Live Blog – Day 1A

Marko Luksa Bags the Most on Day 1a

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 12:34 am

Marko Luksa
Marko Luksa

Day 1a attracted a banner field of 215 entries to eclipse the 118 entries attracted on Day 1a last spring. A total of 59 players survived with many more to come with four more opening flights set to take place on Thursday to Saturday.

Marko Luksa was the star of the day after parlaying his 50,000 opening stack into a massive pile of 687,000 in chips. Michal Gavurnik (577,000) was the only other player to bag more than 500,000 with Giuseppe Incognito (395,000), Dario Berisa (383,000), and Martyn Frey (341,000) rounding out the top five players.

Just behind this crew was Liwei Wang. Wang had the distinction of being the first player out in the Day 1a field. He made his second bullet count by ending the day with 318,000 in chips. Antonino Karman was the only other player not mentioned above 300,000 in which with 317,000.

Meanwhile, former Dutch footballer Regilio Vrede advanced with 289,000, whereas Scott Roberts (83,000) and the friendly local player Matthew Micallef (22,000) were among the short-stacked players to make it to Day 2.

Here is a look at all of the final Day 1a chip counts:

PlayerChipsBig Blnds
Marko Luksa      687,000 137
Michal Gavurnik      577,000 115
Giuseppe Incognito      395,000 79
Dario Berisa      383,000 77
Martyn Frey      341,000 68
Liwei Wang      318,000 64
Antonino Karman      317,000 63
Laviolle Skrypnikov      296,000 59
Alen Bakovic      290,000 58
Regilio Vrede      289,000 58
Krisztian Kis      281,000 56
Jack Hoyle      260,000 52
Martynas Brazdzionis      247,000 49
Wouter Schuurbiers      236,000 47
Riyaz Badami      225,000 45
Attila Kassitzky      221,000 44
Cory Desmond      211,000 42
Todor Genov      206,000 41
Pavle Pecelj      205,000 41
Mark Berman      200,000 40
Giuseppe Loreto      193,000 39
Gregory Joly-Muffat      190,000 38
Baldassare Santaluna      189,000 38
Manoj Navani      185,000 37
Thibault Branly      175,000 35
Giulio Spampinato      172,000 34
Anthony Whalley      171,000 34
Simon Griffin      162,000 32
Jeremy Bametz      158,000 32
Andrew Azzopardi      154,000 31
Alfredo Cuti      154,000 31
Simon Forster      152,000 30
Dmitri Dan      147,000 29
Theo Schmitt      146,000 29
Salvatore La Vardera      142,000 28
Fabio Sturba      142,000 28
Alessandro Di Marco      140,000 28
Thomas Steedman      135,000 27
Jonathan Pastore      126,000 25
Michael Frost      123,000 25
Parminder Kandola      122,000 24
Daniel Palsson      114,000 23
Maxime Chilaud      107,000 21
Chris Yiallourou        98,000 20
Moreno Ferrari        95,000 19
Michael Rossiter        89,000 18
Salvador Villaluz        89,000 18
Mandred Quint        84,000 17
Scott Roberts        83,000 17
Robrecht Winterink        80,000 16
Carlos Lopez        77,000 15
Robert Binek        74,000 15
Nima Shaft Saken        69,000 14
Hugo Menant        68,000 14
Andrew Farrey        64,000 13
Maciej Toma        62,000 12
Calum Bagnall        61,000 12
Teppo Kuivanen        43,000 9
Matthew Micallef        22,000 4

We hope you enjoyed today’s updates and there is much more to come as we will be reporting the Grand Event action each day until a winner is crowned on Monday.

Photos of Big Stacks Near the End of Day 1a

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 12:19 am

Three, Two, One…

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 11:48 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 59/215

The clock has been stopped with less than 10 minutes remaining in Level 13. The floor announced that each table will play three more hands after the hand the players are on. After that, surviving players will have the option to either bag their stacks into Sunday’s Day 2 or forfeit their stacks entirely and try again during a future opening flight.

We will update all the final chip counts in about 30 minutes with a recap heading to the News section in the morning which we will also link into the blog.

Thank you for tuning in and see y’all virtually tomorrow!

Roberts Cracks Rockets to Double

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 11:38 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 68/215

Scott Roberts was once again low on chips when he jammed the button for 11 big blinds. Federico Burgos Puentes came in over the top from the small blind and the player in the big blind got out of the way.

Scott Roberts: K4
Federico Burgos Puentes: AA

It was looking like showers for Roberts but he stayed in his seat anyway as anything can (and did) happen.

The table got excited after Roberts gained some hope with an open-ended straight draw after the 235 flop. The tables turned on the 6 turn with Roberts now holding the nuts with a straight and Puentes drawing to three outs for a chop. The J river completed the board and Roberts doubled his stack near the end of the day by cracking his opponent’s rockets.

Scott Roberts – 95,000
Federico Burgos Puentes – 50,000

From Zero to Hero for Meustege

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 11:23 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 70/215

Koen Meustege was down to just 500 chips for 1/8th a big blind. We could have a zero to hero story in the making. It has already begun with Meustege doubling up twice before the following hand took place.

Meustege jammed for about 19,000 and was called by Wouter Schuurbiers.

Koen Meustege: A10
Wouter Schuurbiers: A3

Meustege was ahead the entire way and had Schuurbiers drawing dead by the turn with the 965103 running out on the board to earn his third double-up. He still has some work to do as he had about 12 big blinds after the hand.

Wouter Schuurbiers – 160,000
Koen Meustege – 46,000

Final Day 1a Blind Level Begins

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 11:15 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 73/215

The final blind level of Day 1a has kicked off with 73 players in their seats. Surviving players will bag and tag their stacks once this blind level is in the books.

Zismanov Runs Top Pair Into a Set

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 11:06 pm

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Entries: 74/215

There were four players in the pot when Boris Zismanov jammed for 10 big blinds with the jack-four-five on the flop. He was looked up by Antonino Karman with the other two players getting out of the way.

Boris Zismanov: Ace-Jack
Antonino Karman: Pocket Fours

Zismanov had a strong hand with top pair with the top kicker. However, he was drawing to a pair of runners with Karman hitting the flop even better with the bottom set.

Miracles can happen but they didn’t today for Zismanov with blanks hitting both the turn and river. Meanwhile, Zismanov has one of the bigger stacks in the room with around 400,000 in chips.

Antonino Karman – 400,000
Boris Zismanov – 0

All That Was Left Was Lind’s Headphones

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 10:54 pm

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Entries: 77/215

Koen Meustege opened for 6,000 before Totti Lind jammed for nearly 45,000. Wouter Schuubiers came in over the top for more than the 80,000 or so Meustege had behind. Meustege folded and the cards were turned over.

Totti Lind: A5
Wouter Schuurbiers: KK

The table began to laugh. We learned later it was because the table was joking earlier about how good a hand ace-five suited was and how it had to be spades. Meustege apparently flashed the 5 during a couple of hands earlier in this blind level.

While it was all fun and games, Lind’s Day 1a bullet was on the line. He was unable to improve on the J9632 board and was on the rail.

While Lind was gone, his headphones remained in his seat. His headphones also had no chips and thus were returned by this reporter to Lind a few minutes later.

Totti Lind's Headphones
Totti Lind’s Headphones Ran Out of Chips

Big Stack Update

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 10:36 pm

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Entries: 86/215

Here is a look at all the stacks north of 200,000 at the last break.

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Dmitri Dan352,000117
Regilio Vrede294,50098
Pavle Pecelj290,50097
Giuseppe Loreto288,50096
Martyn Frey280,50094
Jack Hoyle277,50093
Krisztian Kis269,00090
Cory Desmond235,50079
Simon Griffin229,50077
Martynas Brazdzionis225,00075
Alen Bakovic218,00073
Marko Luksa215,00072
Dmitri Dan208,50070
Jeremy Bametz206,80069
Davide Iannaco202,50068

Final Day 1a Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 10:14 pm

Players are on their final break of the day. Blinds will increase to 1,500/3,000 with a 3,000 big blind ante for Level 12. After that, just one more blind level will be played with blinds at 2,000/4,000 with a 4,000 big blind ante.

Players that survive these two levels will be asked to bag their stacks into Sunday’s Day 2. Players also have the option to forfeit their stacks to try to get an even bigger stack during one of the other opening flights.

We will update some of the bigger stacks around the room around the time the action resumes. Best of luck to the Day 1a players during the final two blind levels.

Kicker Issues for Incognito

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 9:59 pm

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)
Entries: 92/215

Manoj Navani bet 8,000 into a pot of a bit more with the 62QJ on the board after the turn. Guiseppe Incognito raised to 22,000. Navani called before both players checked the [9d] river.

Navani turned over the AJ. Incognito turned over just the J before he mucked his hand and the dealer awarded Navani the pot.

Guiseppe Incognito – 165,000
Manoj Navani – 125,000

“No, No, No.. This Can’t Be Happening!”

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 9:45 pm

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)
Entries: 97/215

A fun hand, depending on your perspective, just took place at Table 11. Scott Roberts jammed for 35,500 from early position and was called by Laviolle Skrypnikov from the big blind.

Scott Roberts: KJ
Laviolle Skrypnikov: QQ

Roberts was behind and stayed that way despite his jack connecting on the 33J flop. The 3 turn improved both players to a full house.

Skrypnikov celebrated a little too early after the 3 river put quads on the board. Roberts’ king-kicker came into play to double his stack instead of hitting the rail.

“No, no, no!” said Skrypnikov when he realized he lost the hand. “This can’t be happening!”

He then asked the dealer if he could show his cards again so he could take a photo and the dealer obliged.

“I forgot about that out,” said Skrypnikov.

“I forgot as well,” replied Roberts.

Roberts still has some work to do but is in far better shape than being on the rail. Best of luck to both Skrypnikov and Roberts.

Scott Roberts – 75,000
Laviolle Skrypnikov – 70,000

“I Never Win With Ace-King”

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 9:29 pm

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 101/215

Albert Sapiano has been off and running on Day 1b and was above 250,000 in chips. His stack has settled down slightly after the following hand.

Michael Bland jammed a pot-sized bet of 31,500 with the 7J3J6 on the board. Sapiano called only to get some bad news.

Bland turned over J9 for trip jacks. This was miles ahead of Sapiano who was only beating a bluff with AK.

“I never win with ace-king,” Sapiano shared to the table after the hand.

Albert Sapiano – 200,000
Michael Bland – 115,000

Albert Sapiano
Albert Sapiano

Lappin Bricks His Double Belly Buster

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 9:18 pm

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 116/215

There wasn’t a ton in the pot when both The Chip Race podcast co-host and Unibet Poker ambassador David Lappin and Peter Kaspar checked the 97A flop.

Lappin led out for 4,000 on the 6 turn. Kaspar jacked it up to 12,000. Lappin jammed for 44,000 and Kaspar quickly called.

David Lappin: 53
Peter Kaspar: A7

Kaspar was ahead with his two pair but Lappin still had some hope with his double belly buster. He was unable to complete his double gutshot straight draw with the K completing the board on the river.

Lappin shared with us after the hand he will be back for another shot at Grand Event glory but not likely tomorrow. We look forward to Lappin’s return and wish him better luck on his second bullet.

Peter Kaspar – 190,000
David Lappin – 0

Ferrari Makes a Good Call

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 9:04 pm

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 116/215

Moreno Ferrari check-called a bet by Humberto Galindo of 7,000 into a pot of around 30,000 with the 8A4 already on the flop before both players checked the 7 turn. The A river paired the board and Ferrari checked again.

Galindo fired out for 15,000. Ferrari paused for a moment before tossing his 15,000 far enough indicating he felt he was behind.

Galindo turned over the KQ.

“King-queen,” Ferrari double-checked with the dealer.

Shortly after, he turned over his 99 to win the hand.

Moreno Ferrari – 180,000
Humberto Galindo – 150,000

Schuurbiers Rivers a Better Two Pair Against Micallef

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 8:46 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 128/215

Four players checked with around 30,000 in the pot after the QK10 landed on the flop. Matthew Micallef took charge after the 8 turn with a bet of 11,000. Two players folded before Wouter Schuurbiers called.

The A river completed the board. If either player held any jack, they would have improved to Broadway. Quick spoiler alert: Neither player had a jack.

Micallef checked before Schuurbiers opted to bet 15,000. Micallef thought for a few moments before he called. Schuurbiers turned over AQ for two pair. Micallef could have mucked his hand but showed the KQ to show Schuurbiers and the rest of the table he was ahead until the untimely ace hit the river.

Matthew Micallef
Matthew Micallef

Wouter Schuurbiers – 115,000
Matthew Micallef – 50,000

Set of Sixes for Vrede

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 8:31 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 128/215

Angelo Vietti bet 25,000 into a pot of slightly more with the 5A86 on the board after the turn. Regilio Vrede jammed over the top for more than 150,000. Noel Studer, who was also in the hand, folded before Vietti called off for about 55,000 in total.

Angelo Vietti: 65
Regilio Vrede: 66

Despite hitting two pair, Vietti was drawing dead to Vrede’s set. He was officially eliminated on Day 1a after a blank river.

Regilio Vrede – 275,000
Angelo Vietti – 0

Late Registration Closed

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 8:16 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 134/215

Players are back from break and late registration has closed. The Day 1a field attracted a whopping 215 entries or nearly 100 more than the 118 entries during last Spring’s Day 1a of the Grand Event.

Unibet Ambassador and The Chip Race podcast co-host David Lappin was among the players to enter their first bullet during the break.

Best of luck to the remaining 134 players!

Late Registration to Close Soon

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 7:59 pm

Players are on a 15-minute break. Late registration will be closed for Day 1a when the action resumes.

Dan Gets Full Value Off Top Pair

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 7:46 pm

Level 8: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Entries: 133/206

There was about 30,000 in the pot with the 27Q92 on the board with about 30,000 in the pot when Dmitri Dan jammed. Raoul van Wersch paused for a few moments before he called off for about 30,000.

Dan turned over the QJ and his top pair was good enough to felt van Wersch who showed the A9 before leaving the tournament arena.

Meanwhile, Iceland’s Daniel Paulsson, who we recently saw at another stop earlier this year, had even more than the 170,000 chips that Dan had after the hand as he is the table’s captain with 180,000.

Daniel Paulsson – 180,000
Dmitri Dan – 170,000
Raoul van Wersch – 0

Top Pair Holds for Yiallourou

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 7:20 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 148/204

Xabi Carricart got his last 25,000 in the middle with about the same in the pot with the J810 on the board after the flop and was up against Chris Yiallourou.

Xabi Carricart: KQ
Chris Yiallourou: AJ

Yiallorou was far ahead but any nine, queen, king or ace would change that fact. Carricart was unable to get there on either the 6 turn or the 3 river and was on the rail.

Chris Yiallourou – 135,000
Xabi Carricart – 0

Ferrari Wins the Race From Behind to Oust Two

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 7:08 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 149/202

We caught up to the hand with more than 30,000 in the pot and the [ks][6h][4s] on the flop with both Antonios Onoufriou and William Lewins having 13,500 in chips across the line.

Moreno Ferrari jammed over the top for 72,000 and both Onoufriou and Lewins called off their stacks for less.

William Lewins: KQ
Antonios Onoufriou: AK
Moreno Ferrari: Q10

Onoufriou was miles ahead of Lewins with his top pair with a better kicker and slightly ahead of Ferrari’s flush draw. The 10 turn did nothing to change that. However, the [2s] river completed Ferrari’s flush and he zoomed to the highest levels of the Day 1a leaderboard while eliminating two players.

Moreno Ferrari – 225,000
Antonios Onoufriou – 0
William Levins – 0

Players Filing in for the Betsson One Bullet

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 6:56 pm

The Grand Event room is starting to get crowded as players are filing in getting ready to battle it out in the €150 Betsson One Bullet. There are already 115 entries with the start still more than five minutes away. In other words, this is bound to be a banner field.

If this doesn’t float your boat, there is also a €70 satellite running one floor down from the Grand Event while the €230 Crazy Pineapple begins at 9 p.m. on the same floor as the satellite.

Best of luck to all of the side event and satellite players!

Jacks Good for Winterink

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 6:53 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 151/201

The Day 1a field has ballooned to 201 entries! This means it is very likely that the €300,000 guarantee will be a place-holder on the event with already around €100,000 in the prize pool from these entries alone.

One player that has done well for himself since the dinner break was Robrecht Winterink as he won a bunch of chips in the following hand.

There was already 35,000 in the pot with the Q368 on the board after the turn when Winterink checked. Ionel Serbu Ionel fired out for 20,000 and Winterink quickly called.

The [qh] river paired the board and both players checked. Winterink turned over the JJ and won the pot after Serbu mucked his hand.

Robrecht Winterink – 130,000
Ionel Serbu – 35,000

Action Resumes With Nearly 200 Entries!

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 6:44 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 151/198

Players are back from dinner break and the Day 1a field is just two players shy of 200 entries with 198 entries coming out in full force already with two more blinds levels to go in late registration today.

The blinds are at 500/1,000 with a big blind ante of 1,000 before increasing to 600/1,200 with a 1,200 big blind ante. There will be a short 15-minute break after these two levels with late registration closing for Day 1a after the break.

Following the break, there are five more blind levels to be played with players coming back on Sunday’s Day 2 with blinds at 3,000/5,000 along with a 5,000 big blind ante.

Various Big Stacks at Dinner Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 6:31 pm

The Day 1a field has grown to 195 entries to absolutely destroy the 118 entries attracted last Spring during Day 1a of the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event. A total of 148 players went to dinner with chips. Here is a look at some of the bigger stacks from around the room.

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Michal Gavurnik184,100184
William Gritz170,400170
Humberto Galindo169,600170
Maciej Toma156,900157
Marko Luksa151,600152
Dario Berisa142,200142
Dan Dmitri127,800128
Daniel Williams127,300127
Peter Kaspar116,200116
Nauseda Gravzydas114,900115
Anthony Whalley113,200113
Cory Desmond111,800112
Thibault Branly106,600107
Fabio Sturba105,000105
Andrea Stellato104,200104
Alessandro Barrone100,300100
Martyn Frey99,00099
Robin Van Laecken98,70099
Mark Berman97,80098
Boris Zismanov97,50098
Igor Bukowsi95,10095
James Clarke95,10095
Sylvere Paillot90,00090
Theo Schmitt88,00088
Scott Roberts85,30085
Brian Kubatz85,30085
Eimantas Plekavicius84,60085
Alexandre Arabia77,80078

More Day 1a Photos

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 5:31 pm

Dinner Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 5:23 pm

Players are on a 75-minute dinner break. Blinds will increase to 500/1,000 with a big blind ante of 1,000 when the action resumes. Late registration will be open for two more blind levels after the action resumes.

In the meantime, we will post the latest MPF Grand Event photos during the early part of the break while we will post some stack updates from the bigger stacks around the room after we had a bite to eat.

Titov’s Rockets Run Into Toma’s Set

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 5:15 pm

Level 6: 400/800 (800)
Entries: 143/184

There were nearly 20,000 in the pot with the 432 when both Igor Titov and Noel Studer checked. Maciej Toma bet 8,000. Titov jammed for more than 30,000. Studer quickly folded and Toma just as quickly called.

Igor Titov: AA
Maceij Toma: 22

Titov had the best possible hand before the flop but was in for a world of hurt running into Toma’s set of ducks when all the chips went in. Neither the 6 turn nor the 7 river saved the day and Titov was on the rail at least for now.

Maciej Toma – 150,000
Igor Titov – 0

Big Slick Good for Hyyppaa

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 5:02 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 142/177

Robin Hyyppa opened with a standard raise size from under the gun and was called by Fabio Sturba from one seat over. Andrea Stellato three-bet to 3,500 from the button. Hyyppa four-bet jammed for 17,000. Sturba folded and Stellato called.

Robin Hyyppa: AK
Andrea Stellato: KQ

“I need a queen and it’s all over,” Stellato said.

No queen came. Instead, the 6775A ran out on the board for Hyyppa to double his stack with his big slick.

Andrea Stellato – 80,000
Robin Hyyppa – 40,000

Missions Accomplish for the “Lord of the Pies”

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:50 pm

We have an update you were curious how Lee Colfer got on with his five strawberry cream cheese pie challenge issued to him by Totti Lind. Let’s just say Colfer was both a winner and a loser by eating all five pies in one blind level with eight minutes to spare.

“I feel sick,” Colfer shared with us. “I got the pie sweat but got the job done.”

“And you got a new nickname,” said Mark Berman from a table nearby. “Lord of the Pies!”

Colfer seemed comfortable with the new nickname and can walk off the added pie calories with a 75-minute dinner break coming in less than an hour.

We asked Lind if it was mission accomplished and he agreed before adding:

“To be fair, I only saw him eat four pies,” Lind said with a mischievous smile. “But I trust the guy.”

We wish Lind and Colfer the best of luck at the tables and Colfer some good digestion of eating a massive amount of desert treats before the dinner break.

Lee Colfer Wins the Pie Challenge
Lee Colfer Wins the Pie Challenge

Kicker Problems Lead Pinto to the Rail

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:40 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 146/169

Michael Pinto was down to half a starting stack but now will need to re-enter if he wishes to have any chips at all after hitting the rail after the following hand.

Nikola Minovic bet 3,800 into a pot of a bit more with the [invalid notations] on the flop. Pinto jammed for 24,900 and Minovic snap-called.

Michael Pinto: J3
Nikola Minovic: AJ

Both players had middle pair but Pinto had some kicker issues. Those issues weren’t resolved after the [4h] turn and [6h] river completed the board for Minovic to claim his stack.

Nikola Minovic – 75,000
Michael Pinto – 0

Quads No Good Against a Straight Flush

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:35 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 146/168

Three players had their stacks in the middle with the 958 on the flop.

Daniel Rigby: 55
Michael Pinto: A9
Gregory Muffat-Joly: 76

Muffat-Joly flopped a straight flush and both of his opponents were drawing dead in a pot north of 100,000 despite having decent holdings and draws.

A blank card came on the turn. However, the table and the ones surrounding went into shock as the case 5 completed the board on the river.

Gregory Muffat-Joly – 110,000
Michael Pinto – 25,000
Daniel Rigby – 0

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie Prop Bet

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:24 pm

We already mentioned about Totti Lind bringing nine strawberry cream cheese pies to his table to tease Lee Colfer in a friendly way.

However, the story has developed into something else. Lind has just informed us that Colfer now can have five pies. The twist is, Colfer gets them for free if he can eat five pies in one blind level. Otherwise, Lind gets paid €20, which was about what the fun gag cost him to begin with.

Colfer seems committed to the challenge. We will try to get an update later not only with pies but with hands as well between these two friendly players.

Photo of Lee Colfer compliments of Totti Lind.

“Nice Check”

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:17 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 148/162

A player limped and three players called behind before Oliver Klat raised the button to 3,500. Nauseda Gravzydas three-bet to 11,200 from the big blind which got all the limpers out of the way. Klat called to see the 427 flop.

Gravzydas checked before Klat jammed for close to 40,000. Grazvydas snap-called off his stack of 34,300 and the cards were turned over.

Nauseda Gravzydas: KK
Oliver Klat: QQ

“Nice check,” Klat said to Gravzydas.

Neither the 9 turn nor the J river helped Klat and he was down to crumbs after the hand.

Nauseda Gravzydas – 70,000
Oliver Klat – 4,000

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie Anyone

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:06 pm

Totti Lind not only came to the Malta Poker Festival to try to win the Grand Event trophy but also to have fun while he is here as well.

There has been a bit of friendly banter at his table as is the case at other tables as well and he opted to play a joke on Lee Colfer.

“I really love coming to Europe,” Colfer said who traveled to Malta from the United Kingdom. “They have the strawberry cheese cream pie from McDonalds.”

Lind didn’t miss a beat and immediately ordered nine (yes, nine) strawberry cream cheese pies from McDonalds. They arrived in a hurry and he shared his original plan was to tilt Colfer with them in the beginning. Being the nice guy that LInd is, he did say he would likely give one to Colfer.

Lind already gave one to this reporter, so that just leaves eight left. Thank you for the tasty treat as warm-up before the dinner break.

Luksa Bricks Flush Against Lopez

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 4:00 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 141/153

Carlos Lopez checked the [2h][th][js][6c] before Marko Luksa nearly bet the pot with a bet of 9,000. Lopez called and both players checked the [6d] river.

Luksa turned over the [ah][7h] for a bricked flush draw. Lopez then showed [kc][jd] to win the pot with two-pair. Luksa was off to a hot start early on and still has around double a starting stack.

Marko Luksa – 100,000
Carlos Lopez – 90,000

Local Hero Antoine DiGiorgio Wins HORSE

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 3:50 pm

Antoine DiGiorgio
Antoine DiGiorgio

The first side event took place last night with the €230 HORSE powered by Martin Smith bringing in mixed players from around the world. The field attracted 54 entries to create a €10,368 prize pool.

Local Maltese hero Antoine DiGiorgio won the trophy along with the €2,900 top prize after he defeated Johannes Kuusisto heads-up. DiGiorgio not only is well known for his Malta Poker Fish Facebook group but also for helping players that come to visit Malta or even sort out issues among local players. He also has helped grow the mixed-game community in Malta and strongly pushes a weekly 8-Game tournament here at Portomaso Casino.

A massive congrats to DiGiorgio on the victory and we wish him the best of luck when he is back in action in the Grand Event and other side events.

1Antoine DiGiorgio€2,900
2Johannes Kuusisto€2,120
3Jens Vortmann€1,560
4Bas de Laat€1,230
5Andreas Sanden€1,000
6Renato Messina€850
7Rigo Vangarelli€708

“I’m Sorry, But I Have a Good Hand”

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 3:41 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 142/151

Gaetano Brignone bet 12,000 into a pot of around 25,000 with the [ks][6h][9h][2s] on the board after the turn. Daniel Kruger called to bring the pot up to around a 50,000 starting stack.

The [7h] river completed the board. Brignone jammed for about 35,000. Kruger went into the tank for several minutes. He stared down at his opponent but noticed that many of the eyes of the table were on him and had his stack potentially on the line if he called.

“I’m sorry, I have a good hand,” Kruger told the table.

Players seemed fine with this and Kruger tanked for a few more minutes during which time he checked his cards twice. Kruger eventually folded and the dealer awarded Brignone a tasty early pot.

Gaetano Brignone – 85,000
Daniel Kruger – 30,000

Action Resumes

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 3:30 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 140/148

The Day 1a field has blossomed to 148 entries with 140 players still in their seats. This is a great sign for a big Grand Event attendance as it easily trumps the 118 entries attracted last Spring during Day 1a of the MPF Grand Event.

Meanwhile, the action has resumed in the Grand Event. Players will enjoy three more blind levels before being sent on a 75-minute dinner break. We will update the biggest stacks around the room during the dinner break but in the meantime, sit back and enjoy our coverage.

First Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 3:09 pm

Level 3: 200/300 (300)
Entries: 138/143

Players are on their first short break of the day. We lost both Sasa Drca and Antonios Onoufriou just before the break but they can hop back in today or any of the other four opening flights over the next few days.

Blinds will increase to 200/400 with a 400 big blind ante when the action resumes.

Early Day 1a Photos

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 3:05 pm

Here is a look at some of the early photos on Day 1a:

Azzopardi Picks Off Iacob

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 2:55 pm

Level 3: 200/300 (300)
Entries: 134/137

Andrew Assopardi bet 2,000 into a pot of more than double that with the [6h][kd][3d][2c][5c] on the board after the river. The action paused on Mitica-Alexandru Iacob before he raised to 12,000.

Assopardi tanked for a couple of minutes before he tossed in a single chip to call. Iacob tapped the table expressing a nice call after he turned over [td][7d] for a bricked flush draw. Assopardi called with [ks][qh] and won the pot with the top pair.

Andrew Assopardi – 60,000
Iacob Mitica-Alexandru – 27,000

Welcome Back to Malta, Totti!

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 2:52 pm

We were catching up with Sweden’s Totti Lind. We are used to seeing our friend as he used to live in Malta. But he has been out of the continent this year living the good life in Thailand.

He opted to come back to Malta to play the Malta Poker Festival and to catch up with old friends. He shared that it has been a rollercoaster early on but was at around 40,000 in chips. This is plenty at this stage of the game with Totti having plenty of room to make moves with more than 100 big blinds.

We wish Totti the best of luck in his quest to win the trophy and hope to update you later on with some big spots he might be in.

Totti Lind
Totti Lind

Roberts Folds Aces

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 2:36 pm

Level 3: 200/300 (300)
Entries: 130/133

There was nearly 25,000 in the pot with the [5c][3c][jc][8h] on the board after the turn when we caught up to the table. Regilio Vrede checked before Ionel Serbu jammed for about 35,000. The action paused on Lisa Roberts who folded as did Vrede.

Roberts flashed the [ad][ah] to the table.

“Nice fold,” Serbu said to Roberts without revealing his own hand.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Seiler was the third player to hit the rail at a different table at around the same time.

Ionel Serbu – 60,000
Regilio Vrede – 33,000
Lisa Roberts – 25,000

“Bingo Buddy” Here from Canada

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 2:29 pm

Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 127/129

Salvador Villaluz, also known as “Buddy” and “Bingo Buddy” flew all the way from Canada to play in the Malta Poker Festival and see a bit of the majestic island. He shared with us why he is playing Day 1a of the MPF Grand Event instead of one of the other opening flights.

“I bingoed a satellite last night,” shared Bingo Buddy.

We learned that Buddy arrived with no sleep from Canada. Rested a mere hour before he decided to hop into the poker action. Good thing for him he did as he got his €550 Grand Event seat for a fraction of the cost with €70 satellites running throughout the next few days. He had a little less than the 50,000 starting stack when we caught up with him and wish him the best of luck in his quest to become the latest MPF Grand Event champion.

Meanwhile, we already mentioned a couple of the players that traveled to Malta from the United States including Lisa and Scott Roberts. We know of several other players making the journey across the pond from the USA including MPF Ladies First! host and last spring’s MPF Ladies First! champion Chris Read and Poker Power’s AJ Rudolph, who will be on hand to give a poker training session to ladies before the Ladies First! event.

The Ladies First! kicks off on April 29 at 4 p.m. with the Poker Power session taking place at 1 p.m.

Ladies First Hosted by Chris Read 29 April Poster - Malta Poker Festival 2023

“Check in the Dark”

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 2:12 pm

Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 118/119

Table 10 has provided a lot of the action early on. Not only was the first elimination there but seems like there is a pot brewing every time we walk past that table.

Lisa Roberts traveled out with her husband Scott from the United States is at the table but hasn’t been involved in much of the action. That is left to the likes of Albert Sapiano, Regilio Vrede, Noel Studer, Robrecht Winterink, and others.

We have seen Sapiano at many stops around the world, including one recently at the Hippodrome in London where he was busy battling it out in the Mega Series. We have gotten to enjoy his style of play as a reporter as action usually follows.

In a recent hand, Sapiano fired out for 1,500 into a pot of more than 2,000 with the [qh][5s][3d] on the flop and Winterink called. Sapiano again bet 1,500 on the [kd] turn and Winterink called again.

“Check in the dark,” Sapiano said before the [9h] river completed the board. Winterink checked back and won the hand when his [tc][ts] was good against Sapiano’s [tc][ts.

Robrecht Winterink – 100,000
Albert Sapiano – 45,000

Dannijs Nails his Flush

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 1:58 pm

Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 113/114

Brian Kubatz checked before Amber Glasby bet 4,000 into a pot of a bit more with the [5h][3h][9s][kd] on the board after the turn. Stan Dannijs, who was getting a massage, didn’t seem that relaxed at that particular moment. He tanked for close to a minute before he called and Kubatz called as well.

The [jh] river was checked around. Glasby turned over the [3s][3c] for a set. She was good until the river as Dannijs was awarded the pot after he showed the [9h][6h] for the rivered flush.

Stan Dannijs – 60,000
Amber Glasby – 60,000
Brian Kubatz – 40,000

Sapiano Rivers a Wheel

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 1:42 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 105/106

Regilio Vrede led out for a pot-sized bet of 3,200 on the [3c][td][4h] flop and was called by Albert Sapiano after another player folded.

Sapiano then check-called a bet 6,000 on the [th] turn before both players checked the [2s] river.

Vrede appeared surprised to see Sapiano turn over the [as][5d] for a rivered wheel and mucked his hand.

“Nice hand,” Vrede said moments later while tapping the table.

Regilio Vrede – 55,000
Albert Sapiano – 45,000

100 Entries and Counting!

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 1:31 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 99/100

Day 1a of the Grand Event has already reached the century mark. Last Spring, Day 1a attracted 118 entries and eventually attracted 1,014 entries for a €486,720 prize pool.

Marthijn Lakerveld (pictured below), who hasn’t been spotted playing the Grand Event quite yet, won that event for a whopping €71,000!

Marthijn Lakerveld
Marthijn Lakerveld

Studer Sends Wang First to Rail

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 1:21 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 95/96

Noel Studer four-bet from early position to 2,200 and was called by Liwea Wang who three-bet from the cutoff.

Studer fired out for 700 on the [2h][ks][qc] flop. Wang raised to 4,000. Studer three-bet to 12,500 and Wang called.

The [7d] turn brought more action. Studer bet 15,000. Wang jammed for the rest of his starting stack for more than 30,000 and Studer called.

Liwea Wang: [th][ts]
Noel Studer: [kh][kd]

Studer had his opponent drawing dead and further improved to a full house to send Wang first out of the MPF Grand Event after [7h] river completed the board.

Shortly after, Wang got back into the field to also mark the first player to re-enter.

Noel Studer – 100,000
Liwea Wang – 50,000

The MPF Grand Event Begins!

By Jason Glatzer | April 26, 2023 1:09 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 85/85

The MPF Grand Event has kicked off in style with already 85 entries in action.

Malta Poker Festival founder Ivonne Montealegre and Tournament Director and Ludos Academy CEO Danilo de Berardinis welcomed the players and provided some information about the event before the cards were flying.

Ivonne Montealegre
Ivonne Montealegre

Welcome to the Malta Poker Festival

By Jason Glatzer | April 24, 2023 12:36 pm

The 2023 Malta Poker Festival kicked off with a handful of side events on April 24-25 with much more action to come until the conclusion of our festival on May 1.

Our coverage will begin on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. when cards are in the air for the much-anticipated €300,000 guaranteed Malta Poker Festival €550 Grand Event.

The MPF Grand Event is a deep-stacked affair with players starting each of the five opening flights from April 26-29 with 50,000 in chips. The first four flights, including today’s Day 1a will feature 13 blind levels of 40 minutes each with the final blind level boasting quicker 20-minute blind levels.

Players can re-enter up to two times per flight during the first eight levels of any opening flight.

Also taking place today are two other side events with the €150 Betsson One Bullet kicking off at 8 p.m. followed by a fun €230 Crazy Pineapple tournament at 9 p.m. Additionally, there will be another Grand Event satellite at 7 p.m. boasting a €70 buy-in.

Check out our blog throughout the day for all of your updates on today’s Grand Event action!

MPF Spring Schedule 2023 FINAL