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Malta Poker Festival Announces Historic Remote Day 1 Event at London’s Iconic Hippodrome Casino

In an unprecedented move, the Malta Poker Festival (MPF) is set to captivate the poker world by hosting its first-ever Remote Day 1 event at the illustrious Hippodrome Casino in London. This innovation allows players to immerse themselves in the festival’s excitement without leaving the UK, marking a significant milestone in the event’s illustrious history.

Event Highlights:

Date: Saturday, 16th of March

Time: 15:00 hrs

Venue: Hippodrome Casino, London

The stakes are high as the chipleader of MPF Day1 London will enjoy a complimentary five-night stay at the opulent 5-star Hilton hotel, elevating the competition to new heights.

Moreover, 15% of participants will advance to Day 2, securing their spot In The Money (ITM), setting the stage for a fiercely competitive atmosphere from the start.

The poker journey doesn’t end in London; qualifiers will proceed to the picturesque island of Malta to continue their quest for the GTD 300,000 Grand Event at Portomaso Casino on the following dates:

Sunday, 28th April: Day2 at 17:00 hrs

Monday, 29th April: Day 3 at 13:00 hrs and the Final Table

This groundbreaking initiative seamlessly blends the classic British gaming experience with the Mediterranean allure of Malta, offering a unique poker adventure.

Ivonne Montealegre, Event Director of the Malta Poker Festival, shares her enthusiasm: “The MPF Day1 event in London at the prestigious Hippodrome Casino represents a significant leap forward in our mission to innovate and expand the MPF’s reach. We’re crafting an unforgettable tournament that bridges geographical divides and unites players in their love for poker.”

Adding to the excitement, Kerryjane Craigie, Director of Poker at The Hippodrome Casino, announces: “From the 14th to the 17th of March, 2024, we’re hosting a series of events culminating in the MPF Day1 and qualifiers for the Ladies First Women’s tournament. Having experienced MPF firsthand, I can vouch for its exceptional quality and professionalism. Our team is delighted to participate this Spring, bringing the Hippodrome’s and London’s best to the MPF whilst giving everyone in the UK the chance to win their way.”

The Malta Poker Festival is renowned for its world-class organization, friendly atmosphere, and ability to draw poker enthusiasts globally. Its diverse schedule appeals to a broad spectrum of players, solidifying MPF as a cornerstone event in the international poker calendar.

About the Malta Poker Festival

Recently nominated as best standalone festival by the GPI, the Malta Poker Festival has become a fixture on the global poker scene, known for its impeccable organization, welcoming environment, and magnetism for poker aficionados from across the globe. MPF is the epitome of top-tier poker competition, catering to a vast array of players.

Contact: For additional details on the Malta Poker Festival and the inaugural MPF Day1 LONDON AT THE HIPPODROME CASINO, please visit Grand Event Structure

or reach out to

KerryjaneJane Craigie is Hosting Ladies First Spring Edition 2024

Ladies First Poker Tournament Spring 2024: A Celebration of Women in Poker hosted by Kerryjane Craigie

Malta, Spring 2024 – The Malta Poker Festival (MPF) has always been a beacon of inclusivity and excellence in the world of poker. This spring, the festival is set to …

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. Announced as the Official Travel Partner of the Malta Poker Festival

Hilton Malta king deluxe sea view room

“We are thrilled to announce Main Event Travel as the Official Travel Partner of The Malta Poker Festival for Spring 2023,” said MET Retail Sales Consultant Kelly Saxby. “Malta is a real hot spot for Poker, with so many fantastic events happening each year. The non-stop sunshine, world-class hotels, stunning coastline, outdoor dining, and buzzing nightlife make it a great place to explore and enjoy.”

Read the whole article here: Announced as the Official Travel Partner of the Malta Poker Festival

Women in Poker – Ivonne Montealegre

Ivonne Montealegre - Pokerlistings

Ivonne Montealegre is a Founder & Event Director within the poker industry and a well-known personality in the Maltese online gaming industry and beyond.  Being the founder of The Malta Poker Festival and having it organized over the past years, it must be said that mostly thanks to her passion, commitment, and endless effort to listen to players, she has, once again, built an amazing concept. She is breathing poker inside out and is a true continuous asset and a big reason why the Maltese poker industry has become to what it is today.

Read the whole article here: Women in Poker – Ivonne Montealegre


As of today, there’s only one month left until Ali G Tribute act Dani B starts dealing at the final table of what has to be the wickedest and best- value poker freeroll for iGaming professionals in 2023.

We only have 36 seats available and will pick the lucky players from those who have either:


    • Emailed


Read the whole article here: THE WICKEDEST iGAMING POKER FREEROLL OF 2023



luxon pay logo

18 October 2022: is pleased to announce that they are official payment partner for the upcoming Malta Poker Festival (MPF), which takes place 24th – 31st October at the Portomaso Casino on the island. In addition, Luxon Pay has partnered with the MPF and World Poker Tour® (WPT®) for a special bonus for the Grand Event winner.

The Malta Poker Festival is a popular low stakes festival, featuring a range of events, with the €500,000 guaranteed €500 + €50 Grand Event, powered by PartyPoker, running 26th – 31st October with five Day 1 flights. Luxon Pay are offering a special promotion for players who buy-in to any of the Malta Poker Festival events offering bubble insurance so if a player makes a buy-in using Luxon Pay they will get their buy-in back if they are eliminated on the bubble. Satellites are excluded from the promotion.

In addition, Luxon Pay and the Malta Poker Festival have joined forces with the World Poker Tour to offer a very special package for the winner of the Grand Event, powered by PartyPoker. The winner of the MPF Grand Event will receive a WPT Prime package for the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas with the event running 8th-12th December which includes a $1,100 buy-in for the $2 million guaranteed event, $1,300 travel expenses and a hotel package worth $1,600. This WPT Prime Event runs as part of a schedule that includes the historic $10,400 buy-in WPT World Championship Main Event which has the largest guaranteed prizepool in live poker event history to the tune of $15 million.

Neil Barrett, Business Development Director of Luxon Pay said: “We are pleased to be partnering with the Malta Poker Festival for the very first time as Official Payment Partner. Ivonne Montealegre and her team, in conjunction with Portomaso Casino, put on a great event and we hope players take advantage of the bubble insurance on all events and the Luxon Pay simple and seamless buy-in experience. We are also delighted to partner with the WPT to offer the Main Event winner a very special bonus.”

Ivonne Montealegre, Event Director of the Malta Poker Festival said: “We are happy to welcome Luxon Pay to the Malta Poker Festival as official payment partner. Our well established community, a magical location and all the professionalism of a five star poker experience at Casino Portomaso conjures a very special vibe. We are also happy to offer the Grand Event winner, powered by partypoker, the amazing opportunity to play the WPT® Prime Championship event at Wynn Las Vegas. Our festival will run alongside several off the felt entertainment activities including the All-In Friday player party at Club Level 22.”

Jesmond Galea, General Manager of Portomaso Casino said: “Portomaso Casino is delighted to join forces with Luxon Pay and provide another hassle-free and secure service to the poker community and clients alike. The app is the perfect utility for anyone joining us during our events to buy-in the tournaments ahead of the rest.”

For the full schedule see:

For details on the WPT Prime and World Championship festival see: WPT Prime and World Championship Festival

For WPT Special hotel rates see: WPT Special Hotel Rates

WPT, World Poker Tour and Spade Card Design are registered trademarks of WPT Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Luxon Pay

Luxon Pay is a multi-currency eWallet, which allows customers to make instant, global payments and instant transfers to friends and family. Luxon Pay offers deposits via Visa, Mastercard, and many other alternative payment methods and allows customers to hold up to

10 currencies and benefit from instant currency exchange. Luxon Pay is the premier payment solution for live poker events and players can buy into many major live poker events using the

Luxon Pay app. Luxon Pay provides a simple payment solution for many online and offline merchants and is available in the App Store and via Google Play. Luxon Pay does not currently accept customers from the US. For more information visit

Contact –

About the World Poker Tour®

World Poker Tour® (WPT®) is the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online, and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments. WPT has broadcast globally in more than 150 countries and territories, and is currently producing its 20th season, which airs on Bally Sports in the United States. Season XX of WPT is sponsored by is a unique online membership site that offers inside access to the WPT, as well as a sweepstakes-based poker club available in 43 states and territories across the United States, Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. WPT also participates in strategic brand license, partnership, and sponsorship opportunities.

For more information, go to

CasinoCoin partners up with The Malta Poker Festival


Malta Poker Festival is always striving for innovation and creativity.  We want to surprise and amaze people. Creating the festival schedule is a very imaginative process – The CasinoCoin Cup 2022 is no exception.

Mrs. Montealegre our Event Director tells us the story “my first experience with crypto currency came through the CasinoCoin team, they were so patient walking me through.  I was trading and buying coin and I just couldn’t handle the verification and waiting process.  I located one of the team member’s that lives in Malta and he invited me over to his home and we sorted my situation.  Once I had an active wallet! Wow -love at first sight.  One of my favorite hobbies is playing live and online casino and poker.  When my cards block the transactions because of bank policies, it really annoys me.  I think CC will be a trailblazer in the crypto gambling space very soon.  The CasinoCoin team has a soft spot for poker, so you can imagine the synergies we had.  It’s a beautiful partnership taking place in the Portomaso Casino during Malta Poker Festival.  The tournament takes the spotlight as the High Roller event of the festival.

Matthew Cheetham COO of the crypto currency states “CasinoCoin is very excited to be teaming up with the Malta Poker Festival. This is our chance to bring crypto gambling to the live experience. See you at the tables in the CasinoCoin Cup!

DATESunday 30th of October, 2022. 

In addition to the standard prize pool generated, there will also be a chance for players to win even more.  CasinoCoin is giving away millions of CSC (their own cryptocurrency). The 9 players who make the final table will all be given a total of 20 million CSC (equivalent Euro value of approx. €6,000 at time of writing*).

The event will be covered live entirely by Pokerdeals, so this is also your chance to steal the show and make some poker headlines.

Added bounties and lots of rewards and action is to be expected. You can purchase CasinoCoin VIP Packages using your coin.  It’s a super value package at 5* Hilton hotel.

You can learn more about the event here: 

CasinoCoin Cup 2022 High Roller – The Malta Poker Festival



Since its inception back in 2018, the all-ladies poker tournament held during The Malta Poker Festival aptly called Ladies First! has boasted some of the nicest hosts the poker industry has.

This Autumn edition will be held at Portomaso Casino on Saturday 30th of October, 2022, starting at 4:00 pm.  The host, for what it is expected to be a full house event, is Grosvenor’s pro ambassador Katie Swift.  Katie discovered poker when her parents taught her the game during the Christmas holidays, and the rest is history. 

She secured her first GUKPT Main Event Final Table result in Manchester.  Within months of each other, she achieved her biggest tournament result (at the time) both online and live.  As an anonymous player, the online win went silently, however her runner up finish in the Goliath event put her on the poker map.  She beat 4209 players, to finish as runner up in Grosvenor Poker’s record-breaking event “The Goliath “to pocket £46,300.  As she says herself “elated was an understatement”. 

MPF Event Director Ivonne Montealegre describes Katie as “a talented poker player, focused and hard working.  A present and driven mother, wife, daughter and business women, she seems to juggle the poker pro career and her personal family in a brilliant manner -something I admire.  It is so refreshing to hear from this women powerhouse, a role model for all women.  All of us at MPF marvel and revere Katie and can’t wait to have her here on the island.  She is very accessible and determined to grow the women participation in poker.”

Currently Katie is in Vegas participating on the main event and has added some deep runs to her already impressive poker CV. 

You can expect to see Kate Swift at the MPF Grand Event as well as hosting the Ladies First event.

Live and online satellites for the Ladies First event will be announced soon.

For more info: