The Battle of Malta 2014 has been the talk of the town all year, with Pokerlistings promising the biggest even ever seen in Malta, a raised prize pool of a massive €500,000 and more pro's than we could possibly imagine seeing in a tournament that has a €550 buy-in only.
And with Day 1A over of the Battle of Malta, we have to say that they delivered massively. A total of 1,193 players has already played or registered for one of the two starting days, with space for more players to join day 1B today, which doesn't only mean that the €500,000 guarantee is already shattered, it also means that it is by far the biggest tournament Malta has ever hosted.
Pokerlistings are expecting around 1,300 players to register in total, making the prize pool reach a massive €650,000, which should give more than €100,000 for first place – In a €550 buy-in tournament. We are looking very much forward to seeing how many more players will arrive today to play day 1B at the Portomaso Casino.
Battle of Malta Day 1A - Portomaso Casino
When you compare the numbers from the previous years, it is easy to see how much the Battle of Malta has grown. The first year a total of 349 players competed, last year the number had grown to 888 players and this year they already have more than 1,200 players guaranteed to show up, creating a 50% attendance increase year-on-year.
But let's get back to the action, Day 1A had plenty of action from the 521 players who decided to play the first of the two days. A total of 86 players are left in the tournament, going forward to Day 2, led on by Hugo Lemaire who is the chipleader with 355,500 in his stack. Last year's winner Louis Cartarius busted on the first day, but told Pokerlistings that he would re-enter today on Day 1B.
Other notable players in action on Day 1A included the Godfather of Poker, Thor Hansen, who ended the day in 40,500 chips, while Johnny Lodden finished with 50,000 and the host of the tournament, Maria Ho, ending in 103,500. The Italian superstar Luca Moschitta also played Day 1A of the Battle of Malta, finishing with 120,000 chips.
Maria Ho - Battle of Malta Host and Poker Player
888Poker sponsored pro Sofia Lovgren, Footballer Steve Watt and Dominik Panka also played Day 1A, but unfortunately busted out during the day. They might buy-in again today and take another shot at the huge prize pool.
Remember that you can read all about what is going on during the tournament in Pokerlistings' Live Reporting, where you'll see pictures, read about the best hands of the day and see how the pro's and celebrities are doing. You can follow the live reporting, done by some of the best in the industry, right here and rail your friends, family or your favourite pro.
If you're more into the visual kind kind of railing, then fear not as Pokerlistings also creates several video's during the day, with their host Maria Ho in charge. You can get to feel the excitement and buzz of the tournament, see exclusive interviews and just get a feel for how it is to play a tournament of that size. You can see all the video's from the Battle of Malta, right here.
Good luck to everyone playing Day 1B of the Battle of Malta today.