Live Blog – Day 1B

Shaun Halliday Makes the Most of Day 1b

By Jason Glatzer | April 28, 2023 1:18 am

Day 1b of the MPF Grand Event was rocking at Portomaso Casino with 254 entries coming out in full force to bring the field already up to 469 entries when taking into account the 215 entries on Day 1a.

A total of 58 players survived led by Shaun Halliday, who bagged a whopping 656,000 in chips. The PokerStars at the Hippodrome Ambassador Chris Da Silva bagged a cool 500,000, while both Noel Studer and David Ozmen ended the day each above 400,000.

This entire group is behind Day 1a chip leader Marko Luksa who managed to bag an impressive 687,000 from his 50,000 opening stack to lead the 59 survivors yesterday.

Other players to advance via the Day 1b field included Alessandro Barone (375,000), Chen Keren (243,000), Antoine Talvard (228,000), Matthew Adams (206,000), Peter Kamaras (126,000), Uwe Matthias (122,000), Head of Poker at The Hippodrome Kerryjane Craigie (94,000), and Amber Glasby (82,000).

Here is a look at the final chip counts from Day 1b:

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Shaun Halliday656,000131
Chris Da Silva500,000100
Noel Studer447,00089
David Ozmen425,00085
Lars Eriksson396,00079
Lucien Jouanneau388,00078
Alessandro Barone375,00075
Michael Pinto374,00075
Mats Karlsson335,00067
Nandor Fejes323,00065
Edward Chun Ho Yam310,00062
Simon Taylor303,00061
Kaspar Scmid301,00060
Massimo Bruno298,00060
Antonios Onoufriou282,00056
Benjamin Fougerouze278,00056
Julien Gadanho276,00055
Mats Hjortlov263,00053
Angelo Vietti252,00050
Chen Keren243,00049
Torben Krogh235,00047
La Sengphet233,00047
Antoine Talvard228,00046
Christopher Colllins222,00044
Bogdan Juc222,00044
Andreas Liperis210,00042
Matthew Adams206,00041
Joseph Hull205,00041
Stewart Kirby194,00039
David Berdis185,00037
Dejan Babetic185,00037
Jonathan Schuman184,00037
Ian Gascoigne182,00036
James Scorgie177,00035
Louis Le Boisselier170,00034
Lawrence Bonnici166,00033
Daniel Ventura161,00032
Torsten Riedl152,00030
Damir Savio151,00030
Daniel Kuhlmann147,00029
Lars Halkier140,00028
Dmitri Dudakov138,00028
Kevin Houghton136,00027
James Clarke135,00027
Peter Kamaras126,00025
Uwe Matthias122,00024
James Mercieca122,00024
Georgios Georgiou118,00024
Emil Karhu106,00021
Gerard Lemee104,00021
Kerryjane Craigie94,00019
Kerrien Clement91,00018
Amber Glasby82,00016
Gaetano Brignone80,00016
Fabio Assennato79,00016
Robert Cordell-Lavarack69,00014
Jie-Quan Tsai69,00014
Erik Dahlberg48,00010

Final Day 1b Photos

By Jason Glatzer | April 28, 2023 12:58 am

Final Three Hands

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 11:36 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 63/254

The floor has announced the final three hands of Day 1b. After this, players will start to bag chips. We will update with some final photos and final Day 1b chip counts before we close the blog this evening.

Thank you once again for tuning in!

Ladies Hold Up for Vietti

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 11:33 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 64/254

Angelo Vietti bet 26,000 into a pot of a bit more on the 4108 flop. James Mercieca jammed for more than 200,000 and Vietti called off his stack of 140,500 to create a massive pot north of 300,000.

Angelo Vietti: QQ
James Mercieca: AJ

It was a coin flip at this point with Vietta holding an overpair and Mercieca having a flush draw and an overcard to the overpair.

Mercieca bricked both the 5 turn and the 8 river for Vietta to stay alive and win a huge pot near the end of Day 1b.

Angelo Vietti – 325,000
James Mercieca – 100,000

Ridell Loses a Flip and His Stack

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 11:19 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 68/254

James Scorgie opened for 9,000 from middle position. Lars Ridell jammed for 45,000 from the small blind and Scorgie went into the tank for about a minute before he called.

Lars Ridell: 55
James Scorgie: J10

Ridell got out of his seat after Scorgie’s jack found a mate on the JQ7 flop. Ridell had both eyes still on the board but wasn’t able to find a miracle on either the 3 turn or the K river to hit the rail during the final blind level.

James Scorgie – 220,000
Lars Ridell – 0

Final Blind Level of Day 1b & Surrender Info

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 11:08 pm

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 73/254

Day 1b has entered its final blind level with blinds at 2,000/4,000 with a 4,000 big blind ante. The clock will stop at some point during the later part of the blind level where a draw will take place for the final few hands of the evening.

Also announced is a surrender option for players that bag less than a starting stack. They must choose whether or not they want to advance with this stack into Day 2 or if they want to give it up with three more chances at a bigger bag on Day 1c, Day 1d, and Day 1e.

Players that bag more than a starting stack will not have that option and will not be allowed to enter any of the other starting flights.

Best of luck to the remaining 73 players in finding a healthy bag for Day 2.

Halkier Doubles With a Full House

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 11:01 pm

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Entries: 75/254

Lars Halkier check-called bets by William Jarman on both the 9105 flop and the 5 turn before checking one last time on the K river.

Jarman jammed for more than the 100,000 Halkier had behind with about the same in the pot. Halkier called and won the hand with a full house with K5. Jarman was strong as well but his [invalid notations]5d4h] was behind the entire way.

Lars Halkier – 300,000
William Jarman – 65,000

“You Always Have it in the Big Blind”

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 10:42 pm

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Entries: 80/254

We caught up with a hand when Serdar Demircan four-bet jammed for less than 100,000 from the cutoff. Kerryjane Craigie didn’t have much committed in the pot when she folded from the small blind. However, the situation was different for the three-better Mats Karlsson who called from the big blind.

Serdar Demirican: AJ
Mats Karlsson: JJ

“Ace or club,” Demircan begged the dealer.

Demircan had a flash of hope after the Q69 flop gave him a flush draw. However, he was on the rail after neither the 2 turn nor the 10 river was a card he needed.

Mats Karlsson – 450,000
Serdar Demirican – 0

Big Stacks at Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 10:29 pm

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Michael Pinto370,000123
Antonios Onoufriou370,000123
Shaun Halliday350,000117
David Ozmen335,000112
Chen Keren280,00093
Stewart Kirby270,00090
Bogdan Juc270,00090
Mats Karlsson265,00088
Dejan Dabetic250,00083
Lars Eriksson250,00083

Final Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 10:08 pm

Day 1b is on its final break of the day. Players will play two more blind levels with blinds first at 1,500/3,000 with a 3,000 big blind ante before moving onto the final blind level of the day with blinds at 2,000/4,000 with a 4,000 big blind ante.

We will update with the biggest stacks still in contention shortly after the action resumes.

Tsai’s Cowboys Good Against Iannaco’s Tens

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 10:01 pm

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)
Entries: 97/254

There were a few players in the pot when Davide Iannaco jammed his stack of more than 20 big blinds. He was called by Jie-Quan Tsai and wasn’t in the best of shape.

Davide Iannaco: 1010
Jie-Quan Tsai: KK

Tsai’s cowboys were goot on the Q7242 board to take all of Iannaco’s chips.

Jie-Quan Tsai – 175,000
Davide Iannaco – 0

Kuhlman Ousts Giuliani With Big Slick

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 9:52 pm

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)
Entries: 101/254

Gianluigi Giuliani opened for 7,500 from early position and was called by Julius Julenius from the cutoff and Chris Da Silva from the button before Daniel Kuhlmann three-bet to 32,000. Giuliani four-bet jammed for about 75,000. Julenius and Da Silva folded. Kuhlmann opted to call and Giuliani was at risk.

Gianluigi Giuliani: A5
Daniel Kuhlmann: AK

Giuliani was drawing to a pair of runners after the 3KJ flop paired up Kuhlmann’s king. The 4 turn was one potential out as Giuliana now had a four-outer to a wheel draw. No magic happened for Giuliani as the 3 river and he was eliminated from Day 1b.

Daniel Kuhlmann – 300,000
Gianluigi Giuliani – 0

Set of Rockets Flush Down the Drain for Kaspar

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 9:39 pm

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)
Entries: 110/254

Uwe Matthias bet 11,500 into a 40,000 chip pot with the 9A8 already on the flop. Peter Kaspar jammed for 43,000 and Matthias tanked for a couple of minutes before he called.

Peter Kaspar: AA
Uwe Matthias: KQ

Kaspar had a set of rockets but still wasn’t out of the water yet. In fact, he was the one drawing to a full house or quads to stay alive after Matthias improved to a flush on the 7 turn. The [5c] river didn’t pair the board and Kaspar hit the rail.

Not the Best Blind Level for Leinarts

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 9:27 pm

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 114/254

Rick Leinarts was able to hang on for a bit of time after earlier this blind level losing most of his stack in a massive pot of more than 200,000 in chips against queens. He was able to hang on for around 15 minutes before his short stack of less than eight big blinds was at risk against Dario Barone.

Rick Leinarts: A2
Dario Barone: 98

It was more or less a flip situation with Leinarts for a second time having better equity in the hand. Against a different hand, he may have doubled his stack instead of hitting the rail after improving to two pair on the 10K32A board.

However, this same board improved Barone to a flush to win the hand and eliminate Leinarts.

Dario Barone – 240,000
Rick Leinarts – 0

Iannaco Wins Big Flip Against Leinarts

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 9:16 pm

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 121/254

A raising war took place between Davide Iannaco and Rick Leinarts. Iannaco three-bet the pot to 13,000 when we caught up with the action. Leinarts four-bet to 36,000 and Iannaco five-bet to 80,000 with just 22,000 back. Leinarts six-bet jammed for more than that and Iannaco snap-called.

Davide Iannaco: AK
Rick Leinarts: QQ

“Good luck,” Leinarts said to Iannaco.

Iannaco got all the luck he needed right away to win the flip after his king connected with the 8K7 flop. The 3 turn and 5 river didn’t push Leinarts back ahead and he was low on chips after doubling up Iannaco.

Davide Iannaco – 215,000
Rick Leinarts – 18,000

The Flush Never Came for Thevenet

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 9:03 pm

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 125/254

Louis Le Boisselier opened for 4,000 from under the gun and was called by Jean Segonne from the big blind. Thibaut Thevenet three-bet jammed for 28,000 from the button.

Le Boisselier went into the tank for close to a minute before he jammed for about double that. Segonne quickly folded and the cards were turned over.

Thibaut Thevenet: AJ
Louis Le Boisselier: AQ

Le Boisselier was ahead and improved to top pair after the Q26 landed on the flop. Thevenet was pushing his A forward with a smile hoping for another spade to come to complete his flush draw.

No love came for Thevenet on the 6 turn or the 4 river and he will have to try again during one of the other three opening flights if he wishes to advance to Day 2 and beyohnd.

Louis Le Boisselier – 95,000
Jean Segonne – 55,000
Thibaut Thevenet – 0

“Good Call, Nice Hand”

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 8:45 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 132/254

James Clarke fired out for 37,500 into a pot of around 50,000 with the 83109K on the board. Antoine Talvard tanked for several moments before he called.

“Nice hand,” Clarke said immediately. “Good call.”

Talvard turned over the 108 and won the hand with two pair after Clarke mucked.

Antoine Talvard – 185,000
James Clarke – 60,000

Not the Usual Aces vs. Kings Story

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 8:33 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 143/254

Marcus Larsson and Noel Studer got locked up in a three-bet preflop pot before there were more than 100,000 chips in the middle with Studer at risk with on the ace-king-king flop.

Larsson turned over pocket aces for a monster full house. However, he was somehow drawing to one out as Noel Studer turned over kings for quads!

No miracle came for Larsson and he was down to crumbs on likely the worst bad beat of the event. The only saving grace was that stacks weren’t deeper.

Noel Studer – 110,000
Marcus Larsson – 8,500

Marcus Larsson
Marcus Larsson

Fourgerouze Hero-Calls Verdelet

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 8:28 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 149/254

Remi Verdelet fired out an overbet of 25,000 on the 935JA board. Benjamin Fougerouze went into the tank before he found a hero-cal.

Verdelet only help the 62. Fougerouze turned over the Q5 to win the hand with a pair of fives.

Benjamin Fougerouze – 80,000
Remi Verdelet – 50,000

Late Registration Closed – 254 Entries on Day 1b

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 8:11 pm

Level 9: 1,000/1,500 (1,500)
Entries: 152/254

Players are back from their dinner break and late registration is closed on Day 1b.

Day 1b attracted an amazing field of 254 entries. This brings the total entry count up to 469 entries already with still three opening flights to go. It is safe to assume that the €300,000 guarantee slapped on the €550 buy-in MPF Grand Event will be just a footnote tomorrow with even more players expected over the weekend.

Now it is just a matter of how big it will get!

Stacks Around 200K at Dinner Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 8:07 pm

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Kinzo Verstraete250,000167
Michael Pinto240,000160
Daniel Kuhlmann225,000150
Keith Boniface220,000147
Dmitri Dudakov200,000133
Daniel Ventura188,000125
Bogdan Juc185,000123
Lucien Jouanneau182,000121

Day 1b Photos

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 7:03 pm

It’s Dinner Time!

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 6:52 pm

Players are on a 75-minute dinner break. We will update with some Day 1b photos and the chip stacks of the bigger stacks around the room during the second half of the break.

Roberts Cracks Lind’s Rockets With Seven-Deuce Suited

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 6:41 pm

Level 8: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Entries: 150/245

Totti Lind opened for 2,500 from under the gun and was called by three players including Rosarie Roberts from the big blind.

Roberts open-jammed for 15,300 the [invalid notations] flop. Lind snap-called and the other two players folded.

Rosarie Roberts: 72
Totti Lind: AA

Lind flopped a set of aces but it was Roberts ahead after flopping a flush. Blanks came on the turn and river for Roberts to crack Lind’s aces and get back near a starting stack.

Meanwhile, Hippodrome Ambassador Chris Da Silva had the most chips at that table with 200,000 in chips. Also, The Hendon Mob’s Roland Boothby, who is in town to help out with The Hendon Mob Championship later in the festival, sat down at the table after the hand wrapped up.

Chris Da Silva – 200,000
Totti Lind – 85,000
Roland Boothby – 50,000
Rosarie Roberts – 45,000

Rockets for Groedum

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 6:32 pm

Level 8: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Entries: 148/238

Norway’s Jostein Groedum lives in Malta and is often seen at events such as the Malta Poker Festival representing at least some part of the Betsson Group where he is the Head of Poker.

As Guts Poker is one of the sponsors of the group, he is here with Jon Briscoe White and others representing the brand and assisting the qualifiers.

Groedum can also play some cards as we have seen from time to time and hopped into the Grand Event on Day 1b. So far so good for Groedum as he just doubled his stack.

There was about 40,000 in the pot with the Q4K9 on the board after the turn when Groedum jammed for 27,500. Peter Kaspar went into the tank before he found a call.

Jostein Groedum: AA
Peter Kaspar: JJ

Groedum was far ahead but had to sweat six outs to the river as any jack would improve Kaspar to a set and any ten would improve him to a straight. However, it was the blank 9 river that completed the board for Groedum to earn his double-up.

Jostein Groedum – 95,000
Peter Kaspar – 35,000

Ladies First! Host Chris Read Used to Being Called Light

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 6:10 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 157/236

Chris Read flew in from Atlanta for the Malta Poker Festival. She was also here last Spring when she won the €100 MPF Ladies First! event.

This time around, the WPA advocate is hosting the Ladies First! event on Saturday, April 29 at 4 p.m. The buy-in has increased to €150, meaning there will be a bigger prize pool for those making it deep in this event.

We had a chance to interview Read a couple of months ago about her hosting the Ladies First! event and more. Read more about it here.

Unfortunately, Read hasn’t had the best start to Day 1b of the Grand Event and is down to 17,000. She just got called super light in the following hand against Erik Lindqwist.

Both Read and Lindqwist checked with the 832J on the board after the turn. A fourth diamond in the 2 completed the board on the river. Read bet for 7,600. Lindqwist tanked for about a minute before he called.

Read turned over the 43 with no diamonds. She was picked off by Lindqwist who only had the 44 to win the hand.

“Sheesh,” Read said. “Nice hand.”

“Pretty bad calling with just the four of diamonds,” Lindqwist said about his play.

“I’m used to it,” said Read. “I’m being called light all the time.”

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

Mulder Wins the Short-Stacked Battle

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 5:49 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 161/233

Cornelius Buijs got his short stack into the pot from the small blind with the 7J5 flop already dealt and was up against Daniel Mulder, who originally opened preflop from the button.

Cornelius Biujs: 86
Daniel Mulder: 88

Buijs was behind but held eight outs for a draw. Neither the 2 turn nor the J river saved the day for Buijs and he was on the rail with still the ability to re-enter in Day 1b for two more blind levels.

Daniel Mulder – 65,000
Cornelius Buijs – 0

Big Stacks at Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 5:40 pm

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Entries: 163/233

Players are back from break and the Day 1b field has grown to 233 entries. Here is a look at some of the bigger stacks at the break.

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
David Ozmen230,000230
Kanan Farzaliyev170,000170
Alessandro Barone165,000165
Stewart Kirby160,000160
Daniel Vetura160,000160
Totti Lind160,000160
Bogdan Juc150,000150
Lar Halkier150,000150
Antonius Onoufriou145,000145
Michael Pinto140,000140
Kinzo Verstraete135,000135
Chris Da Silva135,000135
Nandor Fejes135,000135
Chen Keren130,000130
Valdas Aukstiklanis130,000130
Joseph Hull117,000117
Justin Scicluna115,000115
Damir Savio115,000115
Ian Gascoigne110,000110
Kjetil Hanstvedt110,000110

Second Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 5:19 pm

Players are on a 15-minute break. Blinds will increase to 500/1,000 with a big blind ante of 1,000 when the action resumes.

We will update you with some of the bigger stacks around the room shortly after the break.

Roberts Runs Into Broadway

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 5:18 pm

Level 6: 400/800 (800)
Entries: 165/226

Albert Sapiano is off to a hot start on his third bullet. Some of that is to the dismay of Rosalie Roberts who just doubled Sapiano up on a cooler of a hand. Roberts shared with us after the hand that the worst part of it was that she new he had the goods.

Sapiano jammed for about a bit of chips into a healthy pot with the 5QQ10A on the board after Roberts checked.

Roberts wound up calling and showed the KQ for trips. This was normally a strong hand but Sapiano had something better as he doubled up on his third Day 1b bullet with KJ for Broadway.

Meanwhile, Totti Lind is also at that table and won a hand or two to have the most chips at the table.

Totti Lind – 165,000
Albert Sapiano – 135,000
Rosarie Roberts – 40,000

Rosarie Roberts
Rosarie Roberts

Mercieca Gets Value From Ladies

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 5:03 pm

Level 6: 400/800 (800)
Entries: 167/225

James Mercieca bet 3,000 into a pot of 16,000 with the 10322 on the board after the turn. Ionut Giba paused for a few moments before he called.

Mercieca fired out another small bet, this time for 4,000, after the 3 river double-paired the board. Giba paused for about 45 seconds before he called.

Mercieca turned over the [qd][qh] and his ladies did the job with Giba mucking his cards.

Ionut Giba – 70,000
James Mercieca – 65,000

Collins Ousts Sapiano

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 4:46 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 178/222

Albert Sapiano lost his first bullet today early on despite having more than double the starting stack early today. He now just lost his second bullet in a pot that James Clarke thought would be chopped by him and Christopher Collins.

Sapiano jammed for about 10,000 into a pot of around 15,000 with the K1096 on the board after the turn. Collins jammed over the top for about 20,000 and Clarke, who had both players covered, made the call.

Albert Sapiano: K5
James Clarke: KQ
Christopher Collins: KQ

Sapiano needed a five and Clarke needed to fade club, which he didn’t realize at the time. Sapiano got out of his chair, presumably to get back in with his maximum third bullet of Day 1b, after the 9 river completed the board.

Clarke assumed at this point the pot would be split. He was quickly corrected and apologized to Collins.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t see the flush,” Clarke said.

Despite not chopping up Sapiano’s chips with Collins, Clarke is still in decent shape early on Day 1b.

James Clarke – 100,000
Christopher Collins – 85,000
Albert Sapiano – 0

Today is Bigger Than Yesterday

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 4:39 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 179/222

The field has blossomed to 222 entries. This is already more than the 215 entries attracted during yesterday’s Day 1a.

Lind Shows His Suited “Robbi Lew”

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 4:28 pm

Level 5: 300/600 (600)
Entries: 175/212

Totti Lind provided tons of entertainment yesterday with his strawberry cream cheese pie prop bet with Lee Colfer. Both Colfer and Lind did have fun but were unable to find a bag yesterday. Both are back at it today in hopes of a better result.

Lind is still having fun, but this time with the cards rather than with the pies.

In a recent hand, Rimko Meijer opened for 1,300 from under the gun. Chris Da Silva three-bet to 3,500 from the hijack. Totti Lind four-bet to 10,500. Meijer and Da Silva didn’t waste too much time before they folded.

Lind opted to show the table what he is capable of and flashed the J4.

We aren’t sure if Lind flashed this in reference to the Robbi Jade Lew controversy that took place at the end of last year in a hand against Garrett Adelson where Lew called for a big pot in a televised cash game with jack-four. Lind was a bit stronger as his “Robbi Lew” was suited.

Totti Lind – 120,000
Chris Da Silva – 110,000
Rimko Meijer – 50,000

Totti Lind
Totti Lind

Bounty Hunter Days Begins

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 4:20 pm

The Malta Poker Festival is more than just the Grand Event. Yes, that is obviously the main attraction with a €300,000 guarantee but the side events are proving to be very popular as well.

The €230 Bounty Hunter Days kicked off about 15 minutes ago and is off to a hot start with 170 entries already in the field. One player that will have to re-enter if they want to run deep in this event is Kevin James, who was the first player out.

Also taking place tonight at 8 p.m. is another €70 satellite to the MPF Grand Event. This is an amazing opportunity to get into the Grand Event for just pennies on the Euro.

Best of luck to all the players in the side events today!

Gialanze Runs Into Keren’s Flush

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 4:12 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 179/202

Day 1b of the Grand Event has passed 200 entries and is near the 215 entries attracted yesterday on Day 1a. The room is booming although it was a little quiet at Table 10 when the following hand took place.

Three players checked before Karl Gialanze fired out for 3,000 into a pot of 11,000. Two players called including Chen Keren.

Two players checked after the K turn. Gialanze bet 5,500 and both his opponents called. The J river completed the board and Gialanze bet 10,000. Keren was the only player to call.

“Flush?” asked Gialanze as he turned over the 65.

Keren did indeed have the flush as he showed the K8 to win the hand.

Chen Keren – 130,000
Karl Gialanze – 35,000

Cowboys for Waud

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 3:47 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 177/195

George Waud fired out for about half the pot with a bet of 5,500 with the 257108 on the board after the river. Matthew Adams went into the tank for a short time before he called.

Waud turned over the KK and was awarded the pot after Adams mucked.

Meanwhile, Dost Ghrabie was also at that table. He quickly said hi as I just covered a deep run of his when he took runner-up in the Mega Series Main Event for £22,347. We mention this event as he shared he also won a package to the Malta Poker Festival as part of his award for winning a promotion that took place during that event.

Ghrabie is making the most of it early on here on Day 1b at Portomaso Casino and has one of the bigger stacks in the room with about 180,000.

Meanwhile, in other news, more fireworks took place at Albert Sapiano’s table. He doubled up Jonathan Schuman when Schuman’s tens were good on a board with no cards higher than his pair on the board. Sapiano is never afraid to re-enter so if he blows through the rest of his chips, we can expect to see him back in the Day 1b field.

Dost Ghrabie – 180,000
Jonathan Schuman – 85,000
George Waud – 70,000
Matthew Adams – 65,000
Albert Sapiano – 22,000

“Albert is Destroying Me”

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 3:31 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 173/183

Jonathan Schuman and Albert Sapiano are on an action table that always seems to have chips in the pot whenever we walk by.

“Albert is destroying me,” Schuman said to the table and us after the following hand.

Sapiano checked the 9JA flop. Schuman fired out for 4,500 into a pot of around 14,000. Gaetano Brignone folded and Sapiano called. The 10 turn and 5 river were quickly checked down.

“You have me beat,” said Schuman. “I have eights.”

Sapiano turned over the J7 to win the hand.

“What an Albert hand,” Schuman said.

“The problem is, I have two more chances today,” Sapiano said referring to how he likes to do his best to build a big stack regardless of the cost.

“We all do,” Schuman replied.

A bit more friendly banter between the two players that have played often together in the United Kingdom took place before Schuman had one more remark as we were leaving the table.

“Albert is destroying me,” Schuman shared. “Put that in the blog.”

Schuman’s wish is our command and we wish both him and the rest of the table the best of luck.

Albert Sapiano – 90,000
Gaetano Brignone – 65,000
Jonathan Schuman – 40,000

Closing in on 200 Entries as the Action Resumes

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 3:20 pm

Level 4: 200/400 (400)
Entries: 172/181

The action has resumed for Day 1b with blinds at 200/400 with a 400 big blind ante. The field is approaching 200 entries. Yesterday’s Day 1a reached 215 entries and today is looking to be even bigger!

Best of luck to all of the Grand Event players.

First Break

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 3:05 pm

Players are on a 15-minute break. Blinds will increase to 200/400 with a 400 big blind ante when the action resumes.

Scorgie Runs Into a Better Pair

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 2:54 pm

Level 3: 200/300 (300)
Entries: 159/163

Three British players got tangled up in a hand, although one got out early as follows.

Albert Sapiano limped from the cutoff. Jonathan Schuman limped behind from the button before James Scorgie raised to 1,500 from the small blind. Sapiano called and Schuman folded.

Scorgie fired out for 3,000 on the 5104 flop. Sapiano called before he called another bet by Scorgie to 6,500 on the K turn.

The 6 river completed the board. Scorgie bet 8,000 this time around and Sapiano called again.

Scorgie turned over the A10 for a flopped top pair. However, Sapiano won the hand after showing the K7 as the turn gave him a better pair.

Albert Sapiano – 115,000
James Scorgie – 80,000
Jonathan Schuman – 50,000

Early Day 1b Photos

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 2:40 pm

Sapiano Playing His Own Seven-Deuce Game

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 2:31 pm

Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 145/148

Albert Sapiano is one of the more interesting players I enjoy following when I see him at various venues as he makes poker more entertaining. At least that is the case for this reporter.

Sapiano may have been playing his own seven-deuce game. You will see what we mean soon.

Adam Lengyel opened up for 600 from middle position. Gaetano Brignone three-bet to 1,600 from the hijack before Sapiano cold-called from the small blind. Lengyel folded and Sapiano announced that he was checking in the dark.

Both players checked after the dealer spread out the 8A10 flop. Sapiano fired out for 3,500 on the [invalid notations] turn and Brignone folded.

Sapiano turned over the 72 to the table to show that he can literally be playing any two cards especially if they are suited.

In other news, we just noticed that Ladies First! host Chris Read, who flew in from Atlanta, joined the action during Level 2.

Albert Sapiano – 90,000
Gaetano Brignone – 50,000
Chris Read – 50,000
Adam Lengyel – 40,000

Albert Sapiano
Albert Sapiano

Hull Wins With a Full House

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 2:13 pm

Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 127/130

Uwe Matthias bet 4,000 into a pot of a bit more with the 710978 on the board after the river. Joseph Hull jammed for 25,000. Ian Gascoigne, who was the first player out on Day 1b and the first to re-enter, jammed over the top for about 45,000 and Matthias folded.

Gascoigne turned over the AQ for the nut flush. However, Hull turned up with something better with the 1010 improving him to a full house.

“Nice hand,” Gascoigne said before adding. “We could have easily gotten this in preflop.”

Meanwhile, Matthias shared with the table that he correctly folded the straight.

Joseph Hull – 65,000
Uwe Matthias – 65,000
Ian Gascoigne – 20,000

Was he Getting Pot Odds for a River Call?

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 1:57 pm

Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 119/120

Rimko Meijer called a three-bet by Totti Lind to 5,000 before the 310A landed on the flop. Lind fired out for 5,000 and Meijer called.

Lind checked the Q turn before he called a bet of 5,000 by Meijer. The [invalid notations] river completed the board. Lind bet 200 into a pot of more than 30,000. Meijer paused for about 20 seconds before he opted to call.

The title was a bit of a joke as Meijer is only calling or raising there. Both players turned over the same suited big slick with one in hearts and another in diamonds to chop the pot.

Totti Lind – 50,000
Rimko Meijer – 50,000

Gascoigne First Out With a Weaker Flush

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 1:33 pm

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

The first elimination of Day 1b already took place when Keith Bonaface sent Ian Gascoigne to the rail midway through Level 1.

Bonaface shared with us that the chips went in when he had the nut flush against Gascoigne’s weaker flush. Perhaps the second time is the charm for Gascoigne as he is already back in the field with his second bullet of the day. Best of luck with take number two!

Keith Bonaface – 105,000
Ian Gascoigne – 50,000

Century Mark Achieved

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 1:30 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 101/101

Day 1b of the MPF Grand Event already has more than 100 entries. Lisa Roberts, Finland’s Jari Hurri, and Jonathan Schuman are among the players we haven’t already mentioned.

Roberts flew over to Malta with her husband Scott from the United States. Scott found a bag yesterday while Lisa will try to join him on Day 1b today. Meanwhile, Jari Hurri is a more familiar face in Malta as he has been here several times in the past. Schuman is here compliments of winning a package as part of the many mystery bounties he won en route to winning the £440 Mega Series Mystery Bounty last week at The Hippodrome.

Lisa Roberts
Lisa Roberts

Early Players in the Field

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 1:18 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 88/88

The Day 1b field grew by 10 players in just a few minutes and is up to 88 entries.

Several British players are in the field including Head of Poker at The Hippodrome Kerryjane Craigie, Hippodrome Ambassador and third-place finisher in the 2022 MPF Spring Grand Event Chris Da Silva, Friend of The Hippodrome Lyddia Cugudda, Shane Dempsey, Sophie Gathercole, Stephen Goose, Joseph Hull, and Lee Colfer, who was coined “The Lord of the Pies” during yesterday’s Day 1a. You can click on Day 1a in our coverage to read more about it or follow this link.

Albert Sapiano is also back in the mix and ready to rumble. Sapiano compiled a big stack midway through the day but will have to try again today after losing his stack over the course of a few blind levels.

Lee “Lord of the Pies” Colfer

Cards in the Air!

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 1:07 pm

Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 78/78

MPF Founder Ivonne Montealegre and Ludos Academy CEO Danilo de Berardinis welcomed the players and shared with the Day 1b crowd some information about the Grand Event.

Cards were in the air shortly after with a field of 78 entries and counting.

Welcome to Day 1b of the MPF Grand Event

By Jason Glatzer | April 27, 2023 11:50 am

Welcome back to our coverage of the 2023 Malta Poker Festival (MPF) €550 Grand Event at the luxurious Portomaso Casino.

Yesterday’s Day 1a was a banner day with 215 entries in full force. This is an amazing start considering last Spring’s MPF Grand Event, which by the way smashed its €300,000 guarantee with 1,014 entries for a €486,720 prize pool, had about half as much with 118 entries. This is also more than the 205 entries featured on Day 1a of the 2022 Autumn MPF Grand Event which eventually smashed its €500,000 guarantee with 1,326 entries creating a €636,480 prize pool.

Time will tell how big this Spring’s MPF Grand Event will be as there are still four more opening flights to go including today’s Day 1b which kicks off at 2 p.m.

The first four opening flights, including Day 1b, feature an identical structure with players starting with 50,000 in chips (500 big blinds) and battling it out for 13 blind levels of 40 minutes each. Players re-enter twice per opening flight until late registration closes before the start of Level 9.

Saturday’s Day 1e is a turbo-charged affair with 20-minute blind levels. Otherwise, the structure is the same.

The Grand Event isn’t the only game in town today. Many players are excited about the MPF Bounty Days Hunter featuring a €230 buy-in. Additionally, players will have an opportunity to get into the Grand Event for just €70 thanks to another satellite running at 8 p.m.

Our coverage will begin when cards are in the air shortly at a few minutes past 2 p.m. after announcements are made by MPF founder Ivonne Montealegre and Ludos Academy CEO Danilo de Berardinis.