nearly 16-hour marathon on the third and final day, Navellou agreed to a deal with Norway’s Kjetil Hanstvedt in the 2023 MPF Autumn Edition €550 Grand Event powered by UDSO with each player collecting €115,000 while still playing for the coveted MPF winner’s trophy and the UDSO championship belt. Both players shook hands after a well-fought battle.

Kjetil Hanstvedt and Arthur Navellou win €115K each in the MPF Grand Event

For both players, the impressive six-figure haul was their largest cash by far according to The Hendon Mob. Hanstvedt did more than just take second place this year in Malta as his previous biggest win came in April during the 2023 MPF Spring Edition Grand Event where he took fifth place for €20,150. Now the bar is set even higher for Hanstvedt as he can only finish one place higher when the MPF comes back in the Spring of 2024.

The event was a huge success story as it not only shattered the lofty €500,000 guarantee but the seven opening flights from Oct. 24-29 attracted a banner field of 1,444 entries creating a huge €693,120 prize pool to establish a new gold standard for the MPF.

2023 MPF Autumn Edition Grand Event powered by UDSO Final Table Payouts

The top 159 players locked up at least a min-cash of €1,110 with the nine players at the final table locking up at least a €10,380 prize.

The winner was originally scheduled to go home with €140,000 with €90,000 slated for the runner-up. However, after facing a long and emotional battle into the wee hours of the morning, the final two players instantly agreed to even the score.

1Arthur NavellouFrance€115,000*
2Kjetil HanstvedtNorway€115,000*
3Leif HetlandNorway€54,400
4Georgios ZachmanidisGreece€40,300
5Kamil SkawinskiPoland€32,200
6Samuel BilandSwitzerland€25,100
7Robert KontkanenSweden€19,100
8William KassoufUnited Kingdom€14,530
9Nidal DawoudDenmark€10,380
* Reflects heads-up deal
2023 MPF Grand Event Autumn Edition final table

Final Day Action

The final day witnessed 49 hopefuls in the hunt for big bucks and glory playing one-hour blind levels. FLIP ambassador Ann-Roos Callens (51st – €1,790) and The Chip Race Podcast sponsored by Unibet Poker co-host David Lappin (61st – €1,650) were among the players to bail out before the final bell rung on the penultimate day.

David Lappin, Jonathan Briscoe White, & Ann-Roos Callens chilling on the bubble

Players went out at a fast and furious pace to start with players including Guts Poker’s Jonathan Briscoe White (32nd – €2,340), Soren Dalgaard (39th – €2,340), Mark Attard (41st – €2,040), and Romain Nardin (48th – €2,040) heading to the rail before the first break.

It took more than seven hours of play to reach the final table, which was a mini-marathon of its own lasting more than eight hours. It was just before the final table began that Navellou could have been on crumbs in his stack but his queens got there on the river to win a monster pot against aces to eliminate the dejected Patrick Schlindler in 12th place for €6,970.

William Kassouf also had good fortunes with ladies shortly after as his held up against ace-five to send Antonios Onoufriou (11th – €6,970) and the final table was set in a momentous fashion after Leif Hetland’s aces were good against cowboys to eliminate Paul-Vlad Craciunas.

All through the way, eventual runner-up Kjetil Hansvedt was running strong with the chip lead from 26 players down and he remained the captain of the event by the time the final table kicked off as well. Hetland wasn’t too far behind with Navellou hanging around the near the top of the pack as well. Rails began to gather with noticeably large contingents from Norway, Greece, and France rooting on their countrymates.

Greek rail supporting Georgios Zachmanidis

Fireworks instantly erupted at the final table as the Greek rail began to celebrate when Georgios Zachmanidis with jacks rivered a set to deliver a bad beat to Nidal Dawoud who had to settle for the ninth-place prize of €10,380.

Navellou then chipped up to near the chip lead when his jacks were more than good to oust Kassouf (eighth – €14,530) with fives despite Kassouf pleading for cards to keep him alive.

Robert Kontkanen (seventh – €19,100) was bleeding away chips and didn’t have much left in his stack when he lost with king-six to Hanstvedt’s ducks in what was initially a three-way pot.

The clock was shortened to 40-minute blind levels with six players remaining and moments later Samuel Biland (sixth – €25,100) unsuccessfully three-bet jammed with ace-four a 13 big blind stack into Hetland’s fives.

The table dynamic quickly changed after Navellou with queens eliminated Kamil Skawinski (fifth – €32,200) with tens as he now had the chip lead and was making life more difficult for his three opponents.

The final four players battled for more than four hours. This isn’t to say there wasn’t some excitement as the battle continued to rage. All of Navellou’s opponents were at risk at one time or another but won flip after flip to stay alive before the dams broke.

Eventually, a bad beat crushed the dreams of Zachmanidis to the dismay of the supportive Greek rail with his ace-jack not holding against Hetland’s ace-trey to hit the rail one player shy of the podium in fourth place for €40,300.

Nearly another two hours passed by with the lead passing back-and-forth between all three of the remaining players. Eventually, the blinds went up leaving Hetland with nine big blinds. He jammed them in from the small blind with jack-six and Hanstvedt began chatting with his black duck card protector. He shared that the duck wanted him to call, which he did shortly after. We learned why after the cards were turned over with Hanstvedt showing deuces and won the flip to eliminate Hetland in third place for €54,400.

Leif Hetland eliminated in third place

Navellou Offers Heads-Up Deal

Hanstvedt regained a small lead after eliminating Hetland, and Navellou, who denied any deal talk early, quickly opened the conversation about a deal before the heads-up action began.

“I am ready to make a deal if you want,” shared Navellou about evening out the payouts from €140,000 for first place and €90,000 for second place to make it €115,000 each. “You have a few more chips but we can chop it up 50/50.”

Hanstvedt snap-agreed and the clock was set at a turbo pace but not before the rails from each of the players gave their hugs and congrats.

Kjetil Hanstvedt and his late-night rail

Navellou took a substantial lead when his fives won a flip against king-nine. Shortly after, Hansvedt doubled back his stack when his king-jack was good against king-ten suited but this was short-lived as he finished one player shy of the winner’s circle after his queen-five suited didn’t get there against king-ten.

A massive congratulation to Arthur Navellou for setting history by winning the 2023 Malta Poker Festival Autumn Edition €550 Grand Event powered by the Unibet Deepstack Open.

A special thank you to MPF founder Ivonne Montealegre, the staff at Portomaso Casino under the amazing leadership of J.J. Galea and Jonathan Micallef, Alex Henry and the Unibet Deepstack Open, the technical team at Ludos Academy (too many to name, but we love you all), the photography and video team, all the sponsors, and MPF activities coordinator and Globetrotting Poker founder Maureen Bloechlinger. Of course, one final massive thank you to all of the players for making this event as special as it was. Much love to everyone and until the next time.

See you all in April for the next Malta Poker Festival at Portomaso Casino.

Full Grand Event Payouts

  • Malta Poker Festival €550 Grand Event powered by Unibet Deepstack Open
  • 1,444 Entries
  • €693,120 prize pool
1Arthur Navellou€115,000*
2Kjetil Hanstvedt€115,000*
3Leif Hetland€54,400
4Georgios Zachmanidis€40,300
5Kamil Skawinski€32,200
6Samuel Biland€25,100
7Robert Kontkanen€19,100
8William Kassouf€14,530
9Nidal Dawoud€10,380
10Paul-Vlad Craciunas€6,970
11Antonios Onoufriou€6,970
12Patrick Schindler€6,970
13Alessandro D’Amore€4,960
14Paul Theeman€4,960
15Allan Arjut€4,960
16Aladin Mrkaljevic€3,850
17Dan Miron€3,850
18Flaviano Cammisuli€3,850
19Gianluca Pagliaro€3,200
20Giulio Di Salvo€3,200
21Lars-Magne Johansen€3,200
22Thomas Harnes€3,200
23Ionut Dinu€3,200
24Ciro Perna€3,200
25Stig Eketrapp€2,740
26Mako Cosic€2,740
27Andreas Liperis€2,740
28Clausin Sanz€2,740
29Junyu Liu€2,740
30Fabian Bartuschk€2,740
31Damien Labaune€2,740
32Jonathan Briscoe White€2,740
33Giorgio Accardi€2,340
34Markus Ganglbauer€2,340
35Salvatore Incardona€2,340
36Marco Cipriani€2,340
37Sabatino Pascrella€2,340
38Sebastian Mortensen€2,340
39Soren Dalgaard€2,340
40Filippos Avramidis€2,340
41Mark Attard€2,040
42Dani Kass Gergi€2,040
43Jake Allen€2,040
44Giovanni Piccione€2,040
45Boro Skalonja€2,040
46Alessandro La Cava€2,040
47Krasen Pendov€2,040
48Romain Nardin€2,040
49Andrei Roman-Tamaduianu€1,790
50Lorenzo Pannunzi€1,790
51Ann-Roos Callens€1,790
52Pavle Pecelj€1,790
53Martin Ganchev€1,790
54Raijmond Slabbekoorn€1,790
55Leonardo Armino€1,790
56Magnus Pukk€1,790
57Gioacchino Lionte€1,650
58Lege Sayed€1,650
59Randy Marschall€1,650
60Tonny Krijn€1,650
61Vito Romei€1,650
62David Lappin€1,650
63Kristian Hagevik€1,650
64Cedric Chevalme€1,650
65Eros Nastasi€1,530
66Cristiano Blanco€1,530
67Angelo Mirabella€1,530
68Andrew Murphy€1,530
69Congliang Lyu€1,530
70Gianmarco Scannapiego€1,530
71Anthony Swain€1,530
72Daniel Gatt€1,530
73Georgios Mellidis€1,420
74Domenico Gala€1,420
75Guillaume Bessolles€1,420
76Charif Akhoun€1,420
77Yan Pelletier€1,420
78Moreno Ferrari€1,420
79Lois Dufouleur€1,420
80Colin Cooper€1,420
81Salvatore Dimartino€1,310
82Giovannidario Bocchicchio€1,310
83Andrea Melluzzo€1,310
84Noam Fater€1,310
85Tayfun Rodoplu€1,310
86Candido Cappiello€1,310
87Arthur Israel€1,310
88Kevin Quinlan€1,310
89Niel Adams€1,310
90Bartolo Truglio€1,310
91Bo Torstensson€1,310
92Antonio Scala€1,310
93Miguel Martinez€1,310
94Igor Bukowsi€1,310
95William Johnstone€1,310
96Karl-Heinz Metz€1,310
97Ronald Zapantis€1,210
98Adam Bromley€1,210
99Carmelo Polimeni€1,210
100Wiesebrock Fernandez€1,210
101Antonio Brancati€1,210
102Francesco Biribao€1,210
103Giorgio Bellanca€1,210
104Daniel Kuhlmann€1,210
105Antoine Talvard€1,210
106Martin Danielsen€1,210
107Paiman Sakhi€1,210
108Thomas Lange€1,210
109Giovanni Nava€1,210
110Dimitrios Panagopoulos€1,210
111Giovanni Palma€1,210
112Marnin Santandrea€1,210
113Marc Schembri€1,110
114Michel Glansberg€1,110
115Christina Read€1,110
116Andre Grech€1,110
117Samuel Tebege€1,110
118Babak Movazzafi€1,110
119Brieuc Broudic€1,110
120Jonathan Stoll€1,110
121Jiany Lu€1,110
122Dario Sorrenti€1,110
123Michael Fohs€1,110
124Ralph van Veen€1,110
125Jeppe Bisgaard€1,110
126Alain Monluc€1,110
127Stefan Bormann€1,110
128Bengt Hallner€1,110
129Adam Diamond€1,110
130John Madden€1,110
131George Waud€1,110
132Luka Urosevic€1,110
133Alberto Galluzzo€1,110
134Vincent Calenti€1,110
135Istvan Krizsan€1,110
136Petter Erlandsen€1,110
137Joost Idema€1,110
138Andrew Cutajar€1,110
139Ali Bozdogan€1,110
140Greger Larsson€1,110
141Petrus Berkhout€1,110
142Rosarie Roberts€1,110
143Tugce Hallner€1,110
144Andrea Agnoletto€1,110
145Garry Spinks€1,110
146Saverio Giuzio€1,110
147Anders Karlsen€1,110
148Giuseppe Incognito€1,110
149Nico Seghorn€1,110
150Alex Montgomery€1,110
151Antonin Hays€1,110
152Leon Gerada€1,110
153Oyvind Stangnes€1,110
154Nicos Sotiriou€1,110
155Manfred Quint€1,110
156Vytautas Rubeziu€1,110
157Dylan Cechowski€1,110
158Daniele Grasso€1,110
159Vincenzo Scarpitti€1,110
*Reflects heads-up deal

Kjetil Hanstvedt Eliminated in 2nd Place (€115,000)

Level 39: 1,000,000/2,000,000 (2,000,000)
Entries: 1/1,444

Both Kjetil Hanstvedt and Arthur Navellou agreed to a deal with each player earning €115,000. After that, blinds went up and mayhem took place with Navellou winning the title which includes the MPF Grand Event trophy and the Unibet DeepStack Open championship belt.

The first hand was a coinflip with Hanstvedt getting it in with K9 against Navellou’s 55. Fives ran clean for Navellou on the J2477 board to double up Navellou and leave Hanstvedt on fumes.

Hanstvedt doubled up shortly after when his KJ proved to be good against Navellou’s K10 with the 9J938 running out on the board.

However, Handtvedt’s comeback was short-lived as shortly after his Q5 didn’t get there against Navellou’s K10 on the 10982K board. Hanstvedt previous took fifth place in the Grand Event last event in April for €20,150 and improved on it tremendously this time around.

Meanwhile, congrats to Arthur Navellou for winning the title after more than 15 hours on the final day. We will post the full payouts shortly with a recap to come tomorrow.

Arthur Navellou – 72.2 million
Kjetil Hanstvedt – 0

Kjetil Hanstvedt & Arthur Navellou chop the Grand Event

Playing For the Trophy

Level 39: 1,000,000/2,000,000 (2,000,000)
Entries: 2/1,444

Kjetil Handsveldt had 39.7 million chips to his Arthur Navellou’s 32.5 million. The duo agreed to split the kitty for each player to win €115,000 each before the start of heads-up action.

The duo will still play it out under fast 10-minute blind levels until a winner is crowned for both the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event trophy and the Unibet DeepStack Open belt.

Kjetil Handsveldt – 39.7 million
Arthur Navellou – 32.5 million

Leif Hetland Eliminated in 3rd Place (€54,000)

Level 38: 800,000/1,600,000 (1,600,000)
Entries: 2/1,444

Leif Hetland jammed for 14.6 million from the small blind. Kjetil Hansveldt asked for a count before he began spinning the duck.

“I am going to leave it to you,” Hansveldt said to his black duck chip protector before spin in around in circles. “I know what you want, I call.”

“Nice call,” Heltand said not realizing there would be a split.

Leif Hetland: J6
Kjetil Hansveldt: 22

The ducks were good on the 554K3 board to win the flip and to eliminate Hetland in third place for €54,000.

Hetland Back on Top

Level 37: 600,000/1,200,000 (1,200,000)
Entries: 3/1,444

With blinds as high as they are, it doesn’t take big pots from a big blind perspective for things to switch around. Leif Hetland won two pots without a showdown and was on top of the pack after that.

Leif Hetland – 33 million
Arthur Navellou – 25 million
Kjetl Hanstvedt – 14 million

Leif Hetland

Ace-Queen Good for Navellou

Level 37: 600,000/1,200,000 (1,200,000)
Entries: 3/1,444

Arthur Navellou jammed for 14.5 million. Leif Hetland asked for a count before he found a call from the small blind. Kjetil Hanstvedt tanked for about a minute before he appeared to reluctantly fold.

Arthur Navellou: AQ
Leif Hetland: A9

Ace-queen held on the 22K37 runout.

“F#&*,” said Kjetil Hanstvedt.

“You had sevens?” asked Navellou.

“Yeah,” responded Hanstvedt.

Arthur Navellou – 31 million
Kjetil Hanstvedt – 23 million
Leif Hetland – 18 million

Arthur Navellou

Georgios Zachminidis Eliminated in 4th Place (€40,300)

Level 36: 500,000/1,000,000 (1,000,000)
Entries: 3/1,444

Leif Hetland jammed for 13.4 million from the button. Georgios Zachmanidis went into the tank for about a minute before he called off for less than 10 million from the small blind.

Georgios Zachmanidis: AJ
Leif Hetland: A3

The Norwegian rail cheered as Hetland connected with his trey on the 235 flop. Players gave Zachmanidis a round of applause for a great fourth-place performance after not getting back into the hand on the Q turn or the 10 river.

The final three players each locked up €54,400 with still a €140,000 top prize on the line.

Arthur Navellou – 30 million
Leif Hetland – 25 million
Kjetil Hanstvedt – 17 million
Georgios Zachmanidis – 0

Georgios Zachmanidis eliminated in fourth place