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The Festival Malta 2023 Live Blog

The Festival Malta 2023 Live Blog

The Festival in Malta Live Updates

Oystein Brenden Wins The Festival Malta Main Event (€60,900) 22.05.2023 11:13 by Franke

The Festival Series Malta boasted a fantastic festival for poker players, casino enthusiasts, and guests at Portomaso Casino on May 15-21. However, all good things must come to an end. Oystein Brenden capped off a fantastic week after defeating Balazs Somodi heads-up 2023 The Festival Malta €550 Main Event to win the €60,900 top prize.

The Main Event was just one of 50 events this week at The Festival Series Malta. There was something for everyone with many different poker variants, casino-style events, and cash games running nonstop. Despite no guarantee on the Main Event, it was still the third-largest in the tour’s history and only behind the two events hosted at Banco Casino in Bratislava with 617 entries creating a €296,610 prize pool.

Brenden was near the top of the pack most of the way. He entered Day 2 in second place and was the chip leader to start the final day with just 16 players left. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing from then on as Brenden lost a chunk of his stack with two tables left before taking a bad beat to be left short on chips. Brenden kept his composure and eventually took the chip lead with three players remaining and never looked back.

Congrats to Brenden for entering his name into The Festival Series history books and read on to learn more about the final day.

2023 The Festival Malta Main Event Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Brenden OysteinNorway€60,700
2Balazs SomodiHungary€40,500
3Luigi D’AlterioItaly€27,900
4Dario BaroneUnited Kingdom€20,300
5Stian NostdahlNorway€14,560
6Andreas HolmstenSweden€10,950
7Matthew MicallefMalta€8,350
8Gytis JuskeviciusLithuania€6,250
9Mischa WietenNetherlands€5,150

The Main Event witnessed 71 players earning at least a min-cash of €1,000 for nearly double the €550 buy-in.

the-festival-malta-sviten-special-laval-philippe-georges-friedric-h-5761
The Festival Series Malta Main Event Final Table

Final Day Action

Oystein Brenden began the final day with the chip lead and was on the live-streamed feature table broadcasted on TheFestivalOG Twitch and TheFestivalOG YouTube channels throughout the entire day by George Sandford and Jacob Dideriksen-Nilsen.

By the time the final table was reached, Brenden was near the bottom of the pack but things got worse for the eventual winner. Andreas Holmsten came in as the short stack with around six big blinds and immediately delivered a bad beat to the initial final table chip leader Dario Barone with his ace-nine got there against ace-jack to put eventual runner-up Balazs Somodi in the chip lead. Holmsten then delivered an even bigger bad beat to Brenden when his nines got there against cowboys and Brenden was left with just nine big blinds and in jeopardy of being the first player out at the final table.

However, Brenden won a crucial flip to gain some breathing room when his sevens were good against the ace-queen held by Mischa Wieten. Soon after Wieten lost another flip to hit the rail when his king-jack didn’t get there against Somodi’s tens.

Gytis Juskevicius was ousted by Stian Nostdahl immediately after Wieten’s elimination when his eights didn’t win a flip against ace-queen. Soon after, Brenden continued his momentum when his ace-queen held against ace-jack to eliminate the final local Maltese player Matthew Micallef.

Time eventually ran out for Holmsted, who managed to ladder up three places at the final table, when jammed his ace-trey unsuccessfully into Somodi’s queens to further extend Somodi’s lead. Somodi then amassed more than half the chips in play with four players remaining after his big slick proved to be no problem against ace-queen to eliminate Nostdahl.

Barone doubled through Somodi when his ace-ten held against ten-eight. Those chips went over to Brenden shortly after when his ace-nine didn’t improve against tens. Brenden held the chip lead after the hand. Shortly after, Luigi D’Alterio got his short stack in with ace-seven and was eliminated on the podium in third place when he didn’t improve against Brenden’s ace-queen.

the-festival-malta-main-event-day3-final-table-headsup-balazs-somodi-oeystein-brenden-5129-1
Balazs Somodi & Oystein Brenden

Brenden began the heads-up affair against Somodi with a small chip lead. Brenden won a huge pot with cowboys after Somodi bricked some draws with queen-trey suited. Somodi jammed the short stack he had left with eight-seven only to run into the dominating king-seven held by Brenden and fell one player short of the title. Regardless, it was a tremendous effort by Somodi who collected the €40,500 runner-up prize for his efforts.

Congrats once again to Oystein Brenden and we look forward to seeing you at The Festival Series Bratislava from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at Banco Casino to defend your title.

Photos of the Main Event Heads-Up 22.05.2023 10:33 by Franke
Full Main Event Payouts 21.05.2023 23:44 by Franke
PlacePlayerPrize
1Brenden Oystein€60,700
2Balazs Somodi€40,500
3Luigi D’Alterio€27,900
4Dario Barone€20,300
5Stian Nostdahl€14,560
6Andreas Holmsten€10,950
7Matthew Micallef€8,350
8Gytis Juskevicius€6,250
9Mischa Wieten€5,150
10Samuel Stranak€4,100
11Shimon Hagay€4,100
12Clausin Sanz€3,500
13Annika Haaviste€3,500
14Andras Balogh€3,000
15Kerrien Clement€3,000
16Jelmer Schuurmans€3,000
17Shaf Saken€2,500
18Domenico Gala€2,500
19Michael Ibba€2,500
20Axel Holm€2,000
21Raymond de Groot€2,000
22Raoul van Wersch€2,000
23Jari Porkka€2,000
24Laila Hawaszadeh€2,000
25Erik Peters€1,750
26Alfredo Cuti€1,750
27Milad Rad€1,750
28Kacper Kuzior€1,750
29Adam Briggs€1,750
30Jimmy Dewerdt€1,750
31Ingvill Nilsen€1,750
32Gatis Reigass€1,750
33Kenneth Kull€1,500
34Andrew Cutajar€1,500
35Antonio Lombardo€1,500
36Mike Holthaus€1,500
37John Forsman€1,500
38Avtandili Magradze€1,500
39Xuanyu Zheng€1,500
40Niko Raapana€1,500
41Georgios Orestidis€1,250
42Franco Scalise€1,250
43Marcus Skinner€1,250
44Valentin Oberhauser€1,250
45Oliver Said€1,250
46Alberto Cigliano€1,250
47Jakub Kanosovsky€1,250
48Stuart Griffith€1,250
49Matiss Celmins€1,100
50Linus Lauermann€1,100
51Daniel Smith€1,100
52Cory Desmond€1,100
53Lukasz Sajnog€1,100
54Glen Gaines€1,100
55Conny Eriksson€1,100
56Dainius Antanaitis€1,100
57Laur Sibold€1,000
58Roberts Krigers€1,000
59Cristiano Blanco€1,000
60Irakli Kobeshavidze€1,000
61Maria Evans€1,000
62Terje Jahn€1,000
63Erik Nygren€1,000
64Marita Nilsen€1,000
65Paata Khmaldze€1,000
66Nicholas Osthus€1,000
67Peter Solem€1,000
68Rune Polden€1,000
69Beka Ksovreli€1,000
70Per Gaassand€1,000
71Joshua Stewart€1,000
Brenden Oystein Wins the Main Event (€60,900) After Eliminating Balazs Solomi in 2nd Place (€40,500) 21.05.2023 23:29 by Franke

€550 Main Event
Level 32: 100,000/200,000 (200,000)
Entries: 1/617

The Festival Series Malta €550 Main Event is in the books with Oystein Brenden claiming the trophy and the €60,700, while Balazs Somodi collected the healthy €40,500 runner-up prize.

Brenden entered Day 2 in second place and had the chip lead to start the day. However, he didn’t have a big stack at the final table and took a bad beat to leave him short soon after.

He rebounded and was crowned the latest The Festival Series Main Event champion after the following two hand:

Brenden opened for 450,000 with K K from the button and was called by Somodi with Q 3 from the big blind.

Somodi check-raised his flush draw on the 5 6 8 flop from 400,000 to 1,400,000. Brenden three-bet his overpair to 2,400,000 and Somodi called.

The 2 turn also gave Somodi a gutshot straight draw on top of his flush draw with one more card to come.

Somodi checked before Brenden fired out for 2 million. Somodi called for more than half his stack and the 3 river completed the board to give Somodi bottom pair. This wasn’t enough and Brenden won the hand and had Somodi down to just 7 big blinds after taking down the pot.

The next hand, Solomi jammed his short stack with 8 7 from the button and was up against the K 7 held by Brenden after he called from the big blind.

The 5 3 7 9 K board improved Solomi to a pair but he was out of chips as Brenden improved to two pair to win the tournament.

A massive congrats to Brenden for winning the Main Event for €60,900! Here is a look at the final table payouts:

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Brenden OysteinNorway€60,700
2Balazs SomodiHungary€40,500
3Luigi D’AlterioItaly€27,900
4Dario BaroneUnited Kingdom€20,300
5Stian NostdahlNorway€14,560
6Andreas HolmstenSweden€10,950
7Matthew MicallefMalta€8,350
8Gytis JuskeviciusLithuania€6,250
9Mischa WietenNetherlands€5,150

This brings us to a conclusion of our reporting of The Festival Series Malta. We will post the full payouts of the Main Event shortly. Tomorrow, The Festival Series will publish an article about a recap of the Main Event with an overall recap of The Festival Series Malta coming later in the week. Thank you for tuning in and until the next time at The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.

Luigi D’Alterio Eliminated in 3rd Place (€27,900) 21.05.2023 22:24 by Franke

€550 Main Event
Level 31: 80,000/160,000 (160,000)
Entries: 2/617

Luigi D’Alterio hit the rail on the podium in third place for €27,900 shortly after Dario Barone exited in fourth place. Both Italian players were victims of Norway’s Oystein Brenden.

D’Alterio jammed for 1.9 million from the small blind and Brenden called from the big blind.

Luigi D’Alterio: A 7
Oystein Brenden: A Q

Both players had an ace but Brenden’s kicker came to play on the 3 9 5 J 3 board to eliminate D’Alterio and extend his chip lead.

Brenden and Balazs Somodi went on a five-minute break after the hand.

Oystein Brenden – 10.4 million
Balazs Somodi – 8.1 million
Luigi D’Alterio – 0

the-festival-malta-main-event-day3-final-table-luigi-d-alterio-4413
Luigi D’Alterio
Dario Barone Eliminated in 4th Place (€20,300) 21.05.2023 22:18 by Franke

€550 Main Event
Level 31: 80,000/160,000 (160,000)
Entries: 3/617

Dario Barone jammed for 3.2 million from under the gun and was called by Oystein Brenden from the small blind.

Dario Barone: A 9
Oystein Brenden: 10 10

Brenden’s tens were not only good, but he further improved to a set on the 10 J K flop. Barone still had some thin hope with a gutshot to Broadway but this wasn’t meant to be with the 3 turn and 6 river completing the board.

Barone’s fourth-place finish was worth €20,300. Meanwhile, Brenden, who began the day with the chip lead, snagged the chip lead for the first time at the final table with Somodi not miles behind.

Oystein Brenden – 8.9 million
Balazs Somodi – 7.4 million
Luigi D’Alterio – 2.2 million
Oystein Brenden – 0

the-festival-malta-main-event-day3-final-table-dario-barone-4337
Dario Barone
Brenden Check-Raises the Flop 21.05.2023 22:12 by Franke

€550 Main Event
Level 31: 80,000/160,000 (160,000)
Entries: 4/617

Balazs Somodi min-raised from under the gun and was called by Oystein Brenden from the big blind.

Brenden check-raised a bet of 160,000 to 350,000 by Somodi on the 5 10 5 flop.

Somodi called and the 8 followed on the turn. Brenden led out for 750,000 and won the hand after Somodi folded.

Somodi had a mystery hand on the stream but Brenden held the Q 10 for two pair and a flush draw.

Balazs Somodi – 7.5 million
Oystein Brenden – 3.4 million

Main Event Chip Counts 21.05.2023 22:00 by Franke

€550 Main Event
Level 31: 80,000/160,000 (160,000)
Entries: 4/617

PlacePlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Balazs Somodi8,700,00054
2Dario Barone2,900,00018
3Luigi D’Alterio3,000,00019
6Oystein Brenden4,000,00025
Barone Doubles Through Somodi 21.05.2023 21:53 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 30: 60,000/120,000 (120,000)
Entries: 4/617

Balazs Somodi jammed for 11 million from the small blind. Dario called off his stack of 1.6 million from the big blind and the cards were turned over with Barone at risk.

Dario Barone: A 10
Balazs Somodi: 10 7

Barone was in good shape to double up and that was what he exactly did after the K 9 8 3 Q ran out on the board.

Balazs Somodi – 9 million
Dario Barone – 3.2 million

the-festival-malta-main-event-day3-final-table-dario-barone-4345
Dario Barone
Stian Nostdahl Eliminated in 5th Place (€14,560) 21.05.2023 21:25 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 30: 60,000/120,000 (120,000)
Entries: 4/617

The hand seemingly started simple enough as the action folded around to Stian Nostdahl, who opted to limp from the small blind. Things picked up after Balazs Somodi three-bet to 520,000 from the big blind. Nostdahl four-bet jammed for 3,300,000 and Somodi called with Nostdahl at risk in the biggest pot thus far in the Main Event.

Stian Nostdahl: A Q
Balazs Somodi: A K

Nostdahl needed some help but none was on the way with the 5 4 K 10 5 on the board. It was an impressive run for Nostdahl despite missing out on the title and will go home a little richer with a €14,560 fifth-place payout.

Meanwhile, Somodi ousted back-to-back players since the break and had more than half the chips in play when four-handed action began.

Balazs Somodi – 10 million
Stian Nostdahl – 0

the-festival-malta-main-event-day3-final-table-stian-nostdahl-4613
Stian Nostdahl
Updated Main Event Chip Counts 21.05.2023 21:16 by The Festival Team
SeatPlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Balazs Somodi6,700,00056
2Dario Barone1,700,00014
3Luigi D’Alterio3,200,00027
6Oystein Brenden4,000,00033
7Stian Nostdahl2,900,00024
Andreas Holmsten Eliminated in 6th Place (€10,950) 21.05.2023 21:13 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 30: 60,000/120,000 (120,000)
Entries: 5/617

Luigi D’Alterio opened for a min-raise from under the gun with K 10 before Andreas Holmsten opted with A 3 to three-bet jam for 1.7 million. Balazs Somodi four-bet shoved from the small blind for 4.5 million with Q Q and it was a heads-up showdown after both Dario Barone and D’Alterio folded.

Holmsten came into the final table as the short stack and doubled up twice while behind. He bricked the 8 3 6 9 9 board. He managed to ladder up three spots from a ninth-place €5,150 cash to a sixth-place €10,950 payout and was all smiles despite hitting the rail. 

Balazs Somodi – 6.6 million
Andreas Holmsten – 0

the-festival-malta-main-event-day3-final-table-andreas-erik-holmsten-4507
Andreas Holmsten
Back From Dinner 21.05.2023 21:04 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 30: 60,000/120,000 (120,000)
Entries: 6/617

The Main Event players are back from dinner. Blinds have increased to 60,000/120,000 with a 120,000 big blind ante. You can check out the action on the stream by clicking on the stream time while also reporting the biggest hands in the blog.

Gerhard Brimmers Wins the 49+ Seniors 21.05.2023 20:51 by The Festival Team

The €250 Seniors 49+ was a fun event invented by The Festival Series. The main reason it was created is that Franke is just one year shy of 50. So while this was a seniors event there were several players including Franke that were a mere 49 years old.

Franke managed a good run. He built up a big stack and left the table for a period of time to play Day 2 of the €250 Mystery Bounty simultaneously. Eventually, Franke bubbled the event and the title a little while later went to Gerhard Brimmers after he feated Dieter Falzon heads-up. Both Leif Iversen and Jari-Pekka Rattya also cashed in this fun event.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Gerhard Brimmers€1,950
2Dieter Falzon€1,450
3Leif Iversen€902
4Jari-Pekka Rattya€450
Dinner Break 21.05.2023 19:53 by The Festival Team

Players are on a one-hour dinner break. We will also snag some food so see you in an hour.

More Main Event Final Table Photos by Mairo Toom 21.05.2023 19:39 by The Festival Team
Set of Ladies for Nostdahl 21.05.2023 19:34 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 29: 50,000/100,000 (100,000)
Entries: 6/617

Stian Nostdahl opened for 225,000 with Q Q from the button and was called by Balazs Somodi with K J from the small blind.

Somodi improved to top pair on the 8 K 7 flop. Both players checked to see the 6 turn. Somodi fired out for 275,000 and Nostdahl called.

The Q river gave Nostdahl the perfect two-outer for a set of ladies. Somodi still with the top pair led out for 550,000. Nostdahl went into the tank for about a minute before he opted to just call.

Somodi still held the chip lead after the hand but it wasn’t as big as before.

Balazs Somodi – 4.6 million
Stian Nostdahl – 3.6 million

the-festival-malta-main-event-day-2-nostdahl-stian-5363
Stian Nostdahl
Somodi Extends His Chip Lead 21.05.2023 19:19 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 29: 50,000/100,000 (100,000)
Entries: 6/617

Dario Barone opened for 200,000 from under the gun with 8 8 before Andreas Holmsten with A 9 three-bet to 525,000 from the cutoff.

Balazs Somodi woke up with Q Q from the big blind. He jammed his table-leading stack and extended his chip lead after both his opponents folded their cards.

Balazs Somodi – 5.6 million
Dario Barone – 3.1 million
Andreas Holmsten – 1.3 million

Updated Main Event Chip Counts 21.05.2023 19:08 by The Festival Team
PlacePlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Balazs Somodi4,900,00061
2Dario Barone3,400,00043
3Luigi D’Alterio2,600,00033
5Andreas Holmsten1,900,00024
6Oystein Brenden3,000,00038
7Stian Nostdahl2,600,00033
Matthew Micallef Eliminated in 7th Place (€8,350) 21.05.2023 19:01 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)
Entries: 6/617

Luigi D’Alterio opened for a min-raise from early position with 10 8 before Oystein Brenden three-bet jammed for 1.5 million from the cutoff with A Q .

Matthew Micallef quickly called off his stack of slightly less from the small blind with A J and D’Alterio folded.

Micallef was the final local Maltese player in the Main Event. The title won’t stay at home in Malta after ace-jack wasn’t able to push ahead of ace-queen on the 7 K 7 3 5 board to send Micallef to the rail in seventh place for €8,350.

Oystein Brenden – 3 million
Matthew Micallef – 0

the-festival-malta-main-event-final-micallef-matthew-5623
Matthew Micallef
Gytis Juskevicius Eliminated in 8th Place (€6,250) 21.05.2023 18:46 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)
Entries: 7/617

After three short-stacked doubles, the next two hands left players on the rail. First, Mischa Wieten hit the rail before Gytis Juskevicius headed to the locker room as follows:

Stian Nostdahl opened for 225,000 from early position before Juskevicius three-bet shoved for 800,000 from the lojack. Nostdahl called after the action was folded around to him and the players turned over their hands with Juskevicius at risk.

Gytis Juskevicius: 8 8
Stian Nostdahl: A Q

Juskevicius snowmen weren’t good enough and he was out in eighth place for €6,250 after Nostdahl’s ace found a partner on the 3 9 K A 10 board.

Stian Nostdahl – 3.1 million
Gytis Juskevicius – 0

the-festival-malta-main-event-final-juskevicius-gytis-5778
Gytis Juskevicius
Mischa Wieten Eliminated in 9th Place (€5,150) 21.05.2023 18:37 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)
Entries: 8/617

Balazs Somodi opened for 160,000 from the cutoff before Mischa Wieten three-bet jammed for 1.1 million from the big blind. Somodi called and it was a heads-up showdown with Wieten at risk.

Mischa Wieten: K J
Balazs Somodi: 10 10

Wieten was unable to win the flip and hit the rail in with place for €5,150 after he got nowhere on the 8 2 10 9 9 board.

The final eight players each locked up at least €6,250 after Wieten was eliminated by Somodi. Meanwhile, we had our first lead change at the final table with Somodi becoming the final table captain after the hand.

Balazs Somodi – 4.7 million
Mischa Wieten – 1.0 million

the-festival-malta-main-event-final-wieten-mischa-5613
Mischa Wieten
Brenden Doubles Through Wieten 21.05.2023 18:18 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)
Entries: 9/617

Mischa Wieten opened for 125,000 from the button. Oystein Brenden three-bet jammed for 635,000 from the big blind and Wieten called.

Oystein Brenden: 7 7
Mischa Wieten: A Q

The start of the day chip leader just lost more than half his stack when his kings didn’t hold against Andreas Holmsten’s nines. However, this time he was able to win a flip to stay alive after his opponent bricked the 7 8 2 5 J board.

Oystein Brenden – 1.3 million
Mischa Wieten – 1.0 million

the-festival-malta-main-event-final-brenden-oystein-5769
Oystein Brenden
Updated Main Event Chip Counts 21.05.2023 18:10 by The Festival Team
PlacePlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Balazs Somodi3,300,00055
2Dario Barone3,600,00060
3Luigi D’Alterio2,900,00048
4Mischa Wieten1,700,00028
5Andreas Holmsten1,700,00028
6Oystein Brenden636,00011
7Stian Nostdahl2,000,00033
8Matthew Micallef1,900,00032
9Gytis Juskevicius800,00013
Nines Have Been Kind to Holmsten 21.05.2023 18:05 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)
Entries: 9/617

More fireworks were launched two hands after Andreas Holmsten got a lucky double. Mischa Wieten opened for 130,000 from the lojack with Q J . Holmsten three-bet jammed for 760,000 from the hijack with 9 9 .

Oystein Brenden woke up with K K from the cutoff and jammed for 1,300,000 and Wieten quickly got out of the way.

Holmsten was behind again. This time by a much further margin with Oystein holding an overpair. 

However, the poker gods are on Holmsten’s side early in the event with the 6 10 7 8 3 running out on the board and once again doubled despite being behind when the chips went into the pot.

Andreas Holmsten – 1.7 million
Oystein Brenden – 545,000

Lucky Double With Trip Nines for Holmsten 21.05.2023 17:59 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)
Entries: 9/617

Dario Barone raised to 130,000 from the lojack before Andreas Holmsten three-bet shoved for 335,000 from the button. Barone called and the cards were turned over.

Andreas Holmsten: A 9
Dario Barone: A J

It was looking like showers for Holmsten as he was a 2:1 underdog. He fell further behind on the 3 7 5 flop. However, everything changed after the 9 spiked the turn to improve Holmsten to a pair. He still had a sweat as the same card also gave Barone the nut-flush draw and his jack was still live as well.

The 9 river paired the board for Holmsten to get a lucky double with trip nines instead of hitting the rail in ninth place.

Dario Barone – 3.6 million
Andreas Holmsten – 760,000

the-festival-malta-main-event-final-holmsten-andreas-erik-5768
Andreas Holmsten
Photos From the Final Table 21.05.2023 17:43 by The Festival Team

The final table is about to kick off on the stream. Here is a look at some of the photos from the final table:

Main Event Payouts Thus Far 21.05.2023 17:12 by The Festival Team
PlacePlayerPrize
1?€60,700
2?€40,500
3?€27,900
4?€20,300
5?€14,560
6?€10,950
7?€8,350
8?€6,250
9?€5,150
10Samuel Stranak€4,100
11Shimon Hagay€4,100
12Clausin Sanz€3,500
13Annika Haaviste€3,500
14Andras Balogh€3,000
15Kerrien Clement€3,000
16Jelmer Schuurmans€3,000
17Shaf Saken€2,500
18Domenico Gala€2,500
19Michael Ibba€2,500
20Axel Holm€2,000
21Raymond de Groot€2,000
22Raoul van Wersch€2,000
23Jari Porkka€2,000
24Laila Hawaszadeh€2,000
25Erik Peters€1,750
26Alfredo Cuti€1,750
27Milad Rad€1,750
28Kacper Kuzior€1,750
29Adam Briggs€1,750
30Jimmy Dewerdt€1,750
31Ingvill Nilsen€1,750
32Gatis Reigass€1,750
33Kenneth Kull€1,500
34Andrew Cutajar€1,500
35Antonio Lombardo€1,500
36Mike Holthaus€1,500
37John Forsman€1,500
38Avtandili Magradze€1,500
39Xuanyu Zheng€1,500
40Niko Raapana€1,500
41Georgios Orestidis€1,250
42Franco Scalise€1,250
43Marcus Skinner€1,250
44Valentin Oberhauser€1,250
45Oliver Said€1,250
46Alberto Cigliano€1,250
47Jakub Kanosovsky€1,250
48Stuart Griffith€1,250
49Matiss Celmins€1,100
50Linus Lauermann€1,100
51Daniel Smith€1,100
52Cory Desmond€1,100
53Lukasz Sajnog€1,100
54Glen Gaines€1,100
55Conny Eriksson€1,100
56Dainius Antanaitis€1,100
57Laur Sibold€1,000
58Roberts Krigers€1,000
59Cristiano Blanco€1,000
60Irakli Kobeshavidze€1,000
61Maria Evans€1,000
62Terje Jahn€1,000
63Erik Nygren€1,000
64Marita Nilsen€1,000
65Paata Khmaldze€1,000
66Nicholas Osthus€1,000
67Peter Solem€1,000
68Rune Polden€1,000
69Beka Ksovreli€1,000
70Per Gaassand€1,000
71Joshua Stewart€1,000
Final Table Seat Draw 21.05.2023 17:09 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)
Entries: 9/617

The final table of The Festival Series Malta €550 Main Event has been reached with Dario Barone kicking the action off with the chip lead. You will be able to watch the final table play out by clicking on the Stream tab in our coverage. We will also be reporting all of the key hands of the final table here in the blog. In the meantime, here is a look at the final table seat draw:

SeatPlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Balazs Somodi3,640,00061
2Dario Barone4,035,00067
3Luigi D’Alterio2,495,00042
4Mischa Wieten1,065,00018
5Andreas Holmsten335,0006
6Oystein Brenden1,095,00018
7Stian Nostdahl2,110,00035
8Matthew Micallef1,990,00033
9Gytis Juskevicius1,070,00018
the-festival-malta-main-event-final-barone-dario-5627
Dario Barone
OFC High Roller Begins 21.05.2023 16:49 by The Festival Team

The €1,100 OFC High Roller has kicked off. This is usually the tournament that The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk plays but in this case, he is already playing both the Mystery Bounty and the Seniors Event. While you can miss hands in those events at times, this is not the case for OFC. Therefore, time will tell whether Franke gets into the action.

Meanwhile, the €250 OFC champion Aaron Kupin, Sascha Manns, Mati Pirn, Pierre Joubert, Kornel Kielbik, and Thibaut Yoccoz are all in the field.

This is the final event to kick off and we wish the six players in the field the best of luck.

the-festival-malta-horse-sascha-manns-1332
Sascha Manns
Photos From the Seniors Event 21.05.2023 16:35 by The Festival Team
Mystery Bounty Photos 21.05.2023 15:40 by The Festival Team

Check out some photos from the final day of the €250 Mystery Bounty.

Marcel Fandre Wins the €5K Mystery Bounty 21.05.2023 15:20 by The Festival Team

One of the two €2,000 envelopes and the €5,000 envelope have already been claimed on Day 2 of the €250 Mystery Bounty.

Marcel Fandre was the lucky recipient of the €5,000 bounty prize. Anastasia plans to interview him during one of the upcoming breaks of this event.

Congrats to Fandre and the action still continues in this event with 21 players remaining.

the-festival-malta-mystery
Marcel Fandre Wins the Top €5,000 Mystery Bounty
Main Event Final Day Photos by Dominik Demcak 21.05.2023 15:07 by The Festival Team
Players Cashing for €3,000 in the Main Event 21.05.2023 15:02 by The Festival Team

Three players have already hit the rail on the final day of the Main Event leaving just 13 players remaining. Andras Balogh, Kerrien Clement, and PokerStudie’s Jelmer Schuurmans all hit the rail for a cash of €3,000 with the remaining players each getting a pay jump to at least a €3,500 payout.

14Andras Balogh€3,000
15Kerrien Clement€3,000
16Jelmer Schuurmans€3,000
It’s Envelope Picking Time in the Mystery Bounty 21.05.2023 14:32 by The Festival Team

The second and final day of the €250 Mystery Bounty kicked off at 2 p.m. with 30 returning players each locking up at least a €200 min-cash. This is not all as the bounty element of the tournament has kicked in. If a player eliminates another player they will choose an envelope containing a random prize from €200 all the way up to €5,000!

The Mystery Bounty has been a massive hit with 201 entries coming out in full force to collect a €24,120 prize pool. Jari Porkka and Santo Sidoti began the final day with the biggest stacks. Meanwhile, Franke has a decent stack in this event and is also the chip leader in the ongoing Seniors Event. So we expect to see him running back and forth. He shared he might enter the Low Roller as well. This might be enough to push him ahead of Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon on the Player of the Festival leaderboard but time will tell if that will be the case.

the-festival-malta-mystery
Mystery Bounty Prizes
Main Event Resumes 21.05.2023 14:23 by The Festival Team

The action has resumed in the €550 Main Event. The live stream also began and you can check that out starting at around 2:30 p.m.

Photos From the Seniors Event 21.05.2023 13:59 by The Festival Team
Andreas Sanden Wins the PLO Midnight Madness After Five-Way Deal 21.05.2023 13:26 by The Festival Team

Andreas Sanden agreed to a five-way deal with Sami Pulliainen, Peder Behr, Toomas Orm, and Julien Teissedre before being crowned the champion in the €125 PLO Midnight Madness on Saturday evening to win €1,600. Two players in Orm and Teissedre collected more but Sanden was crowned the champion.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Andreas Sanden€1,600
2Sami Pulliainen€1,530
3Peder Behr€1,250
4Toomas Orm€1,800
5Julien Teissedre€1,740
6Rita Paus€560
7Marius Morel€410
8Erik Ohnstad€325
9Allan Arjut€285
Low Roller Begins 21.05.2023 13:12 by The Festival Team

The €60 Low Roller has kicked off with a tasty Sunday field of 53 entries. Of course, this will grow throughout the day but this is an amazing start.

Lisbeth Sunde, Sascha Manns, Vadim Gercev, and Monica Larsson are among he early entries.

Daniele Marchesani Wins the PLO Freezeout (€4,480) 21.05.2023 13:01 by The Festival Team
the-festival-malta-plo-freezeout-daniele-marchesani-5485
Daniele Marchesani Wins PLO Freezeout

Daniele Marchesani defeated Sami Turunen heads-up to win the €4,480 top prize in the €250 PLO Freezeout. The Freezeout attracted 66 unique players to create a €14,256 top prize. The final table of this event was live-streamed on our TheFestivalOG Twitch channel.

Here is a look at all of the payouts and congrats to all of the winners!

PlacePlayerPrize
1Daniele Marchesani€4,480
2Sami Turunen€3,160
3Sean O’Donnell€2,260
4James Hopkins€1,786
5Sander Mets€1,140
6Philippe Laval€830
7Joseph Wilkinson€600
Sami Korpula Wins the Sportsbook Tournament (€526) 21.05.2023 12:30 by The Festival Team

The €125 Sportsbook Tournament of The Festival Series Malta attracted 12 participants on Saturday. Their job was to predict the outcome of five British Premier League games and two Italian Serie A games.

There were some upsets among these games. Therefore, it is natural that nobody was able to predict all the games correctly.

When the dust settled we had two winners with the same result with five correct predictions/points, and the decider was then the total number of goals made during these seven games which they also predicted with the total adding up to 20 goals.

Sami Korpela won the top prize of €526 after picking the goals figure exactly correct while Kenneth Heinsvig collected €280 for his runner-up performances after predicting 14 goals.  

Behind these winners, we had a lot of players on four and three points, and dead last with only one point, the self-proclaimed Sportsbook Pro and founder of the Festival Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk. “Franke” has won this event before so this is just a small needle to the man that created The Festival Series from the ground up.

Thank you to all that participated and we look forward to hosting this same event at The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 until Dec. 3.

PlacePlayerPrizePrediction
1Sami Korpela€5265 Points – 20 Goals
2Kenneth Heinsvig€2805 Points – 14 Goals
Seniors Event Begins 21.05.2023 12:11 by The Festival Team

The €250 Seniors 49+ has kicked off with a tidy field of 11 entries, which includes The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk, Sturla Hiller, Sean O’Donnell, Gerhard Brimmers, and others.

Late registration will be open for eight blind levels and this event is open to anyone at least 49 years old.

The current Player of the Festival leaderboard captain Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon doesn’t have to worry that Franke will gain points here as any event that isn’t open to everyone does not count towards the leaderboard standings.

Best of luck to all of the kids in the Seniors Event!

the-festival-malta-progressive-knockout-hiller-sturla-4609
Sturla Hiller
Welcome to the Final Day of The Festival Series Malta 21.05.2023 11:35 by The Festival Team
the-festival-malta-main-event-day-2-brenden-oystein-5373
Oystein Brenden

It has been a fantastic week at Portomaso Casino but all good things eventually do come to an end in life and such is the case with The Festival Malta as we are on our final day.

Goodbyes have already been said to many that left this morning but many more are still around to play in two ongoing events and three new events.

The €250 Seniors 49+ is a one-of-a-kind event as this author doesn’t remember a Seniors Event where the minimum age was 49. We will see some “kids” in the field that are just 49 years old including The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk. Franke will be busy as he also bagged chips in the €250 Mystery Bounty Day 2 which kicks off at 2 p.m. He has already shared he plans to play both events and perhaps also the €1,100 OFC High Roller that Franke has claimed the title at The Festival Series in the past.

Everyone can enjoy the Low Roller at 1 p.m. as it features only a €70 buy-in, while the €550 Main Event takes center stage as it is down to just 16 players. Our coverage will focus on all of the events until a final table is reached. However, the final day will be live-streamed from the beginning until the end and you can follow the coverage by clicking on the Stream tab in our coverage or by heading to TheFestivalOG on Twitch. We will also change things up where we will be posting the late results from yesterday’s event in today’s coverage.

Norway’s Oystein Brenden heads into the final day of the Main Event with the chip lead with 2,240,000 in chips. Gytis Juskevicius, Andreas Holmsten, Stian Nostdahl, Balazs Somodi, Dario Barone, and Luigi D’Alterio all advanced with at least 1 million in chips. Meanwhile, Mischa Wieten, Annika Haaviste, Clausin Sanz, Shimon Hagay, Matthew Micallef, Jelmer Schuurmans, Andras Balogh, and Kerrien Clement are also still in the hunt for the title.

Main Event Final Day Seat Draw

TableSeatPlayerChipsBig Blinds
11Clausin Sanz745,00030
12Jelmer Schuurmans520,00021
13Oystein Brenden2,240,00090
14Andreas Holmsten1,730,00069
15Mischa Wieten970,00039
16Matthew Micallef650,00026
17Annika Haaviste940,00038
18Dario Barone1,550,00062
21Luigi D’Alterio1,275,00051
22Samuel Stranak1,280,00051
23Andras Balogh480,00019
24Stian Nostdahl1,695,00068
25Shimon Hagay710,00028
26Gytis Juskevicius1,840,00074
27Balazs Somodi1,625,00065
28Kerrien Clement475,00019

May 21st Schedule

TimeEvent
12 p.m.Event #50: €250 Seniors 49+
1 p.m.Event #48: €60 Low Roller
2 p.m.Event #8: €550 Main Event Day 3
2 p.m.Event #44: €250 Mystery Bounty Day 2
4 p.m.Event #49: €1,100 OFC High Roller
Main Event Final Day Seat Draw 20.05.2023 23:58 by The Festival Team
TableSeatPlayerChipsBig Blinds
11Clausin Sanz745,00030
12Jelmer Schuurmans520,00021
13Oystein Brenden2,240,00090
14Andreas Holmsten1,730,00069
15Mischa Wieten970,00039
16Matthew Micallef650,00026
17Annika Haaviste940,00038
18Dario Barone1,550,00062
21Luigi D’Alterio1,275,00051
22Samuel Stranak1,280,00051
23Andras Balogh480,00019
24Stian Nostdahl1,695,00068
25Shimon Hagay710,00028
26Gytis Juskevicius1,840,00074
27Balazs Somodi1,625,00065
28Kerrien Clement475,00019
Oystein Brenden Leads Final 16 in the Main Event 20.05.2023 23:54 by The Festival Team

Oystein Brenden bagged a massive stack of 2,240,000 on Day 2 of the The Festival Series Malta €550 Main Event and will lead the final 16 players at the start of the final day which will commence at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Gytis Juskevicius, Andreas Holmsten, Stian Nostdahl, Balazs Somodi, Dario Barone, and Luigi D’Alterio all bagged at least 1 million in chips. Meanwhile, Mischa Wieten, Annika Haaviste, Clausin Sanz, Shimon Hagay, Matthew Micallef, Jelmer Schuurmans, Andras Balogh, and Kerrien Clement are also still in the hunt for the title.

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Oystein Brenden2,240,00090
Gytis Juskevicius1,840,00074
Andreas Holmsten1,730,00069
Stian Nostdahl1,695,00068
Balazs Somodi1,625,00065
Dario Barone1,550,00062
Samuel Stranak1,280,00051
Luigi D’Alterio1,275,00051
Mischa Wieten970,00039
Annika Haaviste940,00038
Clausin Sanz745,00030
Shimon Hagay710,00028
Matthew Micallef650,00026
Jelmer Schuurmans520,00021
Andras Balogh480,00019
Kerrien Clement475,00019
Players Bag Up on Day 2 of the Main Event 20.05.2023 23:25 by The Festival Team

Bags were passed around in the Main Event as the action ended when there were just 16 players remaining from the 617 entry field. We will post the chip counts and final table seat draw shortly for when the action resumes on Sunday at 2 p.m. In the meantime, here is a look at the payouts thus far.

Our blog will change a little for the final day. Instead of reporting what is happening everywhere we will focus on the key hands of the Main Event and provide some detailed coverage until The Festival Series Malta Main Event champion is crowned.

PlacePlayerPrize
1?€60,700
2?€40,500
3?€27,900
4?€20,300
5?€14,560
6?€10,950
7?€8,350
8?€6,250
9?€5,150
10?€4,100
11?€4,100
12?€3,500
13?€3,500
14?€3,000
15?€3,000
16?€3,000
17Shaf Saken€2,500
18Domenico Gala€2,500
19Michael Ibba€2,500
20Axel Holm€2,000
21Raymond de Groot€2,000
22Raoul van Wersch€2,000
23Jari Porkka€2,000
24Laila Hawaszadeh€2,000
25Erik Peters€1,750
26Alfredo Cuti€1,750
27Milad Rad€1,750
28Kacper Kuzior€1,750
29Adam Briggs€1,750
30Jimmy Dewerdt€1,750
31Ingvill Nilsen€1,750
32Gatis Reigass€1,750
33Kenneth Kull€1,500
34Andrew Cutajar€1,500
35Antonio Lombardo€1,500
36Mike Holthaus€1,500
37John Forsman€1,500
38Avtandili Magradze€1,500
39Xuanyu Zheng€1,500
40Niko Raapana€1,500
41Georgios Orestidis€1,250
42Franco Scalise€1,250
43Marcus Skinner€1,250
44Valentin Oberhauser€1,250
45Oliver Said€1,250
46Alberto Cigliano€1,250
47Jakub Kanosovsky€1,250
48Stuart Griffith€1,250
49Matiss Celmins€1,100
50Linus Lauermann€1,100
51Daniel Smith€1,100
52Cory Desmond€1,100
53Lukasz Sajnog€1,100
54Glen Gaines€1,100
55Conny Eriksson€1,100
56Dainius Antanaitis€1,100
57Laur Sibold€1,000
58Roberts Krigers€1,000
59Cristiano Blanco€1,000
60Irakli Kobeshavidze€1,000
61Maria Evans€1,000
62Terje Jahn€1,000
63Erik Nygren€1,000
64Marita Nilsen€1,000
65Paata Khmaldze€1,000
66Nicholas Osthus€1,000
67Peter Solem€1,000
68Rune Polden€1,000
69Beka Ksovreli€1,000
70Per Gaassand€1,000
71Joshua Stewart€1,000
It’s Time for Rake-Free Flips 20.05.2023 21:06 by The Festival Team

Come by where the tournament registration desk as the final session of Franke’s Flip Flops begins. This will feature some rake-free flips where the player that wins the most flips of the week will win a framed pair of Franke’s Flip Flops along with a package valued at €1,600 to The Festival Series Bratislava on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.

Sami Korpula currently leads the leaderboard but there is still some time to knock him off his perch. Here is a look at the leaderboard going into today:

PlayerFlips Won
Sami Korpela5
Joseph Jackson3
Rolf Bechstrom3
Svein Olav Edisaeter2
Ave Lepik2
Alexandru Talica2
Marita Magi2
Ian Vertefeuille1
Tom Delaine1
Marek Liiv1
Valmar Runk1
Eirik Hamre1
Daniel Hong1
Lisbeth Sunde1
Annika Haaviste1
Peter Jancso1
Sean O’Donnell1
Mairo Toom1
Melvin Schroen1
Toivo Ojasoo1
Players That Cashed for €1,250 in the Main Event 20.05.2023 20:29 by The Festival Team
PlacePlayerPrize
41Georgios Orestidis€1,250
42Franco Scalise€1,250
43Marcus Skinner€1,250
44Valentin Oberhauser€1,250
45Oliver Said€1,250
46Alberto Cigliano€1,250
47Jakub Kanosovsky€1,250
48Stuart Griffith€1,250
Jonas Engedal Wins The Hendon Mob Championship 20.05.2023 20:04 by The Festival Team

Congrats to Jonas Engedal for winning the €250 The Hendon Mob Championship for €6,100 after defeating Danielle Coroneo heads-up en route to both The Festival Series and The Hendon Mob glory. Engedal earned both a framed-sketch of himself as a trophy from The Festival Series on top of the trophy provided by The Hendon Mob for all their Championships.

Engedal, who is originally from Norway but calls Malta his home, was over the moon about his win. Soon after finding the winner’s circle he was interviewed by The Festival Series Malta presenter Andreas Hoglund. We will share the interview once it is published on YouTube.

The two-day event attracted 102 entries to create a €22,032. Here is a look at all of the payouts:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Jonas Engedal€6,100
2Danielle Coroneo€3,800
3Stavros Tsakas€2,400
4Oskar “Deckflow” Ojaveer€1,800
5Daniel Kuhlmann€1,482
6Paula Ensink€1,200
7David Lappin€900
8Morgan Stenberg€700
9Vallo Maidla€590
10Neville Grech€530
11Sander van Dijk€530
12Colin Lovelock€500
13Kevin Malone€500
14Dukai Csongor€500
15Andreas Simml€500
Last Day of Franke’s Flip Flops! Win a Package to Bratislava (and a Pair of Franke’s Actual Flip Flops) 20.05.2023 19:40 by The Festival Team

OK, the title is super long. But the message is clear. Saturday is the final day of Franke’s Flip Flops where players will flip in Omaha hands rake-free for as many games as players wish from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m.

The player that wins the most flips not only wins a bit thanks to running hot but will also win a package valued at €1,600 to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, 2023.

You might be thinking what might be better than a package to The Festival Series Bratislava. My answer would be not much. However, we did give away a spoiler in the title and the winner will also get a pair of Franke’s actual flip flops he was wearing all week long at The Festival Series Malta.

This author will likely be down on the main floor commentating the flips whether there is a camera on me or not. So come join in on the fun at 9 p.m.

Franke-Flip-Flops-780x439
Players Cashing for €1,100 in the Main Event 20.05.2023 19:11 by The Festival Team

The following players booked slightly more than €1,000 min-cash. Instead, they will go home with €1,100 with the rest of the remaining field guaranteed at least a €1,250 payout.

PlacePlayerPrize
49Matiss Celmins€1,100
50Linus Lauermann€1,100
51Daniel Smith€1,100
52Cory Desmond€1,100
53Lukasz Sajnog€1,100
54Glen Gaines€1,100
55Conny Eriksson€1,100
56Dainius Antanaitis€1,100
Celebrity TV Table Photos by Mairo Toom 20.05.2023 19:06 by The Festival Team
Players That Min-Cash the Main Event for €1,000 20.05.2023 19:02 by The Festival Team

The following players cashed in the Main Event for the minimum prize of €1,000:

PlacePlayerPrize
57Laur Sibold€1,000
58Roberts Krigers€1,000
59Cristiano Blanco€1,000
60Irakli Kobeshavidze€1,000
61Maria Evans€1,000
62Terje Jahn€1,000
63Erik Nygren€1,000
64Marita Nilsen€1,000
65Paata Khmaldze€1,000
66Nicholas Osthus€1,000
67Peter Solem€1,000
68Rune Polden€1,000
69Beka Ksovreli€1,000
70Per Gaassand€1,000
71Joshua Stewart€1,000
More Than 100 in the Mystery Bounty 20.05.2023 18:55 by The Festival Team

The two-day €250 Mystery Bounty has attracted 108 entries and counting. This is a fantastic result thus far for the new addition to the schedule.

Gerhard Brimmers was the first on the rail followed by Binjam Mesfin to leave 106 players remaining including Mesfin as he re-entered.

Have fun and good luck to all of the Mystery Bounty players!

“Pokerbrahs” Leads the Player of the Festival 20.05.2023 18:21 by The Festival Team

The initial results are in for The Festival Series Malta Player of the Festival leaderboard. ACR Stormer Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon has been grinding the mixed games all week long and is on top of the leaderboard after managing three final table performances. Salvatore Ritrovato, The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk, Sander van Wesemael and Balazs Somodi are also in the top five.

We know that van Wesemael won’t climb any further and likely will drop down a few spots as he just dropped by to say goodbye as he will be heading to Las Vegas early for the WSOP.

This also doesn’t take into account events running today and tomorrow including the Main Event but congrats to “Pokerbrahs” for his impressive performance at The Festival Series Malta.

PlacePlayer
1Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon
2Salvatore Ritrovato
3Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk
4Sander van Wesemael
5Balazs Somodi
Mystery Bounty Begins 20.05.2023 18:11 by The Festival Team

The two-day €250 Mystery Bounty is a new event on The Festival Series schedule. It is about to kickoff with 44 players already registered including Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk, Sascha Manns, and The Chip Race podcast co-host David Lappin.

Lappin just busted in seventh place in the €250 The Hendon Mob Championship for €900. He hasn’t had enough poker yet today and immediately hopped into the Mystery Bounty event.

Meanwhile, Antoine Degiorgio and Sami Pulliainen dropped by for a chat on the break of the €250 PLO Freezeout, which grew to 66 entries by the time late registration closed for a €14,256 prize pool. They were both asking about how a mystery bounty tournament works. I quickly explained and they said if they bust the PLO Freezeout they now have a back-up plan.

In case you are wondering how a mystery bounty event works, it is quite simple. Part of the prize pool, in this case €100 per player entered, will be placed into a mystery bounty prize pool. The action on the first day will play as normal with no bounties collected. Each player that advanced to Day 2 will have a mystery bounty on their head and will collect a random prize based on how much is collected for each player they eliminate. This is in addition to the normal prize pool and adds a fun element to tournament poker.

Jarmo Luokkala Bubbles the Main Event 20.05.2023 17:54 by The Festival Team

Players are in the money for at least a €1,000 min-cash with just 71 players remaining in the €550 Main Event. Unfortunately, Jarmo Luokkala won’t be one of the players snagging a pay-slip as he lost a flip when his big slick bricked against his opponent’s ladies.

“Super” Mairo Toom was once again on the ball capturing the photos of the bubble action of the Main Event. The man is everywhere at once!

The Frank Visser Rollercoaster Ride 20.05.2023 17:15 by The Festival Team

Frank Visser bubbled the €250 OFC Tournament yesterday before things got much better when he won the €125 PLO/PLO8 Event for €2,220.

Unfortunately, Visser just hit the rail three away from the money in the Main Event and it is now hand-for-hand on the money bubble.

the-festival-malta-plo-plo-8-vesser-frank-5137-1
Frank Visser
Day 5 Highlights of The Festival Series Malta 20.05.2023 17:10 by The Festival Team
TV Table Begins 20.05.2023 17:06 by The Festival Team

We have a special stream for you this afternoon as a bunch of streamers opted to play a special match today on our TheFestivalOG Twitch channel hosted by Jacob Dideriksen-Nielsen.

There are hundred of viewers already joining in on the entertainment. Check it out by clicking on the Stream tab in our coverage.

Bubble Approaching in the Main Event 20.05.2023 16:29 by The Festival Team

The Festival Series Bratislava Main Event runner-up Gerianne Dijkstra will unfortunately not make another deep run in The Festival Series Malta Main Event as she just hit the rail in 77th place. The Festival Series streamer Joseph Jackson also won’t be able to brag about a title as he also recently hit the rail.

The bubble is getting closer and closer with 73 players remaining and 71 slated for at least a €1,000 min-cash. Best of luck to all of the remaining Main Event players for getting to the money and beyond and in the meantime enjoy some Day 2 photos by Mairo Toom.

Photos of the Padel Hospitality Event by Mairo Toom 20.05.2023 16:14 by The Festival Team
€60,700 Top Main Event Prize 20.05.2023 15:29 by The Festival Team

The Main Event is down to 95 players out of the original field of 617 entries. The top 71 players will walk away with at least a €1,000 min-cash with tomorrow’s winner going home with a €60,700 top prize.

Here is a look at all of the Main Event payouts:

PlacePrize
1€60,700
2€40,500
3€27,900
4€20,300
5€14,560
6€10,950
7€8,350
8€6,250
9€5,150
10-11€4,100
12-13€3,500
14-16€3,000
17-19€2,500
20-24€2,000
25-32€1,750
33-40€1,500
41-48€1,250
49-56€1,100
57-71€1,000
€6,100 Top Prize in The Hendon Mob Championship 20.05.2023 14:50 by The Festival Team

The Hendon Mob Championship payouts have been released with all the 15 returning players guaranteed at least €500 payout with today’s winner going home with the €6,100 top prize and two trophies. One of the trophies will be the official The Hendon Mob Championship trophy that The Hendon Mob rewards at all of their events while the other one will be a personalized framed sketch of the winner.

Colin Lovelock, Kevin Malone, Dukai Csongor, and Andreas Simml all hit the rail for a min-cash leaving 11 players remaining in the hunt for both The Festival Series Malta and The Hendon Mob Championship glory.

PlacePrize
1€6,100
2€3,800
3€2,400
4€1,800
5€1,482
6€1,200
7€900
8€700
9€590
10-11€530
12-15€500
PLO Freezeout Begins 20.05.2023 14:34 by The Festival Team

The €250 PLO Freezeout kicked off with a field of 28 entries.

The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk entered this event. Several players joked that this wasn’t the event for Franke as he loves to re-enter.

Mark Adams, Allan Arjut, Guiseppe D’Angelo, Karl Gialanze, Mikael Gronvik, Keimo Suominen, Philippe Laval, Imre Leibold, Totti Lind, Kevin Malone, Sean O’Donnell, Rita Paus, Erik Risberg, and Soner Vanelderen are all in the PLO Freezeout field from the start as well.

Good luck to all of the four-card players!

Nearly €300K Prize Pool in the Main Event 20.05.2023 14:09 by The Festival Team

Late registration is now closed for the €550 Main Event. A total of 617 entries came out in full force to create a €296,160 prize pool. Payouts will be announced shortly for the 143 players still in contention.

Best of luck to all of the Main Event players.

Sportsbook Tournament Begins 20.05.2023 13:16 by The Festival Team

The €125 Sportsbook Tournament takes just a few minutes to enter. This is something players can do on the break of any event they are in. Registration and entry submission is open. Just head down to the casino floor and The Festival Series Presenter and Sportsbook Host Andreas “Wiseguy” Hoglund will assist you.

Check out the video below to learn the rules. Spoiler alert, they are simple.

Day 2 of The Hendon Mob Championship Begins 20.05.2023 13:12 by The Festival Team

Day 2 of The Hendon Mob has kicked off. The Hendon Mob’s Social Media Manager Hans Kleinsman put together a list of all the 15 survivors live tournament earnings for events tracked by The Hendon Mob.

PlayerCountryEarnings
David LappinIreland$715,284
Colin LovelockEngland$488,709 
Vallo MaidlaEstonia$396,117 
Kevin MaloneIreland$77,748 
Oskar OjaveerEstonia$40,106 
Daniele CoroneoItaly$26,288 
Sander van DijkNetherlands$23,468 
Neville GrechMalta$20,338 
Morgan StenbergSweden$7,675 
Paula Ensink LunderbyeNorway$7,001 
Jonas EngedalNorway$4,335 
Stavros KoukouditsakasGreece$4,074 
Csongor DukaiHungary$2,678 
Daniel KuhlmannGermany$2,523 
Andreas SimmlGermany$892 
the-festival-malta-main-event-day1b-david-laurence-kilmartin-lappin-3618
David Lappin
600 Entries and Counting 20.05.2023 12:57 by The Festival Team

The Main Event has already blossomed to 600 entries with nearly an hour of late registration to go. There were 173 active players when the 600 entry-count was reach.

Best of luck to all of the Main Event players.

Rules to the Sportsbook Tournament 20.05.2023 12:29 by The Festival Team

The €125 Sportsbook Tournament kicks off at 1 p.m. The Sportsbook Tournament host Andreas “Wiseguy” Hoglund outlines the rules in the video below.

Main Event Day 2 Begins 20.05.2023 12:26 by The Festival Team

Day 2 of the Main Event has kicked off. A handful of new players came into the field to grow the field to 591 entries already with 193 players battling it out.

Surprise Built Into a Surprise 20.05.2023 12:18 by The Festival Team

Many players were asking yesterday what the surprise element was in yesterday’s €125 Texas Surprise. We just learned from The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk that there will be a surprise within a surprise.

Salvatore Ritrovato won the Texas Surprise for €2,230 but this is not all as Franke just announced that Ritrovato also will be surprised with a free €250 Mystery Bounty ticket for tonight’s event at 6 p.m. Additionally, the bubble boy Juuso Parviainen won’t go home empty-handed that player will also have a chance to run it up in the Mystery Bounty as well. It would be amazing if one of these players runs deep and/or collects the top Mystery Bounty prize to be announced later.

Welcome to the Penultimate Day of The Festival Series Malta 20.05.2023 11:52 by The Festival Team
the festival malta 2023 live blog

Today is another big day with it starting off with a bang with both the Main Event and The Hendon Mob Championship progressing to their second day. The Hendon Mob Championship is down to 15 hopefuls in the money and will play down to a winner while the Main Event is planned to play down to 16 players. Late registration for the Main Event will still be open for the first two blind levels of the day but the five opening flights attracted 579 entries with 181 players finding a bag.

Laila Hawaszedeh will kick things off in the captain’s seat after bagging 382,500 from her starting stack of 30,000. Oystein Brenden was too far behind with 369,000, while Adam Briggs was the only other player over 300,000 in chips with 329,500. Day 2 will feature 45-minute blind levels instead of the 40 minutes featured during most of the opening flights.

There are plenty of other events on tap today including the €125 Sportsbook Tournament and the two-day €250 Mystery Bounty. Here is a look at the entire schedule:

TimeEvent
12 p.m.Event #8: €550 Main Event Day 2
1 p.m.Event #35: €250 The Hendon Mob Championship Day 2
1 p.m.Event #42: €125 Sportsbook Tournament
2 p.m.Event #43: €250 PLO Freezeout
6 p.m.Event #44: €250 Mystery Bounty Day 1
8 p.m.Event #45: €10/€10 NLHE Cash Game Challenge
10:30 p.m.Event #47: €10/€10 PLO Cash Game Challenge
11 p.m.Event #46: €125 PLO Midnight Madness
Guido Stanzione Wins the Midnight Madness (€2,250) 20.05.2023 11:33 by The Festival Team
the-festival-malta-midnight-madness-ii-guido-stanzione-5310
Guido Stanzione

The €125 Texas Friday Turbo Midnight Madness was another fun event that didn’t begin until 11 p.m. in the evening. The event attracted 64 entries to create a €6,758 prize pool. Guido Stanzione won the event for €2,250 after defeating Gianmarco Scannapiego heads-up. Here are all of the payouts in the PLO/PLO8.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Guido Sanzione€2,250
2Gianmarco Scannapiego€1,430
3Hege Fosse€910
4Karev Tralla€680
5Andre Sorm€530
6Rena Postema€400
7Theodoros Konstantinidis€308
8Alexandr Kornijenko€250
Frank Visser Wins the PLO/PLO8 (€2,220) 20.05.2023 11:25 by The Festival Team

Frank Visser is one of the players here at The Festival Series Malta for the mixed games. He appeared disappointed after he bubbled the OFC event but made it for it in a big way. Visser defeated Ali Oznesil heads-up to win the €250 PLO/PLO8 for €2,220.

The event attracted 64 runners to create a €6,758 prize pool. Here is a look at all of the payouts:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Frank Visser€2,220
2Ali Oznesil€1,430
3Leif Iversen€990
4Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon€675
5Daiele Marchesani€500
6Christopher Pajeso€388
7Julien Teissedre€305
8Kenneth Kull€250
Salvatore Ritrovato Wins Texas Surprise After Five-Way Deal 20.05.2023 11:16 by The Festival Team

The €125 Texas Surprise attracted 131 entries to create a €13,834 prize pool. Salvatore Ritrovato won the event for €2,230 after agreeing to a five-way deal with Alfredo Cuti, Kei Yaegashi, Leonard White, and Vadim Gercev. The other four players mentioned each received an equal prize of €2,130 each.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Salvatore Ritrovato€2,230
2Alfredo Cuti€2,130
3Kei Yaegashi€2,130
4Leonard White€2,130
5Vadim Gercev€2,130
6Niko Korhonen€550
7Marko Nynynen€410
8Kai Muller€320
9Ingela Charlez€250
10Ismo Kero€250
11Ja Iversen€250
12Shane O’Dwyer€250
13Stuart Griffith€200
14Aleksiy Baranovskiy€200
15Andreas Sanden€200
16Alessandra Cuntro€200
the-festival-malta-win-the-button-ritrovato-salvatore-4303
Salvatore Ritrovato
Aaron Kupin Brings OFC Title to the USA 20.05.2023 11:05 by The Festival Team

Aaron Kupin traveled out to Europe with his girlfriend from his home state of Florida. He was looking for some poker action and saw all the mixed games on offer at The Festival Series Malta and opted to come out and see what it is all about.

Kupin eliminated the final two players on the bubble in the €250 OFC Event and then zoomed ahead to win the €2,880 to bring the OFC trophy back to the USA.

The OFC attracted 28 entries to create an €8,206 prize pool. Here is a look at the payouts:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Aaron Kupin€2,880
2Thibaut Yoccoz€2,016
3Kornel Kielbik€1,440
4Teemu Hietala€1,050
5Maksymilian Gora€820
the-festival-malta-open-face-chinese-aaron-howard-kupin-5512
Aaron Kupin
Oskar “Deckflow” Ojaveer Leads the Hendon Mob Championship 20.05.2023 10:50 by The Festival Team

The Hendon Mob €250 Championship drew in 102 entries during the opening day. ACR Stormer bagged the overall chip lead with 15 players left. The returning Day 2 players will be in the money for at least a min-cash. Payouts will be posted after they are made publicly available. In the meantime, here is the Day 2 Seat Draw.

TableSeatPlayerChips
61Stavros Tsakas72,000
62Colin Lovelock126,000
63David Lappin235,000
64Oskar “Deckflow” Ojaveer369,000
65Neville Grech94,000
66Dukai Csongor326,000
67Paula Ensink93,000
68Andreas Simml112,000
91Jonas Engedal201,000
92Kevin Malone167,000
93Daniele Coroneo83,000
95Alexander van Dijk157,000
96Morgan Stenberg289,000
97Vallo Maidla65,000
98Daniel Kuhlmann173,000
the-festival-malta-pokerlistings-championship-day1b-jimmy-philippe-dewerdt-oskar-ojaveer-0428
Jimmy Dewerdt & Oskar “Deckflow” Ojaveer
Main Event by the Numbers 20.05.2023 01:57 by The Festival Team

The €550 Main Event attracted 579 entries during its five opening flights to add €277,920 to the prize pool. A total of 181 players bagged chips led by Laila Hawaszadeh who parlayed a 30,000 opening chip stack into 382,500.

Blinds will start tomorrow at 1,000/2,000 with a big blind ante of 2,000 when the action resumes at noon. Players can re-enter for the first two blind levels of the day with blind levels increasing to 45 minutes in length instead of 40 minutes as featured during most of the opening flights.

FlightEntrySurvivors
Day 1a8424
Day 1b10133
Day 1c14952
Day 1d17945
Day 1e6627
Day 2??
Total579+181+
Main Event Day 2 Seat Draw 20.05.2023 01:52 by The Festival Team
11Ignacio Menendez100,00050
12Daniel Oliver25,50013
13Beka Ksovreli94,00047
14Balazs Somodi67,00034
15Theo Baldanza159,50080
17Thibaut Thevenet57,00029
18Samuel Stranak62,00031
21Ruiz Ribatallada164,00082
22Romain Nardin126,00063
23Angelo Patane79,00040
24Martin Klaar58,00029
25Xuanyu Zheng73,00037
26Vidar Oie61,50031
27Mark Vella85,00043
31Andras Balogh155,50078
33Svein Olav Edisaeter42,50021
34Erik Nygren100,00050
35Peter Bumba29,00015
36Linus Lauermann47,00024
37Massimo Pironti247,000124
38Adrian Huzevka45,00023
42Jari Porkka59,50030
43Levani Rozomashvili30,00015
44Manuel Blaschke187,50094
45Ian Vertefeuille151,00076
46Franco Scalise175,00088
47Giorgi Gogoladze29,00015
48Joseph Wilkinson14,0007
52Luigi D’Alterio149,50075
53Vakhtang Javakhishvili80,50040
54Zviad Kalandarishvili37,00019
55Domenico Tortomasi52,50026
56Ruggero Giardina243,500122
57Igor Panak31,00016
58Biagio Torrisi50,50025
61Marita Nilsen56,00028
62Dario Barone76,00038
63Beka Kopaleishvili253,500127
64Vngelis Kaimakamis21,50011
65Alberto Cigliano113,50057
66Santo Sidoti86,50043
68Jonas Kovacs110,00055
71Matthew Davenport54,50027
73Maria Evans130,50065
74Paata Khmaldze83,50042
75Younes Jarir73,00037
76Georgios Orestidis176,00088
77Kristopher Winterstein139,50070
78Mike Holthaus96,00048
81Erik Risberg57,00029
82Rikard Olsson236,000118
83Shimon Hagay81,00041
84Raymond de Groot57,50029
85Angelo Vietti101,00051
87Avtandili Magradze112,50056
88Mateusz Stanielewicz48,50024
91Shaft Saken69,00035
92Conny Eriksson111,50056
93Fabio Berti118,00059
94Alessandro D’Amore106,00053
95Per Gaassand122,00061
96Gytis Juskevicius89,50045
97Annika Haaviste167,50084
101Matthew Micallef192,50096
102Attila Szathmari83,00042
103Milos Lazic77,00039
104Marcus Skinner132,50066
105Vilmos Farkas70,00035
107Around Capellen108,50054
108Niko Raappana87,00044
111Jimmy Dewerdt65,50033
112Jaffar Alsaffar45,00023
113Nika Agirba83,00042
114Stuart Griffith41,50021
115Stian Nostdahl138,50069
116Alfredo Cuti143,00072
118Pavle Pecelj103,00052
121Frank Visser101,50051
123Pierpaolo Troisi79,00040
124Marc Tannous38,00019
125Jakub Janosovsky266,000133
126Erik Hamre47,00024
127Lars Nilsen49,00025
128Kjell Hernstrom118,00059
131Daniele Caprino75,00038
132Charlton Tarimo162,00081
133Antonino Lombardo70,50035
134Levan Dzidzikashvili45,50023
136Gary Banks75,00038
137Terje Jahn119,00060
138Michael Ibba173,00087
141Marthijn Lakerveld28,00014
143Nicholas Osthus97,50049
144Irna Barauske50,50025
145Oliver Said93,50047
146Giulio Spampinato103,50052
147Mykola Ovlashenko39,00020
148David Mikhanashvili132,50066
151Carlo Solazzo18,5009
152Shota Sakandelia26,00013
153John Forsman113,50057
155Luca Delfino104,50052
156Glen Gaines61,00031
157Gatis Reigass241,500121
158Ismo Kero40,50020
161Sascha Manns97,00049
162Carmine Pinto85,00043
163Ivo Petkov28,00014
164Kairit Leibold63,00032
165Sokraties Papavramidis115,00058
166Daniel Smith90,50045
168Andreas Holmsten160,50080
171Kalle Sammalisto87,50044
172Teemu Hietala137,50069
173Kei Yaegashi62,50031
174Mischa Wieten77,50039
175Axel Holm114,50057
176Jarmo Luokkala39,50020
177Janos Szappanos41,50021
181Domenico Gala69,00035
182Laila Hawaszadeh382,500191
183Cristiano Blanco43,50022
184Dario Marinelli59,50030
185Lars Eklund100,00050
187Peter Solem84,00042
188Jordan Dumas31,00016
191Iulian Bleau73,00037
192Leif Iversen53,00027
193Kai Muller66,00033
195Xaxier Zuczkowski50,00025
196Roberts Krigers63,50032
197Kenneth Kull133,00067
198Raoul van Wersch35,00018
201Alexandrs Golubevs50,00025
202Samuele Lo Presti78,00039
204Adam Briggs329,500165
206Irakli Kobeshavidze167,00084
207Noelia Ivars107,00054
208Martynas Brazdzionis54,00027
211Craig Brignall41,50021
212Oystein Brenden369,000185
213Cory Desmon112,50056
215Luka Bulatovic62,00031
216Sander Mets33,00017
217Istvan Toth46,00023
218Eric Bennici60,50030
221Koen Meutstege55,00028
222Niklas Borg74,00037
223Franciscus Bosmans49,50025
225Joshua Stewart159,00080
226Lukasz Sajnog47,50024
227Gerhard Brimmers218,000109
228Kjell Holst76,00038
231Milad Rad161,50081
232Jarkko Kuusisto93,50047
233Axel Thoren32,50016
235Patrick McFadden24,50012
236Rune Polden171,50086
237Samuel Dray168,00084
238Andrew Cutajar41,50021
241Keimo Suominem91,50046
242Tina Bandyle124,50062
243Joseph Jackson186,00093
244James Hopkins14,5007
245Erik Lindqvist177,00089
246Laur Sibold82,00041
248Ronald Haverkamp50,50025
251Kacper Kuzior57,00029
252Domenico Zappia162,50081
253Imre Varge69,00035
254Tomas Fernkvist113,50057
255Guido Stanzione102,00051
257Reuven Zohar57,50029
258Clausin Sanz128,00064
261Stefano Crepaldi58,00029
262Eric Andersson145,50073
263Ingvill Nilsen115,50058
264Danius Antanaitis67,00034
266Jari-Pekka Rattya55,50028
267Gerianne Dijkstr44,50022
268Jelmer Schuurmans156,00078
Beate Etim Wins The Festival Queens (€1,760) 20.05.2023 00:50 by The Festival Team

Beate Etim defeated Christel Haller heads-up to win the €125 The Festival Queens Ladies Event for €1,760. Kairit Leibold, Adriana Bernardo, and Angelica Andersson also made the money.

The event attracted 47 entries to create a €4,963 prize pool. Congrats to Beate and all of the players that cashed in The Festival Queens.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Beate Etim€1,760
2Christel Haller€1,340
3Kairit Leibold€1,050
4Adriana Bernardo€480
5Angelica Andersson€333
Sami Korpela Leads the Franke’s Flip Flops 20.05.2023 00:18 by The Festival Team

The Franke’s Flip Flops has been going on all week long and tomorrow will be the final evening of flips starting at 9 p.m.

Players enjoy rake-free flips while also competing on the Franke’s Flip Flops Leaderboard. The winner of the leaderboard will be crowned the Franke’s Flip Flops Challenge. That honor also comes with a frame pair of Franke’s actual flip flops he has been wearing all week and a package to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.

Until today, there were several players tied at two flips each. But that quickly changed tonight with 14 flips run today. Sami Korpula made the most of the biggest day for the flips by winning three flips putting him in the lead with one more day of flipping to go with five flips won.

Meanwhile, Rolf Bechstrom won three flips today as well. However, he is still two behind Korpela after previously not appearing on the leaderboard. Joseph Jackson is tied with Bechstrom after winning two flips tonight as well.

If for some reason, the leaderboard ends with a tie, one final flip will take place to see who the champion will be among the tied players. Here is a look at the full leaderboard through Friday:

PlayerFlips Won
Sami Korpela5
Joseph Jackson3
Rolf Bechstrom3
Svein Olav Edisaeter2
Ave Lepik2
Alexandru Talica2
Marita Magi2
Ian Vertefeuille1
Tom Delaine1
Marek Liiv1
Valmar Runk1
Eirik Hamre1
Daniel Hong1
Lisbeth Sunde1
Annika Haaviste1
Peter Jancso1
Sean O’Donnell1
Mairo Toom1
Melvin Schroen1
Toivo Ojasoo1
Franke-Flip-Flops-780x439
Mantas Petrauskas Wins Big in the Cash Game Challenge 20.05.2023 00:04 by The Festival Team

Earlier this week, Lithuania’s Mantas Petrauskas won the €250 Heads-Up tournament for €2,480. He will be highlighted again tonight after winning the most in the €5/€5 no-limit hold’em Cash Game Challenge with a profit of €1,624 good for 324.8 big blinds.

This is still a galaxy away from the €6,300 for 3,150 big blinds won by our very own Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk in a €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha Cash Game Challenge earlier this week.

DateGameWinnerAmountBig Blinds
May 15€2/€2 NLHEHugo Loustrau€416208
May 15€2/€2 PLOMartin “Franke” von Zweigbergk€6,3003,150
May 16€2/€2 NLHETobias Bollman€610305
May 16€2/€2 PLOJack Holland€637318.5
May 17€2/€2 PLOMartins Geiba€1,008504
May 18€2/€2 PLOAdam Briggs€560280
May 18€2/€2 NLHEAdam Briggs€532266
May 19€5/€5 NLHEMantas Petrauskas€1,624324.8
Meet Andras Balogh at The Festival Series Malta 19.05.2023 23:54 by The Festival Team
15 Players to Advance in The Hendon Mob Championship 19.05.2023 23:28 by The Festival Team

The Hendon Mob Championship witnessed 102 entries pony up the €250 buy-in on the opening day to create a €22,032.

The action is down to just 25 players including the likes of Nathaniel Brown, Jonas Engedal, Valmar Runk, Raimo Einberg, Paula Ensink, The Chip Race Co-Host David Lappin, Colin Lovelock, Kevin Malone, and ACR Stormer Oskar “Deckflow” Ojaveer.

Day 1 will conclude when the field is reduced to 15 players. Each of the Day 1 survivors will be in the money for at least min-cash before resuming action on Day 2 at 1 p.m.

Late Registration Closed on the PLO/PLO8 19.05.2023 23:19 by The Festival Team

The €125 PLO/PLO8 is a fun affair where the games shift between the two games. It is quite rare to see PLO8 at any festival but, of course, The Festival Series has a bit of everything.

The event attracted 63 entries to create a €6,652 prize pool. Rolf Bechstrom, Barrie Dear, Antoine Degiorgio, Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon, and Ylva “Jevakim” Thorsrud are among the 32 players remaining.

Laila Hawaszadeh Bags the Day 1d Chip Lead 19.05.2023 22:17 by The Festival Team

Day 1d of the €550 Main Event attracted 179 entries to make it the biggest opening flight. Laila Hawaszadeh bagged the biggest stack of the 45 survivors with 382,500 and was closely followed by Oystein Brenden with 369,000. Both these players will advance to tomorrow’s Day 2 with more chips than the previous chip leader Adam Briggs who survived with the Day 1b chip lead with 328,500.

PlayerChips
Laila Hawaszadeh382,500
Oystein Brenden369,000
Jakub Janosovsky266,000
Massimo Pironti247,000
Ruggero Gardina243,500
Manuel Blaschke187,500
Joseph Jackson186,000
Samuel Dray168,000
Domenico Zappia162,500
Charlton Tarimo162,000
Joshua Stewart159,000
Jelmer Schuurmans156,000
Andras Balogh155,500
Luigi D’Alterio149,500
Stian Nostdahl138,500
Clausin Sanz128,000
Romain Nardin126,000
Tina Bandyle124,500
Fabio Berti118,000
Axel Holm114,500
Conny Eriksson111,500
Guido Stanzione102,000
Sascha Manns97,000
Oliver Said93,500
Gytis Juskevicius89,500
Santa Sidoti86,500
Carmine Pinto85,000
Pierpaol Troisi79,000
Dario Barone76,000
Kjell Holst76,000
Daniele Caprino75,000
Antonino Lombardo70,500
Imre Varga69,000
Eric Bennici60,500
Raymond de Groot57,500
Marita Nilsen56,000
Irina Barauske50,500
Xaxier Zuczkowski50,000
Lars Nilsen49,000
Matuesz Stanielewicz48,500
Adrian Huzevka45,000
Andrew Cutajar41,500
Axel Thoren32,500
Peter Bumba29,000
Daniel Oliver25,500
Franke’s Flip Flops About to Begin 19.05.2023 20:48 by The Festival Team

Franke’s Flip Flops are about to begin. The Festival’s Melvin Schroen is going to attempt to be on of the players to win a flip into the €125 Texas Surprise. The Festival Series Head of Photography Mairo Toom and this author will buy pieces of Melvin’s flips so we have an extra reason to rail.

The player that wins the most flips throughout the week will win the Franke’s Flip Flops leaderboard. They will not only win a package valued at €1,600 to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 but also win a framed pair of Franke’s actual flip flops.

the-festival-malta-flips-flops-2838
Franke flipping in Franke’s Flip Flops
Cash Game Challenge Begins 19.05.2023 20:45 by The Festival Team

Adam Briggs is back looking to make it three Cash Game Challenge session wins in a row. This time, he tests his skills and luck against a talented crew in a €5/€5 no-limit hold’em affair.

Pokerstudie’s Koen Meutstege and Marthijn Lakerveld are also in the mix and will share some of the footage with their students and analyze some spots. The training group is developing a cash game course and this session fits nicely into their plans.

Other experienced players in the mix include Raoul van Wersch, Maksymillian Gora, Mantas Petrauskas, and Arnaud Capella. You can check out the Cash Game Challenge by clicking on the Stream tab in our coverage.

We will likely stream The Festival Queens final table after this session.

Final Main Event Flight Begins 19.05.2023 20:35 by The Festival Team

The turbo-charged Day 1e kicked off about 15 minutes ago with a couple of dozen players. This will be the final of the five opening flights and plays out a bit differently with 20-minute blind levels instead of 40 minutes.

This isn’t the last chance saloon for the Main Event as tomorrow’s Day 2 will allow late entry and re-entries for the first two blind levels.

Best of luck to the final opening flight players in the Main Event.

Kupin Busts Two to Send Players in the Money in the OFC 19.05.2023 19:38 by The Festival Team

The €250 OFC is in the money after Aaron Kupin busted both Frank Visser and Lars Eklund out of the event on the money bubble in the same hand. The event attracted 38 entries to create a prize pool of €8,206.

Kupin shared with us that he traveled from the United States to play in The Festival Series. He was coming to Europe anyway to visit his girlfriend’s home country of Romania and was looking at The Hendon Mob to see what events were happening in Europe during that time. He shared that he chose to come to Malta as the mixed-game schedule was enticing and exciting. It didn’t hurt that we hosted the first of two OFC events today, which he shared was his favorite game.

Now, Kupin has his girlfriend on the rail after reaching the money for at least a min-cash of €820 with more to come if he can win the event to bank the €2,880 top prize.

Maksimillian Gora, Teemu Hietela, Kornel Kiebik, and Thibault Yoccoz are also all in the money contending for the title. Good luck to all of the final five players.

Here are some photos of the OFC event by Mairo Toom:

Share Your Thoughts on a Hand 19.05.2023 19:27 by The Festival Team

Earlier today, Dainius Antanaitis dropped by to discuss a hand that he broke down his thought process. Several people have shared they liked this concept so now I am giving a general shoutout to everyone playing any of our events to share your hand with us.

This isn’t a bad beat corner request. This is more if you had something to think about and what you were thinking about before you made your decisions during that hand. Drop by the media desk if you would like to share your thoughts on a hand in any event you play this week.

Here is a link to the post where we saw how Antanaitis broke down a hand where he felt he misplayed during Day 1d of the Main Event.

Texas Surprise Begins 19.05.2023 19:14 by The Festival Team

The €125 Texas Surprise kicked off a couple of minutes ago with an initial field of 44 entries.

PokerCity’s Lars Smeets, Dusk Till Dawn’s Glenn Townsend, Laur Sibold, and Alessandra Cuntro are among the early entrants.

Best of luck and have fun!

Photos From The Festival Queens 19.05.2023 18:44 by The Festival Team

The late-registration window for the €125 The Festival Queens Ladies Event is minutes away from closing and thus far has attracted 47 entries. We may see another lady or three hops into this event at the last second but this will likely be close to the final number.

The Festival Series Hospitality host Anastasia Bukstynovic, The Festival Queens host Laura Cornelius, and Christel Haller, who you might know from handling social media responsibility at many of our events are still alive as are Paula Ensink, Katre Kokk, Monica Larsson, Kairit Leibold, Ilona Sibold, Ave Lepik, and Lisbeth Sunde.

Here are some photos of the event by Mairo Toom:

Meet Irish Open Runner-up Deccy Rice 19.05.2023 17:11 by The Festival Team
Inside the Mind of Dainius Antanaitis 19.05.2023 16:46 by The Festival Team
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Dainius Antanaitis

Our friend Dainius Antanaitis busted the Main Event on Day 1d a bit ago during the 100/300 (300) blind level. He shared with us the hand along with some insight into his thought process. Antanaitis is one of the sharpest poker players regardless of the poker variant. Even the best make mistakes but in this case, I am not sure if many could have found a fold or not. Check it out as it is a decent hand to analyze.

“The blinds were 100/300/300 when I limped behind an under-the-gun open limp,” began Antanaitis. “The player in the hijack raises to 1,600 and I was the only player to call. This could be a mistake to play this hand in the first place but I call to see the queen-six-seven rainbow flop. Sometimes I lead out with a small donk bet on this flop but he could put me in a tough high-variance spot as I would have to shove over the top then. Check-raising was also an option depending on the sizing but I opted to check-call his bet of 1,500 into a pot of 4,200.”

So far so good although I would personally be folding this hand preflop. Then again, I admit that Antanaitis is a stronger player than me so let’s go back to his thoughts.

“The turn was the perfect five of diamond placing two diamonds on the board and I donk bet pretty big for 5,500 into a pot of 7,200 with just 18,200 behind,” Antanaitis shared. “This sets me up a pot-sized bet on the river with my straight if he calls. He tanked for a minute or two and I definitely saw him debating whether or not to shove. So, I put him on a range of ace-queen, kings, aces, and sets. I am hoping for a brick river so I can shove and get the call probably around 90% of the time.”

Antanaitis no longer had the nuts on the board by the time the river came as our Lithuanian friend explains.

“Unfortunately, a seven paired the board on the river. So, now I am debating between going for a block-bet-fold or check-bluff catch. I chose the latter and after I check he internally debates for about 30 seconds before he puts all of his chips in one piles and jams them all-in. My first instinct and idea that comes to my mind is if I can make this fold, I can definitely win this event. He is rarely doing this with aces, kings, or queens and would probably go for smaller value for like 6,000 to 8,000. I feel he definitely never has a 7x for a value shove here. So, basically 80% value full house/quads, although it is unlikely he has quads as he would have likely limped his sevens. So maybe 20% for a random bluff but I didn’t have much history with this player before. As I was only getting 33% odds on this pot-sized shove and it was for my tournament life, I should have found an easy fold despite the fact I could re-enter. Instead, I took an easy no-brainer move and just donated the rest of my chips. Many people would call this a cooler when actually it is just a big mistake to pay off the river bet once you analyze the hand properly and see the big picture.

Thank you for sharing the hand and best of luck the rest of the week!

The Hendon Mob & The Festival Queens About to Begin 19.05.2023 16:03 by The Festival Team

Two fun tournaments are about to begin at 4 p.m. The Hendon Mob €250 Championship is a two-day affair and always one of the more popular events at The Festival Series. This should be no different as many players have already shared this was going to be the highlight of their day.

Meanwhile, many of the women in attendance are gearing up for the €150 The Festival Queens Ladies Event also at 4 p.m. Poker presenter Laura Cornelius will be hosting this event and we expect an entertaining and competitive affair between the ladies.

Danny Young Getting Creative on Break 19.05.2023 15:33 by The Festival Team

Yesterday, Danny Young, who is one of the amazing poker dealers at The Festival Series Malta, arranged the cards to spell HORSE for the HORSE event. During the first break of the OFC event, Young kept the trend going.

Speaking of the OFC event, it has thus far attracted 24 entries with 19 players remaining. Kei Yaegashi, Terje Jahn, Luca Delfino, and Jarno Kuiper are already on the rail and have yet to re-enter. Meanwhile, Maksymillion Gora also lost his stack but opted to re-enter.

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OFC
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HORSE Cards
Photos From Day 1d 19.05.2023 14:59 by The Festival Team
Day 4 Highlights From The Festival Series Malta 19.05.2023 14:55 by The Festival Team
Bon Voyage Damiano 19.05.2023 14:20 by The Festival Team

We were graced with the presence of esteemed poker photographer Damiano Nigro. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end eventually and it’s time to say goodbye to our friend.

Damiano spent the past few days documenting his view via his create eyes on The Festival Series Malta. We have been sharing his photos throughout the week and want to send him a special thank you from The Festival Series to both him and also we appreciate our relationship with PokerFirma.

You can also check out his photos, blogs, and more by heading to his website the-rounder-net. Check out his final few photos below:

Kelly Playing Her First Tournament 19.05.2023 13:11 by The Festival Team

The €250 OFC Tournament is about to begin. We sat down with Frank Visser’s girlfriend Kelly who is in Malta. She never played a poker tournament before but has some practice playing at home with Frank.

“I am nervous about playing my first poker tournament,” Kelly said. “But I am excited to be to playing!”

We were curious about how she got into OFC.

“I learned how to play with my boyfriend Frank (Visser) at home,” Kelly shared. “I enjoyed playing right away and got the hang of it. I learned what the good options were or not. I also got an app afterward and play with Frank and my friends.

Kelly has been playing for about half a year but when there was an OFC tournament at The Festival Malta she couldn’t resist.

“We were planning to come here anyway and I saw there was an OFC tournament and decided to give it a shot,” Kelly said. “I will be happy with the experience regardless of whether I win or not. In fact, I don’t expect to win, I just hope for a fun experience.”

Kelly’s OFC knowledge doesn’t only come from Frank.

“My biggest inspiration is Wouter Beltz (Sorry Frank),” Kelly said. “I learned quite a lot from this. Halfway joking as I wouldn’t have gotten involved in playing OFC if not for Frank. He also taught me a lot too. We will see how it goes.”

We wish Kelly and the rest of the 15 players already registered with more to come the best of luck!

Rollercoaster Ride for Manns 19.05.2023 13:02 by The Festival Team

Sascha Manns already hit the rail early and wasted no time in re-entering. He just shared with us that he took out The Festival Series Nottingham Main Event winner Ignacio Menendez on his second bullet.

Manns has been to all of The Festival Series events and has appeared at a couple of final tables along the way in the Main Event. Best of luck to our friend and may his good fortunes continue.

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Sascha Manns
“How Easy is It?” 19.05.2023 12:27 by The Festival Team

The €250 HORSE Event was another popular mixed game event at The Festival Series Malta with 69 entries forming a €14,904 prize pool. Players were visibly having fun all event long.

The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk was low on chips early on. But he ran his stack up before taking many unscheduled breaks. He even sat out the first portion of the final table.

However, when there were four players left, Franke had the chip lead and made a deal with Antti Tianen, Petri Juurikkala, and Per Gjelten where each of the four players collected a €2,850 payout.

“How easy is it?” Franke said after the win before joking. “I don’t even know all the rules and yet still won against HORSE pros like Sascha Manns.”

Franke is being modest as last year he took third place in the EPT Prague €550 HORSE. Congrats to Franke for winning the trophy and all of the players that cashed this fun mixed-game event.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk€2,850
2Antti Tianen€2,850
3Petri Juurikkala€2,850
4Per Gjelten€2,850
5Julien Teissedre€980
6Martin Smith€790
7Eva Jiretorn€650
8Igor Panak€560
9Mikael Grovnik€504
Off We Go in the Main Event 19.05.2023 12:10 by The Festival Team

Day 1d has just kicked off in the €550 Main Event with 39 runners after some announcements by Andreas “Wiseguy” Hoglund and Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk.

Sascha Manns, Mark Adams, Joseph Jackson, Sirin Ongorur, and Toivo Ojasoo are among the players seated from the beginning.

William Lynch Wins the PLO 4/5/6 After Five-Way Deal 19.05.2023 12:02 by The Festival Team

The €250 PLO 4/5/6 attracted 72 entries to create a €15,550 prize pool. William Lynch, Sander Mets, Boon Wan Lee, Bianca Essers, and Yann de Tychey all agreed to a five-way deal. Lynch and Mets both collected the same €2,900 prize but Lynch was crowned the winner.

PlacePlayerPrize
1William Lynch€2,900
2Sander Mets€2,900
3Boon Wan Lee€2,750
4Bianca Essers€2,200
5Yann de Tychey€2,150
6Soner Vanelderen€890
7Pavol Guris€690
8Bjorne Lindberg€570
9Mark Adams€500
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William Lynch
Welcome to Day 5 of The Festival Series Malta 19.05.2023 11:53 by The Festival Team

Day 5 of The Festival Series Malta is set to be another big one. Not only will the final two flights of the €550 Main Event kick off today but today is also the start of the two-day €250 The Hendon Mob Championship. The €125 The Festival Queens, hosted by poker presenter Laura Cornelius, is bound to be tons of fun for the ladies in attendance.

Here is a look at today’s schedule. Of course, there are hospitality activities today for those with the hospitality package, Franke’s Flip Flops running from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m., and cash games running nonstop on the casino floor.

TimeEvent
12 p.m.Event #8: €550 Main Event Day 1d
1 p.m.Event #34: €250 Open Face Chinese
4 p.m.Event #35: €250 The Hendon Mob Championship Day 1
4 p.m.Event #36: €125 The Festival Queens (Ladies Event) 
7 p.m.Event #37: €125 Texas Surprise
8 p.m.Event #38: €5/€5 NLHE Cash Game Challenge
8 p.m.Event #8: €550 Main Event Day 1e Turbo
9 p.m.Event #39: €125 PLO/PLO8
10:30 p.m.Event #40: €5/€5 PLO Cash Game Challenge
11 p.m.Event #41: €125 Texas Turbo Challenge
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Adam Briggs Wins Two Cash Game Challenges 19.05.2023 11:43 by The Festival Team

Congrats to Adam Briggs for winning both Cash Game Challenges last night. He booked a €560 profit (280 big blinds) in the €2/€2 Omaha and another €532 profit (266 big blinds) in €2/€2 no-limit hold’em.

This is still miles behind The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk on the Cash Game Challenge leaderboard which the winner will win a €1,600 package to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3. Franke miraculously won €6,300 in the €2/€2 Omaha Cash Game Challenge on May 15 and this will be tough for anyone to beat.

DateGamePlayerProfitBig Blinds
May 15€2/€2 NLHEHugo Loustrau€416208
May 15€2/€2 PLOMartin “Franke” von Zweigbergk€6,3003,150
May 16€2/€2 NLHETobias Bollman€610305
May 16€2/€2 PLOJack Holland€637318.5
May 17€2/€2 PLOMartins Geiba€1,008504
May 18€2/€2 PLOAdam Briggs€560280
May 18€2/€2 NLHEAdam Briggs€532266
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Kai Muller Wins the Thursday Turbo Midnight Madness 19.05.2023 11:05 by The Festival Team

Despite the title, the €125 Thursday Turbo Midnight Madness kicked off at 9 p.m. The action was still going strong at midnight and it wasn’t until slightly after 2 a.m. that Kai Muller defeated Rinalds Zimka to win the title and the €3,190 top prize.

The event attracted 112 entries to create a €11,827 prize pool. Here is a look at all of the players that cashed in the Thursday Turbo Midnight Madness:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Kai Muller€3,190
2Rinalds Zimka€2,330
3Martynas Brazdzionis€1,330
4Remy Hendrix€1,047
5Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon€850
6Shota Burjandaze€730
7Elon Perry€550
8Matiss Celmis€420
9Theodoros Konstantinidis€290
10Salvatore Ritrovato€240
11Or Gur€240
12Jelmer Schuurmans€240
13Gianni Palmisano€240
14Markou Volgko€130
Cory Desmond Wins the High Roller (€18,000) 19.05.2023 10:47 by The Festival Team

The €1,100 High Roller attracted a fun field of 70 entries to generate a €67,200 prize pool. The sun was shining when Cory Desmond and Domenico Zappia agreed to a heads-up deal. Desmond collected €18,000 and the title, while Zappia collected nearly as much with a €17,500 payout.

Also cashing in this event were Ewen Trevidy, Albert Cigliano, Raoul van Wersch, Daniel Oliver, Gyorgy Laszlo, Alexander van Dijk, and Balazs Somodi.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Cory Desmond€18,000
2Domenico Zappia€17,500
3Ewen Trevidy€8,100
4Alberto Cigliano€6,600
5Raoul van Wersch€5,300
6Daniel Oliver€4,000
7Gyorgy Laszlo€3,000
8Alexander van Dijk€2,500
9Balazs Somodi€2,200
Good Night and See You Tomorrow 19.05.2023 00:32 by The Festival Team

Our blog is done for the night as it is nearly time for some rest. However, we will update the Day 4 action tomorrow morning before the action resumes with Day 1d of the Main Event at 12 p.m. on Friday. Until then, have a good night and hope you sleep well.

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Jason & Mairo Wishing You a Good Night
Tobias Bollman Wins the Matching Vision Slots Tournament (€1,000) 19.05.2023 00:29 by The Festival Team

CasinoTogether’s Tobias Bollman showed how it was done as he shipped the €125 Matching Visions Slot Tournament for a cool €1,000. He seemed down but out but in his final few spins hit the biggest one of them all to win the event.

Meanwhile, the runner-up Arturs Pomerancevs also had an incredible run. He normally plays micro-stakes online and won a package for €11 to The Festival Series Bratislava from our partner Optibet. This is also his first poker festival and was a pleasure to meet him while playing the Slots Tournament. Despite busting the Main Event earlier today, Pomerancevs at least has a good story to remember about his experience at The Festival Series Malta.

Nils Vadenbring also cashed after finishing in third place.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Tobias Bollman€1,000
2Arturs Pomerancevs€600
3Nils Vadenbring€300
Brimmers Bags Day 1c Chip Lead in the Main Event 19.05.2023 00:21 by The Festival Team

Day 1c of the €550 Main Event attracted 149 entries making it the largest field of the Main Event thus far with 84 entries on Day 1a and another 101 entries during yesterday’s Day 1b to bring the total field up to 334 entries. This isn’t the end as there are still two more flights to go along with late entry permitted during the first two blind levels of Saturday’s Day 2.

Gerhard Brimmers bagged the Day 1c chip lead with 218,000 in chips but will be behind several players starting Day 2 including Day 1b chip leader Adam Briggs who after three opening flights holds the overall chip lead with 328,500 in chips.

Matthew Micallef, Franco Scalise, Milad Rad, and Theo Baldanze also bagged decent stacks into Day 2. Here is a look at the chip counts of all the Day 1c survivors.

PlayerChips
Gerhard Brimmers218,000
Matthew Micallef192,500
Franco Scalise175,000
Milad Rad161,500
Theo Baldanze159,500
Ian Vertefeuille151,000
Kristoffer Winterstein139,500
Kenneth Kull133,000
Marcus Skinnar132,500
Per Gaassand122,000
Invill Nilsen115,500
Sokraties Papavramidis115,000
Tomas Fernkvist113,500
Jonas Kovacs110,000
Noelia Ivars107,000
Alessandro D’Amore106,000
Giulio Spampinato103,500
Pavle Pecelj103,000
Frank Visser101,500
Erik Nygren100,000
Nicholas Osthus97,500
Peter Solem84,000
Shimon Hagay81,000
Angelo Patane79,000
Milos Lazic77,000
Younes Jarir73,000
Vilmos Farkas70,000
Balazs Somodi67,000
Kai Muller66,000
Jimmy Dewerdt65,500
Roberts Krigers63,500
Kei Yaegashi62,500
Samuel Stranak62,000
Jari Porkka59,500
Stefano Crepaldi58,000
Reuven Zohar57,500
Thibault Thevenet57,000
Jari-Pekka Rattya55,500
Leif Iversen53,000
Domenico Tortomasi52,500
Lukasz Sajnog47,500
Erik Hamre47,000
Linus Lauermann47,000
Svein Olav Eidsaeter42,500
Stuart Griffith41,500
Janos Szappanos41,500
Ismo Kero40,500
Mykola Ovlashenko39,000
Zviad Kalandarishvili37,000
Ivo Petkov28,000
Patrick McFadden24,500
Vangelis Kaimakamis21,500
HORSE Final Table Photos by Dominik Demcak 19.05.2023 00:05 by The Festival Team

The €250 HORSE Event has reached its final table of seven players from its original field of 69 entries. Here is a look at the final table photos by Dominik Demcak:

Slots Failure by Jason 18.05.2023 22:10 by The Festival Team

I had some fun but apparently, my strategy tips didn’t work at least for myself as I finished in 13th place out of 18 entries in the €125 Matching Vision Slots Tournament.

We will have the official payouts shortly, but Tobias Bollman shipped the event with Optibet qualifier Arturs Pomaranovs taking second place after taking an early lead.

After I knew I had no chance of winning, I opted to commentate the final two round. Perhaps there is a video floating around somewhere in which case we will also post this later.

Congrats to Tobias for being the best Slots Tournament player. #notjealous

Reporter Hopping Into the Slots Tournament 18.05.2023 20:47 by The Festival Team

This reporter loves playing poker and even more loves to play mixed games. I haven’t had the time to hop into any of the events nor think I will but will carve out some time for something different and play my first slots tournament in about a decade.

We will update you with our experience after I have either busted from the event or the more likely scenario of me winning the event and the coveted framed sketch.

The Matching Visions Slot Tournament kicks off at 9 p.m. Come join me while we spin away and have some fun!

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Jason Glatzer
Anastasia Interviews Sander van Wesemael 18.05.2023 20:43 by The Festival Team
Cash Game Challenge Resumes 18.05.2023 20:20 by The Festival Team

The first Cash Game Session Challenge of the day has just kicked off with stakes at €2/€2 no-limit hold’em. This will be a live-streamed affair with our very own George Sandford behind the booth. You can check out the action by clicking on the Stream tab in our coverage or by heading to the TheFestivalOG Twitch channel.

The Festival Series will be awarding the player that wins the largest amount of big blinds a package to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 valued at €1,600. Tune in to see if anyone can fly ahead of the massive win Franke had on Day 1 when he won €6,300 good for 3,150 big blinds. This will be tough to beat but not impossible. Best of luck to all of the players.

More Day 1c Photos by Mairo Toom 18.05.2023 20:12 by The Festival Team
PLO 4/5/6 About to Begin 18.05.2023 20:04 by The Festival Team

The €250 PLO 4/5/6 is about to begin. Players will start off with 25,000 chips which is good for 125 big blinds with the blinds starting at 100/200 and going up slowly every 25 minutes.

Antoine Degiorgio, Allan Arjut, Mark Adams, Fabio Bognier, Bianca Essers, Jonas Havren, Iman Tarique, Boon Lee, Jarmo Luokkala, Sander Mets, Collins Nomafo, Erik Risberg, Kalle Sammalisto, Andre Sorm, Sander van Wesemael, and Mikael Viggander are among the early entrants in the field.

Good luck to all that wind up playing and have fun!

Main Event Satellite Begins 18.05.2023 19:17 by The Festival Team

Another €70 satellite which guarantees three €550 Main Event seats just kicked off.

This will be your final chance at qualifying for the Main Event without paying the full price. So you may want to hop in unless you were thinking of playing the €250 PLO 4/5/6 at 8 p.m., the €125 Matching Visions Slots Tournament at 9 p.m., or the €125 Thursday Turbo Midnight Madness. Of course, there are also two Cash Game Challenge sessions this evening and cash games running around the clock.

Best of luck to all the satellite players!

Damiano Nigro’s Video Photo Snapshots 18.05.2023 18:43 by The Festival Team

Damiano Nigro will be heading home from Malta tomorrow. He just put together an amazing video of his photos from throughout the week. Sit back, and enjoy!

Matching Visions Slots Tournament at 9 p.m. 18.05.2023 18:34 by The Festival Team

If you are looking for some fun, why not enter the €125 Matching Visions Slots Tournament at 9 p.m.

Here is some advice on how to play the slots tournament.

  1. Grab a drink (maybe two)
  2. Get comfortable in your chair
  3. Push the spin button as fast as you can

Step 1 is optional but from my experiences playing slots tournaments on cruise ships over the years, it is highly recommended.

Best of luck to all of the players in the Matching Visions Slots Tournament. Who knows, maybe this reporter will also enter.

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Photos From Last Night’s VIP Dinner 18.05.2023 17:58 by The Festival Team

Players with the hospitality package were invited to a scrumptious meal at The Smokehouse. Here is a look at some of the photos of the outing:

€5,380 Top Prize in the HORSE 18.05.2023 17:48 by The Festival Team

The €250 HORSE Event attracted 69 entries with 38 players remaining when late registration closed. Nine of these players will earn at least a €504 min-cash with tonight’s winner going home with a much bigger prize of €5,380.

The Festival Series Head of Photography Mairo Toom grabbed some photos from the event. Here’s a look:

High Roller Growing 18.05.2023 17:24 by The Festival Team

The €1,100 High Roller is still on its opening level but it looks like this event could get big as the field has already grown from 14 entries to 26 entries and counting.

John Blomberg, Clement Bonnant, Dandido Cappiello, Kerrien Clement, Cory Desmond, Domenico Gala, Karl Gialanze, Alexandrs Golubevs, Xavier Zuckowski, Andrea Stellato, Erik Lindqwist, and Kim Ofverstrom are among the recent additions.

Photos by Damino Nigro 18.05.2023 17:20 by The Festival Team

Our good friend Damiano Nigro is back with his camera showing us a unique eye of The Festival Series Malta through his viewpoint. Special thanks to PokerFirma and Nigro’s blog the-rounder.net.

High Roller Begins 18.05.2023 17:11 by The Festival Team

The €1,100 NLHE High Roller kicked off with a field of 14 entries. This will obviously grow as the day goes on.

Andras Balogh, Martynas Brazdzionis, Christopher Cunliffe, Alredo Cuti, Robert Laskowski, Gyorgy Laszlo, Jordi Ribatallada Ruiz, Shota Sakandelia, Siim Sakeus, Attilla Szathmari, Charlton Tarimo, Alexander van Dijk, and Xuanyu Zheng are the early players in the field.

Check Out the Video Highlight From Day 3 18.05.2023 17:06 by The Festival Team
Photos of Day 1c of the Main Event 18.05.2023 16:43 by The Festival Team

Day 1c of the Main Event is on its second break. The field has blossomed to 135 entries with 108 players remaining. Here are some photos by Mairo Toom of Day 1c:

Photos From the Beach 18.05.2023 14:52 by The Festival Team

The Festival Series took players with the hospitality package this morning to the beach for a fun couple of hours in the sunshine. Here is a look at the photos by Mairo Toom.

Franke is the “Nittiest Person at the Table”? 18.05.2023 14:48 by The Festival Team

Players are having a blast in the €250 HORSE event, which now has 51 entries on Level 4 with still more than four levels of late registration to go. The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk was low on chips early but now has a bit more than a starting stack.

We asked Allan Arjut, who is playing at the same table as Franke what he thought of Franke’s play today.

“Well, I mean he hasn’t shown 6-9 yet,” Arjut said with a smile. “He is such a nit! The nittiest person at the table. He only plays aces and when he had them they held.”

“I don’t agree with that,” Franke responded. “During the first two orbits I forgot we were playing Razz. I even folded the nuts.”

Ali Oznesil is also having fun at the table and we asked him what makes this event special.

“It’s always fun to play mixed games,” Oznesil said. “They are fun and always social. This makes them much more preferable to me.”

We found another reason Oznesil is having fun as he eliminated Arjut as we were typing up this post. We also learned that he eliminated the first player to hit the rail with Ingo Klasen hitting the rail during Level 3. Oznesil may not eliminate all the players in the field but at least he has the honor of ousting the first two.

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Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk
Meet Tournament Director Christian Scalzi 18.05.2023 14:13 by The Festival Team
Photos From Yesterday’s Yoga Outing by Mairo Toom 18.05.2023 14:01 by The Festival Team

Yesterday, the lovely Anastasia took players with the hospitality package for a morning Yoga adventure. Mairo Toom was on hand to not only stretch his body but also to snap some photos for you to enjoy.

Day 1c Already the Largest Opening Flight 18.05.2023 13:53 by The Festival Team

Day 1c has already attracted 106 entries with 101 players remaining in their seats after Robert Lim, Riku Maatta, Salvatore Merendino, and Domenico hit the rail. Meanwhile, Coolbet’s Svein Olav Eidsaeter was the first player out today. All of these players can hop back in if they haven’t already done so with two re-entries permitted during each opening flight.

The Day 1c field is already the largest of the first three of five opening flights with Day 1a attracting 84 entries (24 survivors) and Day 1b bringing in 101 entries (33 survivors).

Best of luck to all of the Main Event players.

Wiseguy Introduces the HORSE Tournament 18.05.2023 13:08 by The Festival Team

Andreas “Wiseguy” Hoglund has arrived today and is immediately at work taking over the introductions of at least some of the tournaments from Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk including the HORSE event today.

Franke is among the 25 initial entries as is Mark Adams, Dainius Antanaitis, Allan Arjut, Mikael Grovnik, 8-Game champion Jons Jurksaitis, Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon, Monica Larsson, Kairit Leibold, Imre Liebold, William Lynch, Antti Tiainen, and Lachezar Tsenov.

Best of luck to all of the HORSE players.

Happy Birthday to Fabiano Stefanini 18.05.2023 12:21 by The Festival Team

Today is a special day as not only is it Day 4 of The Festival Series Malta but it is also the 21st birthday of the Main Event tournament director Fabiano Stefanini.

We doubt that it is his 21st birthday as this author has known Stefanini for close to a decade but we will stick with what Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk said during his announcement.

We will update this post later today with some photos as our daytime photographer is relaxing working at the beach taking photos of those with the Hospitality package.

Once again, happy birthday to one of the best in the industry and our friend Fabiano Stefanini!

Shuffle Up and Deal 18.05.2023 12:16 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event Day 1c
Level 1: 100/100
Entries: 57/57

Cards are in the air after some announcements by The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk.

Peter Behr, Stewart Griffith, Rune Johansen, Linus Lauermann, and Kristoffer Winterstein are among the 57 initial entries.

Welcome to Day 4 of The Festival Series Malta 18.05.2023 11:54 by The Festival Team
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Welcome back to our coverage of the 2023 The Festival Series Malta at Portomaso Casino. The action has been hopping thus far with many winners crowned and records being broken left and right.

Today will feature another packed day of events starting with Day 1c of the Main Event. The third of five opening flights plays out the same as Day 1a and Day 1b have with 12 blinds levels of 40 minutes each. Players start off with 30,000 in chips and can re-enter up to two times throughout the day. Late registration for the Main Event won’t close until after the second blind level of Saturday’s Day 2 giving players plenty of opportunities to build a big stack.

The mixed-game fun is back with the €250 HORSE kicking off at 1 p.m. and players with bigger bankrolls will be able to enjoy the one-day €1,100 NLHE High Roller at 5 p.m.

Another event to keep your eyes on is the €125 Matching Visions Slots Tournament at 9 p.m. This is not only going to be fun for the poker players but also for those that came just to enjoy Malta as there isn’t much of a learning curve in this one.

There is also a €70 Main Event satellite to Day 1d guaranteeing three seats at 7 p.m., the €250 PLO 4/5/6 at 8 p.m., and the €125 Texas Turbo Midnight Madness at 9 p.m. (and not midnight). There will also be two Cash Game Challenge sessions, Franke’s Flip Flops, and cash games running around the clock. In other words, it will be a busy day today. Check out the full schedule below and best of luck if you are playing today.

TimeEvent
12 p.m.Event #8: €550 Main Event Day 1c
1 p.m.Event #26: €250 HORSE
5 p.m.Event #27: €1,100 NLHE High Roller
7 p.m.Event #28: €70 Main Event Satellite
8 p.m.Event #29: €250 PLO 4/5/6
8 p.m.Event #30: €2/€2 NLHE Cash Game Challenge
9 p.m.Event #31: €125 Matching Visions Slots Tournament
9 p.m.Event #32: €125 Texas Turbo Thursday Midnight Madness
10:30 p.m.Event #33: €2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge
Joseph Jackson Wins a Title? 18.05.2023 11:44 by The Festival Team

Anything can happen at The Festival Series Malta as was evidenced last night. The Festival Series Twitch streamer notoriously punted away his stack intentionally in the Sviten Special event in order to play the Cash Game Challenge a couple of nights ago.

Last night was a different story. Apparently, when Jackson sets his mind out to win he can do just that as he shipped the €250 Texas Knockout for €3,500 plus bounties after agreeing to a heads-up deal with Liam Johnston, who won nearly as much.

Sascha Manns was also on the podium with a third-place performance for €2,380.

The event attracted 150 entries to create a €33,000 prize pool including bounties.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Joseph Jackson€3,500
2Liam Johnston€3,490
3Sascha Manns€2,380
4Alkan Aydingoz€1,770
5Igor Panak€1,260
6Luca Delfino€990
7Fraser Mackenzie€740
8Gerianne Dijkstra€610
9Nathaniel Brown€490
10Atilla Szathmari€420
11Rami Amuri€420
12Kenneth Kull€355
13Matiss Clemins€355
14Martin Klaar€305
15Stefan Wardenier€305
16Jeroen Mulder€305
17Lars Nilsen€305
Levani Rozomashvili Wins the PLO High Roller (€15,400) 18.05.2023 11:17 by The Festival Team

The €1,100 PLO High Roller was a massive success with 60 entries getting into the mix to create a €57,600 prize pool. It was a marathon to say the least as after nearly 13 hours of play Levani Rozomashvili shipped the event for €15,400 after agreeing to a heads-up deal with Balazs Somodi, who collected a healthy €14,700.

Here is a look at everyone that cashed in the PLO High Roller.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Levani Rozomashvili€15,400*
2Balazs Somodi€14,700*
3Alexander Koops€8,650
4James Mercieca€6,550
5Sander van Wesemael€4,450
6Andre Grech€3,350
7Florian Ahlmer€2,500
8Samuel Stranak€2,000

*Reflects heads-up deal.

Jonas Jurksaitis Wins the 8-Game (€3,350) 18.05.2023 10:33 by The Festival Team

The €125 8-Game personalized portrait trophy heads over to Lithuania after Jonas Jurksaitis defeated Damian Michalski heads-up to win the €3,350 top prize. Sviten Special author Martin Smith also was on the podium with ACR Stormer Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon just missing the final three. Chris Hansen, Simon Ruckert, Barrier Dear, and Fabian Jarmer also cashed in this event.

Meanwhile, two players went out during hand-for-hand on the bubble on two separate tables and split the €300 min-cash with Jakub Kanosovsky and Andreas Sanden each collecting €150 each.

The 8-Game event was another The Festival Series attendance record-breaker with 93 entries creating a €9,820 prize pool.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Jonas Jurksaitis€3,350
2Damian Michalski€2,090
3Martin Smith€1,240
4Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon€890
5Chris Hansen€660
6Simon Ruckert€520
7Barrie Dear€420
8Fabian Jarmer€350
9Jakub Kanosovsky€150
10Andreas Sanden€150
See Ya Tomorrow 18.05.2023 00:49 by The Festival Team

While the Day 3 blog will have a handful of posts still coming it won’t be until tomorrow morning until that happens. Have a good night and see you back here tomorrow for another action-packed day.

Martins Geiba Wins the Most at the €2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge Session 18.05.2023 00:45 by The Festival Team
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Martins Geiba

The Cash Game Challenge has been completed for the evening with Martins Geiba notching the second biggest score of The Festival Series Malta after winning €1,008 for 504 big blinds in €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha. It hasn’t been the worst week for Geiba who yesterday won the €125 Roulette Tournament for €1,000.

This is still behind end-boss Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk who won a mind-blowing €6,300 for 3,150 big blinds in a €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha Cash Game Challenge a couple of days ago. This leaves Franke the far-and-away captain of the Cash Game Challenge leaderboard where the winner will win a package valued at €1,600 to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.

DateGameWinnerAmountBig Blinds
May 15€2/€2 NLHEHugo Loustrau€416208
May 15€2/€2 PLOMartin “Franke” von Zweigbergk€6,3003,150
May 16€2/€2 NLHETobias Bollman€610305
May 16€2/€2 PLOJack Holland€637318.5
May 17€2/€2 PLOMartins Geiba€1,008504
Younes Jarir Wins the PokerListings Championship (€16,200) 18.05.2023 00:40 by The Festival Team
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Younes Jarir and Friends

Younes Jarir defeated Manuel Blaschke heads-up in the €250 PokerListings Championship to win the €16,200 top prize. The event attracted 354 entries for a €76,464 prize pool to establish a new prize pool record for this event.

There were a number of stories at the final table. First, Colin Lovelock was going for back-to-back victories after shipping this event at The Festival Series Nottingham a few months ago. He eventually bowed out in sixth place for €3,250 after his ace-king was unable to hold against ace-eight.

Meanwhile, this was the second time Jarir and Blaschke were at a final table in this event as they previously battled it out on the final table in this event at The Festival Series Bratislava in the autumn of 2022. Jarir performed much better than his ninth-place performance that time around while Blaschke finished one spot behind as he was aiming to be the first two-time champion.

Here is a look at all of the payouts of the PokerListings Championship:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Younes Jarir€16,200
2Manuel Blaschke€9,990
3Niklas Borg€6,690
4Vahur Tima€5,250
5Karl Sundin€4,250
6Colin Lovelock€3,250
7Tanguy Pellerin€2,574
8Wooseun Kim€1,930
9Laila Hawaszadeh€1,340
10Karl Gialanze€1,120
11Sirin Ongorur€940
12Sokraties Paravramidis€940
13Georgios Orestidis€940
14Hugo Menant€800
15Elor Bratfors€800
16Jonas Kovacs€800
17Noelia Ivars€680
18Michele Amirante€680
19Jan Sundkvist€680
20Nicholas Osthus€680
21Stian Nostdahl€580
22Milad Rad€580
23Sami Korpela€580
24Valmar Runk€580
25Keimo Suominen€500
26Lachezar Tsenov€500
27Robert Laskowski€500
28Bjorne Lindberg€500
29Christopher Cunliffe€500
30Marius Morel€500
31Erik Lindqwist€500
32Michael Cuevas Fernandez€500
33Sinead Priestley€470
34Ave Lepik€470
35Antoine Degiorgio€470
36John Forsman€470
37Jordan Dumas€470
38Saviour Spiteri€470
39Benedetto Caruso€470
40Joseph Wilkinson€470
41Lars Eklund€450
42Glen Gaines€450
43Jacob Dideriksen-Nielson€450
44Marko Hynynen€450
45Jelmer Schuurmans€450
46Morgan Stenberg€450
47Raymond de Groot€450
48Leonard White€450
49Christophe Pinna€450
50Paula Ensink€450
51Stefan Mattson€450
52Gabriele Sava€450
53Allan Arjut€450
Angelo Vietti Wins Blackjack Event (€1,100) 18.05.2023 00:21 by The Festival Team

The €125 Blackjack event produced tons of fun with 25 entries creating a €2,640 prize pool. Angelo Vietti proved to be the best blackjack player of the day after shipping the event for €1,100. Theodoros Konstantindis, Annika Haaviste, and Orlando Genders also cashed in this event.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Angelo Vietti€1,100
2Theodoros Konstantindis€790
3Annika Haaviste€500
4Orlando Genders€250
Final Main Event Day 1b Main Event Chip Counts 17.05.2023 23:52 by The Festival Team
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Adam Briggs

Day 1b of The Festival Series Malta €550 Main Event attracted 101 entries with 33 players finding a bag. This brings the total field up to 185 entries with 57 survivors when taking into account the 84 runners and 24 survivors on Day 1a. There is still plenty more to come with three more opening flights and two levels of late registration even still available on Saturday’s Day 2.

Adam Briggs was the star of Day 1b after turning his 30,000 opening stack into 329,000 in chips. This was enough to push Briggs into the chip lead with Day 1a chip leader Beka Kopaleishvili bagging 253,500 in chips. Meanwhile, Optibet streamer Gatis Reigass (241,500) and Rickard Olsson (236,000) were the only other players above 200,000 in chips.

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

PlayerChips
Adam Briggs329,500
Gatis Reigass241,500
Rickard Olsson236,000
Michael Ibba173,000
Alfredo Cuti143,000
Teemu Hietala137,500
Maria Evans130,500
Terje Jahn119,000
Cory Desmond112,500
Arnoud Capellen108,500
Luca Delfino104,500
Beka Ksovreli94,000
Daniel Smith90,500
Arttile Szathmari83,000
Samuele Lo Presti78,000
Mischa Wieten77,500
Iulian Bleau73,000
Domenico Gala69,000
Luka Bulatovic62,000
Glen Gaines61,000
Dario Marinelli59,500
Erik Risberg57,000
Koen Muetstege55,000
Franciscus Bosmans49,500
Jaffar Alsaffar45,000
Cristiano Blanco43,500
Jarmo Luokkala39,500
Marc Tannous38,000
Raoul van Wersch35,000
Sander Mets33,000
Giorgi Gogoladze29,000
Marthijn Lakerveld28,000
James Hopkins14,500
Players Bagged Up in Main Event 17.05.2023 21:49 by The Festival Team

Day 1b of the Main Event is in the books with 33 of the 101 entries bagging stacks into Saturday’s Day 2. We will provide the final chip counts and updates on other events after a late dinner break.

Mantas Petrauskas Wins Heads-Up (€2,380) 17.05.2023 21:46 by The Festival Team
the-festival-malta-heads-up-finals-mantas-petrauskas-0954
Mantas Petrauskas

Mantas Petrauskas defeated Raoul van Wersch heads-up in the €250 Heads-Up event for €2,380 while Peder Behr and Sven Lysebo also cashed.

The event attracted 28 players for a €6,048 prize pool.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Mantas Petrauskas€2,380
2Raoul van Wersch€1,690
3Peder Behr€1,130
4Sven Lysebo€900
Dijkstra Back at The Festival Series to Improve on her Runner-Up Main Event Performance in Bratislava 17.05.2023 21:33 by The Festival Team

Gerianne Dijkstra nearly won the 2022 The Festival Series Bratislava €550 Main Event. She finished just one spot shy with fellow countrymate from the Netherlands Michal Molenar claiming the title.

Check out Anastasia’s interview below with Dijkstra.

€2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge Begins 17.05.2023 20:52 by The Festival Team

The €2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge session has kicked off with all players praying they can pass the 3,150 big blinds that Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk won on the first day of The Festival Series Malta when he amazingly profited €6,300 in €2/€2 PLO.

“Why do players have their eyes on this amount?” you might ask.

This is because the player that wins the greatest amount of big blinds during any of the Cash Game Challenge sessions throughout the week will be awarded a package valued at €1,600 to The Festival Series Bratislava on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.

You can check the action out by clicking on the Stream tab within our coverage.

Here is a look at the players in the initial lineup:

Three Strikes for Franke 17.05.2023 20:30 by The Festival Team

€1,100 PLO High Roller
Level 7: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Entries: 27/46

The €1,100 PLO High Roller now has 46 entries with 27 players remaining. There are almost two full 30-minute levels and a break before late registration will close. So, it is natural the field will grow even more.

Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk just fired his third bullet unsuccessfully and is off for his fourth. We will closely monitor to make sure he doesn’t come close to his 10-bullet maximum.

Meanwhile, Teddy Bremseth joined the field. Happy Norwegian National Day to him and his tablemate Rolf Bechstrom as well as the entire Norwegian poker community.

the-festival-malta-cash-game-challenge-2-2-texas-bremseth-terje-3964
Teddy Bremseth
Photos by Damiano Nigro 17.05.2023 20:18 by The Festival Team

Check out these photos from today by Damiano Nigro compliments of PokerFirma.

All Good Things Must Come to an End 17.05.2023 20:05 by The Festival Team

€250 PokerListings Championship Day 2
Level 26: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)
Entries: 5/354

Colin Lovelock was miraculous in the hunt for back-to-back PokerListings Championship victories after previously winning this event that featured a lower buy-in of £120 at The Festival Series Nottingham for £5,020.

Lovelock had a heck of a run once again but bowed out this time around in sixth place for €3,250.

Meanwhile, Tanguy Pellerin, Wooseung Kim, and Laila Hawaszadeh also hit the rail with Niklas Borg, Karl Sundin, Manuel Blaschke, Younes Jarir, and Vahur Tima still in contention.

Final table photos below compliments of Dominik Demcak.

A Reasonable 10 Bullet Maximum for Franke in the PLO High Roller 17.05.2023 19:41 by The Festival Team

€1,100 PLO High Roller
Level 5: 1,000/2,500
Entries: 25/37

The €1,100 PLO High Roller continues to grow with the field at 37 entries already. The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk lasted for longer than we anticipated as he shared before the event began that he was going to be ready to re-enter quickly.

Franke did eventually lose his first bullet and immediately walked away from the table.

“What happened?” we asked Franke.

“Out,” answered Franke. “About to re-enter.”

“Will there be a cap on how many times you re-enter?” we asked in response.

“I won’t go above ten bullets,” Franke said before running off to the cashier.

We will hold Franke to his word but we hope that it doesn’t get close to that number of re-entries.

While it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that Franke will win the PLO High Roller, it may be worth considering entering if you are on the fence. Late registration is open for about two more hours with it closing after the end of Level 8.

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Records Broken in Malta 17.05.2023 19:31 by The Festival Team

Records, records, records are being broken left and right at The Festival Series Malta. As we mentioned earlier in our coverage, the €250 Sviten Special event broke a new The Festival Series attendance record with 79 entries beating the previous record of 77 entries.

Meanwhile, yesterday the €250 PokerListings Championship broke The Festival Series prize pool record with 354 entries generating a €76,464 prize pool. While today, the €125 8-Game established a new The Festival Series attendance record with 93 entries for a €9,820 prize pool.

The 8-Game and PokerListings Championship are on dinner break. It might be some time before the 8-Game reaches the money with 26 players remaining and the event paying out the top nine players at least a €300 min-cash with the eventual winner scheduled to earn the top prize of €3,350.

Meanwhile, the PokerListings Championship is down to the final nine players with each player locking up at least a €1,340 prize. Colin Lovelock is looking for back-to-back championships after previously shipping this event at The Festival Series Nottingham. Other players that are in the hunt for the top prize of €16,200 include Niklas Borg, Karl Sundin, Manuel Blaschke, Younes Jarir, Vahur Tima, Tanguy Pellerin, Wooseung Kim, and Laila Hawaszadeh.

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Colin Lovelock
Get Into the Main Event for €70 17.05.2023 18:54 by The Festival Team

If you want to play The Festival Series Malta Main Event without paying the full €550 buy-in, you could be in luck. A €70 satellite guaranteeing three Main Event seats for tomorrow’s Day 1c is about to begin at 7 p.m.

Best of luck to all of the satellite players.

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“Pokerbrahs” Has Antanaitis’ Number 17.05.2023 18:11 by The Festival Team

€125 8-Game
Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Entries: 45/93

The 8-Game proved to be popular with 93 entries generating a €9,820 prize pool. One player that won’t be making the money for at least the €300 min-cash on tap for the top nine players is our friend from Lithuania Danius Antanaitis who just went out in no-limit hold’em.

Antanaitis three-bet jammed for about 45,000 and was snap-called by Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon.

Dainius Antanaitis: A K
Pokerbrahs: Q Q

Pokerbrahs and Antanaitis have been playing together all day and became friendly during that time. This is exactly what we like to see at The Festival Series.

“Once I learned your screenname, I gained even more respect for you,” Pokerbrahs said to Antanaitis who was also grinding an online satellite to a big online event.

Antanaitis was unable to win the flip after the 9 4 7 3 4 runout.

Both players wished each other the best before Kenyon shared that this was the second time he busted Antanaitis who lost a bullet during the late registration period.

Just before that, Allan Arjut at another table had a suggestion.

“Instead of no-limit hold’em, we should play Sviten Special instead,” Arjut said.

This author loves this idea and it would have saved Antanaitis as well.

Antanaitis will take a break at least for now. In the meantime, we wish Pokerbrahs the best of luck in winning the €3,350 top prize on tap for today’s winner. He is well on his way with 140,000 in chips for nearly triple the average.

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Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon
Main Event Day 1b Photos 17.05.2023 18:01 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event Day 1b
Level 8: 400/800 (800)
Entries: 63/93

Day 1b of the Main Event is more than halfway over with nearly 100 entries getting into the action thus far. Here are some photos of Day 1b by Mairo Toom.

Highlight From the Cash Game Challenge 17.05.2023 17:26 by The Festival Team

The Festival Series is streaming cash games and tournaments throughout the week. We will share some of the clipped highlights throughout our coverage starting today. Check out a fun hand below from last night’s €2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge stream.

PLO High Roller Begins 17.05.2023 17:14 by The Festival Team

The €1,100 PLO High Roller has kicked off with 14 entries. This will grow over time, especially considering The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk is ready to fire away during the late registration period.

Sviten Special champion Totti Lind, Warren Azzopardi, Irakli Dumbadze, Roulette champion Martins Geiba, Vangelis Kaimakamis, Adriaan Knulst, Alexander Koops, Hendrik Koops, Stefan Mattsson, James Mercieca, Levani Rozomashvili, Balazs Somodi, and Mark Vella are among the players in action.

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Totti Lind Wins the Sviten Special
Day 3 Video Highlights 17.05.2023 16:45 by The Festival Team
Catch a Huge Fish in the PLO High Roller 17.05.2023 16:38 by The Festival Team

While I have faith in The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk it is saved for when he is focused or motivated. Right now, he has been celebrating the Norwegian National Day with everyone in the room but he just showed me his ticket to the €1,100 PLO High Roller scheduled at 5 p.m.

He was the first player to enter and said this may not be the only ticket he receives. In other words, he is already planning to re-enter despite not yet playing a hand.

If you were on the fence as to whether to play this or not, I think most people can agree that there is now sick value thanks to Franke being ready to punt away. We wish you the best of luck in taking all of Franke’s chips.

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Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk
Blackjack Tournament Begins 17.05.2023 16:24 by The Festival Team

The €125 Blackjack Tournament has kicked off with 25 players. It is possible the entry count will increase as players are allowed to re-enter for a limited amount of time.

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Watch Coolbet’s Svein Olav Eidsaeter on Norwegian National Day 17.05.2023 15:39 by The Festival Team

Today is the Norwegian National Day. Lots of the Norwegian player and even some of us that aren’t Norwegian are wearing the Norwegian flag in honor of today. Coolbet’s Svein Olav Eidsaeter is one of the Norwegian poker community’s funny characters. Apparently, he knows how to play as well as he won the Win the Button last night. Check out what Eidsaeter had to say before winning the event yesterday.

37 Players Remaining in the PokerListings Championship 17.05.2023 14:56 by The Festival Team

The PokerListings Championship is down to just 37 hopefuls in the hunt for the title. They each got a small pay jump and are now guaranteed at least a €470 payout instead of the €450 they locked up at the start of the day. Here are some photos from Day 2 by Mairo Toom.

Photos From the Final Day of the Heads-Up 17.05.2023 14:28 by The Festival Team
8-Game Begins 17.05.2023 14:03 by The Festival Team

The €125 8-Game has kicked off with games rotating every orbit between limit hold-em, limit Omaha h/l, stud, razz, stud h/l, 2-7 triple draw, no-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha.

The rules are a little different for the stud games this time around. Instead of each player putting in the ante, the player on the button will put in the antes for the entire table. The standard big blind ante will remain for the no-limit hold’em.

Dainius Antanaitis, Scott “Pokerbrahs” Kenyon, Mark Adams, Brenden Oystein, Svein Olav Eidsaeter, Mikael Gronvik, Jarkko Kuusisto, Imre Leibold, Kairit Leibold, Kjell Lindqvist, Sascha Manns, Davit Mikhanashvili, Alexander van Dijk, Axel Thoren, Julien Teissedre, and Sviten Special author Martin Smith are among the 50 players ready to battle.

Meanwhile, Allan Arjut was the first player to bust the PokerListings Championship on Day 2 and immediately entered the 8-Game.

“I busted the PokerListings Championship just to play the 8-game,” joked Allan Arjut.

We learned later that Arjut just had four big blinds that he needed to speed up but he is happy that if he wasn’t going to spin that he can play the 8-Game from the start.

Best of luck to all of the players in the field.

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Allan Arjut
PokerListings Championship Payouts 17.05.2023 13:51 by The Festival Team

The 53 returning final-day players have locked up at least a min-cash of €450. The payouts grow from there with today’s winner going home with a €16,200 top prize. Here is a look at all of the payouts:

PlacePrize
1€16,200
2€9,990
3€6,690
4€5,250
5€4,250
6€3,250
7€2,574
8€1,930
9€1,340
10€1,120
11-13€940
14-16€800
17-20€680
21-24€580
25-32€500
33-40€470
41-53€450
PokerListings Championship Resumes 17.05.2023 13:37 by The Festival Team

The €250 PokerListings Championship has kicked off its second and final day. Colin Lovelock leads the way in the hunt for a back-to-back championship.

All of the 53 returning players are guaranteed at least a €450 payout with a tasty €16,200 top prize on the line.

Best of luck to all of the players!

Heads-Up Resumes 17.05.2023 13:30 by The Festival Team

The €250 Heads-Up Tournament has resumed with the final four players out the original field of 28 players. Here is a look at the semi-final match-ups.

  • Peder Behr vs. Raoul van Wersch
  • Sven Lysebo vs. Mantas Petrauskas

The final four players have each locked up €614 with Wednesday’s winner going home with a €2,480 top prize. Good luck to the final four!

PlacePrize
1€2,480
2€1,830
3€1,120
4€614
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Peder Behr
Main Event Day 1b Begins 17.05.2023 12:21 by The Festival Team

€550 Main Event Day 1b
Level 1: 100/100
Entries: 32/32

Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk welcomed the players to Day 1b of the Main Event. He also wished everyone a happy Norwegian Natonal Day alongside his friend and Coolbet rep Svein Olav Eidsaeter, who won the Win the Button last night.

Best of luck to all of the players in the Main Event!

Welcome to Day 3 of The Festival Series Malta 17.05.2023 11:49 by The Festival Team
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It has been an amazing start at Portomaso Casino for The Festival Series Malta and we are looking forward to even bigger things today with a full slate of events planned.

Today will begin with the second opening flight of the €550 Main Event. Players will start with 30,000 in chips with blinds increasing every 40 minutes as was the case yesterday. Up to two re-entries are permitted for each opening flight and again on Saturday’s Day 2 with late registration open for the first two blind levels of the penultimate day. Bags will be passed around after 12 blind levels with blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 2,000 big blind ante on the final blind level of the day.

Meanwhile, the PokerListings Championship and the Heads-Up event will both crown a champion on its second and final day. Many Norwegians are excited about celebrating their National Day with the €125 8-Game while this author may or may not take a break from the blog to hop into the €125 Blackjack.

There are also a pair of satellites followed by a €250 Texas Knockout late in the evening. As if this isn’t enough action, there are also two more Cash Game Challenge sessions planned today at stakes that most players can afford.

The only problem players might find is choosing what to play and what Hospitality events they wish to attend if they have the Hospitality Package.

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What Should We Play?

The Festival Series Malta May 17th Schedule

TimeEvent
12 p.m.Event #8: €550 Main Event Day 1b
1 p.m.Event #1: €250 PokerListings Championship Day 2
1 p.m.Event #9: €250 Heads-Up Day 2
2 p.m.Event #18: €125 8-Game
4 p.m.Event #19: €125 Blackjack Tournament
5 p.m.Event #20: €1,100 PLO High Roller
7 p.m.Event #21: €70 Main Event Satellite
8 p.m.Event #22: €2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge
9 p.m.Event #23: €150 Turbo Satellite to NLH High Roller
10 p.m.Event #24: €250 Texas Knockout
10:30 p.m.Event #25: €2/€2 NLHE Cash Game Challenge
Jack Holland Wins Late Cash Game Challenge Session 17.05.2023 11:35 by The Festival Team

Jack Holland won €637 during the late night €2/€2 PLO Cash Game Challenge session to make him the big winner at the table with 318.5 big blinds. This was miles behind the current leaderboard captain in The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke”von Zweigbergk who miraculously won €6,300 for 3,150 big blinds on Monday in the €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha Cash Game session.

The player that wins the most big blinds during any Cash Game Challenge session will be crowned the Cash Game Challenge champion and also be awarded a €1,600 package to The Festival Series Bratislava on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at Banco Casino.

DateGameWinnerNet PrizeBig Blinds
May 15€2/€2 NLHEHugo Loustrau€416208
May 15€2/€2 PLOMartin “Franke” von Zweigbergk€6,3003,150
May 16€2/€2 NLHETobias Bollman€610305
May 16€2/€2 PLOJack Holland€637318.5
Svein Olav Eidsaeter Wins the Win the Button (€2,380) 17.05.2023 11:21 by The Festival Team

The €125 Win the Button is an amazing tournament if you are running hot as every time a player wins the hand they earn the button for the following hand. The event attracted 88 runners to generate a €9,292 prize pool.

Coolbet’s Svien Olav Eidsaeter continues to strut his stuff at The Festival Series as he won the event after defeating Fuad Gotovusa heads-up to win the €2,380 top prize.

PlacePlayerPrize
1Svein Olav Eidsaeter€2,380
2Fuad Gotovusa€1,690
3Salvatore Ritrovato€1,130
4Allan Arjut€900
5Ivo Petkov€750
6Leif Iversen€600
7Calum Bagnall€500
8Raimo Einberg€420
9Peder Behr€350
10Jarkko Kuusisto€300
11Paula Ensink€272
Mikael Gronvik Wins Half and Half (€2,045) 17.05.2023 11:08 by The Festival Team

Mikael Gronvik joins the ever-growing list of The Festival Series champions after he defeated Angelica Andersson heads-up in the €125 Half and Half for €2,045. This event boasted one level of no-limit hold’em followed by a level of pot-limit Omaha. Rinse and repeat until a winner was crowned.

The tournament attracted 70 players to create a €7,084 prize pool. Here is a look at all the players that cashed for at least a €215 min-cash:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Mikael Gronvik€2,045
2Angelica Andersson€1,430
3Karl Gialanze€1,080
4Noelia Ivars€790
5Andre Sorm€560
6Elor Bratfors€404
7Marcin Mesz€310
8William Lynch€250
9Florian Morel€215