The Festival Malta Day 1

The Festival Malta Day 1

The Festival in Malta Live Updates

Close Run for Toom as Lauermann Ships the Texas Bounty 16.05.2023 10:43 by The Festival Team

Linus Lauermann defeated Mairo Toom in the early hours of the morning in the €125 Texas Bounty for €1,700 plus bounties. Toom is our Head of Photography during the day but you will see him pop into events during his free time in the evenings.

The event attracted 130 entries to create a €13,986 prize pool including the €50 bounties on each player. Here is a look at all of the payouts:

1Linus Lauermann€1,700
2Mairo Toom€1,230
3Gert Hofman€820
4Marc Schembri€670
5Rena Postema€550
6Vincent Calenti€450
7Irakli Devadze€370
8Samuel Dray€311
9Julius Jurksaitis€260
10Youcef Temal€220
11Jesse Hoff€190
12Martin Klaar€190
13Maria Recasens€175
14Andreas Sanden€175
15Antonino Muratore€175
See You Tomorrow 16.05.2023 01:38 by The Festival Team

This wraps up our coverage for Day 1 of The Festival Series Malta at Portomaso Casino. We will update you with the rest of the results from today in a dedicated article tomorrow which we will link back into the blog.

Until then, have a good night, and see you (virtually or physically) tomorrow!

Franke Crushing the Cash Game Challenge 16.05.2023 01:38 by The Festival Team

It wasn’t a good start of the day for The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk as he unsuccessfully fired three bullets in Sviten Special, a game he has found tournament success in at other times.

However, good things happened a few hours later. Very good things in fact.

Franke entered the €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha Cash Game Challenge and absolutely crushed it. He predicted as much to this author just before he began play.

“I plan to win big,” Franke said with confidence.

‘Win big’ might be an understatement as Franke went on to with €6,300 for a profit of 3,150 big blinds. This clearly puts him in the lead for the Cash Game Challenge and now he might win a package to his very own festival as this score will be tough to beat.

Tough doesn’t mean impossible as there are many hungry players, so no lead is too large.

Congrats to Franke on an epic cash game session!

Joshua Stewart Bags Sviten Special Chip Lead 16.05.2023 01:30 by The Festival Team

Day 1 of the two-day €250 Sviten Special has wrapped up after Ivo Petkov hit the rail on the money bubble. The remaining 11 players will resume action tomorrow at 7 p.m. with blinds at 6,000/12,000 already in the money with a €350 min-cash. Tomorrow’s winner will go home with much more with a €5,200 top prize on the line making it one of the biggest international-open events in Sviten Special tournament history.

Joshua Stewart will be in the driver’s seat to start off the final day with a small chip lead over Oystein Brenden. Niklas Borg and Totti Lind also bagged decent stacks with Erik Risberg, Renato Messina, Maxime Chilaud, Nathaniel Brown, Philippe Laval, Marco Sgura, and Allan Arjut also still in contention. Here is a look at all of the final day chip stacks of The Festival Series Malta €250 Sviten Special at Portomaso Casino.

PlayerChipsBig Blinds
Joshua Stewart414,00035
Oystein Brenden410,00034
Niklas Borg329,00027
Totti Lind295,00025
Erik Risberg187,00016
Renato Messina172,00014
Maxime Chilaud148,00012
Nathaniel Brown143,00012
Philippe Laval138,00012
Marco Sgura77,0006
Allan Arjut55,0005
Meet Paf’s Linda Jansson 16.05.2023 01:05 by The Festival Team

Linda Jansson has been to most if not all The Festival Series events thus far and Malta is no different. She has a record amount of qualifiers from Paf to look after with her co-pilot Niklas Lonnfors.

Check out what Linda had to say when chatting with The Festival Series’ Anastasia in the video below.

Hugo Menant Leads the PokerListings Championship 16.05.2023 01:00 by The Festival Team

Day 1b of the PokerListings Championship is in the books with just 19 players of the 126-entry field advancing to Wednesday’s Day 2. This brings the total up to 215 entries when considering the 89 entries on Day 1a along with 32 survivors with 13 bagging chips on Day 1a. These figures will continue to grow with what we expect to be the biggest opening flight of them all in tomorrow’s final opening flight on Day 1c.

Hugo Menant parlayed his 30,000 opening stack into a whopping pile of 502,000 in chips. This puts him in the clear chip lead with John Forsman bagging the Day 1a lead with 399,000 in chips. Sirin Ongorur also had an amazing day and bagged more than the Day 1a chip leader with a final count of 421,000 in chips with Manual Blaschke (340,000), Wooseung Kim (325,000), and PokerListings’s very own Bjorne Lindberg (271,000) rounding out the top five.

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

1Hugo Menant503,000
2Sirin Ongorur421,000
3Manuel Blaschke340,000
4Wooseung Kim325,000
5Bjorne Lindberg271,000
6Sokraties Papavramidis253,000
7Vahur Tima234,000
8Glen Gaines217,000
9Elor Bratfors198,000
10Saviour Spiteri174,000
11Nicholas Osthus152,000
12Joseph Wilkinson134,000
13Stian Nostdahl105,000
14Noelia Ivars103,000
15Sami Korpela95,000
16Paula Ensink71,000
17Jan Sundkvist70,000
18Jordan Dumas59,000
19Lars Eklund50,000
Hugo Loustau Wins First Cash Game Challenge Session 16.05.2023 00:13 by The Festival Team

Hugo Loustrau joined the first Cash Game Challenge session a little late but made the most of his time at the action-infused €2/€2 no-limit hold’em affair as he booked a tidy profit of €416 good for 208 big blinds.

The player that wins the largest amount of big blinds throughout the designated Cash Game Challenges running twice per evening will win a free package to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3. While Loustrau is on the top of the pack now, we expect this to already be broken later today with tons of action going on the later €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha Cash Game Challenge.

Here is a look at some of the players that battled it out during the first Cash Game Challenge at The Festival Series Malta at Portomaso Casino.

Texas Knockout Draws Big Numbers 15.05.2023 23:59 by The Festival Team

€125 Texas Knockout
Level 7: 400/800 (800)
Entries: 74/130

The €125 Texas Knockout has been a big hit with 130 entries joining in on the action before late registration closed at the start of Level 7.

PokerCity reporter and Twitch streamer Tim Bakker is among the players in action along with The Festival Series regulars Sturla Hiller, Coolbet’s Svein Olav Eidsaeter, Jonas Kovacs, Optibet streamer Gatis Reigass, Sascha Manns, The Festival Series Nottingham Franke’s Flip Flops Champion Alexandru Talica and The Festival Series Head of Photography Mairo “EstonianWeirdo” Toom.

This is a fast-paced affair with 15-minute blind levels and €50 bounties on each player. Best of luck to all of the players and check out some of the early photos by Dominik Demcak.

Meet “Final 9” Comic Book Author Anish Patel 15.05.2023 23:50 by The Festival Team

Anish Patel is in the house and ready to play some poker. He also will be setting up a stand on the main tournament floor throughout the week as he not only enjoys playing poker but writing about it as well. That is something this author can relate to but I usually stick to the facts while Patel enjoys creating his own stories.

Patel is the author of the first robust comic book “Final 9.” This author has begun reading the book and likes what he sees so far. Patel brought many copies of the book with him for you to check out. He is happy to sign any book purchased and also has some cool t-shirts as well.

Check out what Patel had to say in an interview earlier today at The Festival Series Malta.

Great Run Short of Money for Haller 15.05.2023 23:17 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 14: 4,000/8,000
Entries: 19/79

Christel Haller

Christel Haller might be a familiar name to those that follow The Festival Series as in the past she has been part of our work crew handling all of the social media. The multi-talented Melvin Schroen is handling the social media responsibilities this time around and Haller is here at Portomaso Casino in Malta in hopes to win a tournament at The Festival Series.

Unfortunately, our hero won’t win the title on the first day of The Festival Series Malta as she just hit the rail in the Sviten Special event after nearly eight hours of play.

“I’m out of the Sviten Special,” Haller shared with us with some disappointment in her voice. “I had four hearts on an eight-deuce-three flop. He bet and I called as I also had the eight in my hand. Then he didn’t change any cards and I took one. It was a three but not a heart but did give me two pair on the board. He had a monster with a full house with sevens over sixes. We got it all-in after a nine came on the turn and I was still ahead for half the pot. However, he completed a straight after a five came on the river.”

Haller did much better than many others and did quite well considering this was her first Sviten Special tournament at a casino. We wish better things to come for Haller.

Meanwhile, in other news, the Sviten Special event is down to just 19 players with 11 making the money for at least a €350 min-cash. The winner will take home much more with a €5,200 top prize on the line. While this is scheduled for a two-day event, it is possible we will have a winner this evening. We will update further about this event early tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a look at all of the payouts.

Reporter in the Comms Booth 15.05.2023 20:32 by The Festival Team

This will be my final post until the recap in the blog for today. There is a good reason we are cutting it short as this author will be commentating the Cash Game Challenge this evening with the regular The Festival Series commentator George Sandford taking over duties starting tomorrow.

George Sandford
Jackson Opts to Punt Stack to Play Cash Game Challenge 15.05.2023 20:27 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 9: 1,000/2,000
Entries: 47/79

Joseph Jackson called us over. We were happy to oblige. He was in a rush and said I am going all-in this hand in the Sviten Special. Obviously, as it is a pot-limit game he needed someone to raise on him which happened. He got his stack in and tried to run away from the table.

He came back after the flop and without looking at his cards didn’t opt to exchange any cards. He was drawing dead in the hand with his opponent holding two pair but he held an ace and a king which were live on the seven-seven-trey flop. No love came and Jackson was off to play in the Cash Game Challenge.

Joseph Jackson
The Festival Series Record Already Broken 15.05.2023 20:19 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 9: 1,000/2,000
Entries: 48/79

Although not all players have arrived just yet as we are just on our first of seven days, a new record has been established on the opening day with the €250 Sviten Special attracting 79 entries for a €16,358 prize pool with late registration now closed.

The previous record was established nearly a year ago at The Festival Series Tallinn where 77 entries came out in full force before Frans Jonsson won the €4,012 top prize.

Frans Jonsson
Frans Jonsson
Photos From Day 1b of the PokerListings Championship 15.05.2023 20:01 by The Festival Team
Franke’s Flip-Flop Preview 15.05.2023 19:33 by The Festival Team

The Franke’s Flip Flops began during the welcome drinks with a handful of €20 flips. These flips are rake-free and the winners can use their winner’s voucher for any The Festival Series Malta event of their choosing.

The player that wins the most flips throughout this week will not only win a bunch of entries but also a pair of Franke’s actual flip-flops. This is not all, as this player will also be invited to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 valued at €1,600.

The flips will typically run every night from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the hospitality area on the main floor. Flips may run at other times, especially during hospitality package events.

Good luck to all of the flippers and may the cards treat you well!

Hospitality Events About to Begin 15.05.2023 18:40 by The Festival Team

Players that qualified online typically also won a hospitality package for two with events every day during The Festival Series Malta.

Those with the package can invite a friend or loved one as they are each for two people.

The first hospitality event kicks off today with Welcome Drinks at 7 p.m. just outside the tournament buy-in area. This is a perfect opportunity for a meet and greet while enjoying a tasty beverage or two.

You can still join us for the Hospitality Events even if you didn’t win a package. Contact one of The Festival Series Staff members to find out how you can purchase your pass.

Read more in our The Festival Series Malta article to find out the events on tap each day hosted by our Hospitality Host Anastasia.

Tribute to Doyle Brunson 15.05.2023 18:27 by The Festival Team

Unfortunately, Doyle Brunson, known to many as the Godfather of Poker, passed away last night at 89 years old. Brunson played poker for more than five decades and was highly influential in creating the history of poker.

The 10-time WSOP champion also nicknamed “Texas Dolly” was a legend before poker legends were born and transcended through poker, as many outside the game also know of him. His impact will be felt for decades to come.

The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk asked for a minute of silence in a beautiful tribute to Brunson.

Rest in peace Doyle Brunson and we wish his family the best of support.

Welcome to The Festival Series Malta 15.05.2023 18:00 by The Festival Team

We want to welcome all of our amazing players to The Festival Series Malta at Portomaso Casino. We prepared a short video to let you know about some of what to expect in Malta.

“OK, I Can Help” 15.05.2023 17:25 by The Festival Team

€250 PokerListings Championship Day 1b
Level 3: 100/300 (300)
Entries: 69/74

We were about to message a friend of The Festival Series and the creator of the backend of our blog Bjorne Lindberg when we saw him sitting on Table 8 with a short stack of 6,500. Although we told Lindberg that we didn’t need a small adjustment until tomorrow morning. Our conversation was on hold as he decided to take matters into his own hands and got busy with a hand.

Marc Schembri called a three-bet shove from early position by Lindberg from late position.

Bjorne Lindberg: A J
Marc Schembri: Q Q

Lindberg connected with his jack on the 9 4 J flop but got no further than that. Schembri didn’t need to improve but did so anyway with the 10 turn and 8 river completing a straight.

Lindberg’s full-time job is with PokerListings. So we do hope he gets back into his company’s signature event and has better success. We also would like to thank Lindberg for his technical assistance before The Festival Series began.

Chip Counts From Day 1a of the PokerListings Championship 15.05.2023 16:57 by The Festival Team

Although The Festival Series Malta officially began today, yesterday there were plenty of players around to get an early start with Day 1a of the €250 PokerListings Championship beginning a day before the official festivities.

Day 1a witnessed 89 entries with 13 players finding a bag into Wednesday’s Day 2 already in the money. John Forsman parlayed his 30,000 opening stack into 399,000 with Karl Sundin and Jonas Kovacs also finding big bags of over 300,000 in chips. Here is a look at the chip counts of the 13 survivors:

1John Forsman399,000
2Karl Sundin343,000
3Jonas Kovacs326,000
4Karl Gialanze232,000
5Marius Morel229,000
6Tanguy Pellerin227,000
7Michele Amirante212,000
8Lachezar Tsenov184,000
9Antoine Degiorgio152,000
10Benedetto Caruso148,000
11Jacob Dideriksen-Nielsen130,000
12Sinead Priestley77,000
13Allan Arjut22,000

Meanwhile, The Festival Series photographer Dominik Demcak, who is working alongside The Festival Series Head of Photography Mairo Toom, was busy snapping away some early photos of this event.

Volpin First Out on Day 1b of the PL Championship 15.05.2023 16:50 by The Festival Team

€250 PokerListings Championship Day 1b
Level 2: 100/200 (200)
Entries: 59/60

Day 1b of the PokerListings has already grown to 60 entries. It seems to be a certainty that Day 1b will be bigger than yesterday’s Day 1a which attracted 87 entries.

Fabrizio Volpin will need to re-enter if he wishes to find a bag into Wednesday’s Day 2 as he was the first player on the rail early on Level 2.

Meanwhile, Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk fired a second bullet into the Sviten Special, which grew to 53 entries and 45 players remaining. Franke got two hands in for his two bullets but also has time to get back in if he wants a third shot with the event not halfway through the late registration period.

At one point, von Zweigbergk was also the chip leader during Day 1a of the PokerListings Championship yesterday. We hope he didn’t punt his stack off just for us as we want the best for our hero but moments later he was busy joining this author for a birthday celebration.

“It might be an expensive week,” von Zweigbergk shared with the media about his rough start to today.

Early Photos From the Sviten Special 15.05.2023 16:31 by The Festival Team
Day 1b of the PokerListings Championship Begins 15.05.2023 16:06 by The Festival Team

€250 PokerListings Championship Day 1b
Level 1: 100/100 (100)
Entries: 32/32

The second of three opening flights has just kicked off in the PokerListings Championship. Players will start with 30,000 in chips and blinds increasing every 30 minutes. The field will continue to grow with unlimited re-entries permitted during the first 10 blind levels.

Jimmy Dewerdt, Sturla Hiller, Jari Porkka, and Eric Andersson are among the players in the Day 1b field.

Players will bag chips when the field is down to just 15 percent of the field with each player starting Wednesday’s Day 2 already in the money.

Yesterday’s Day 1a attracted 89 entries with 13 players bagging chips at the end of the day. John Forsman performed the best after bagging 399,000 in chips yesterday.

Six Paths to Win The Festival Series Bratislava Package 15.05.2023 15:49 by The Festival Team

The Festival Series may have outdone themselves this time as players in Malta will have the chance to win one of six packages valued at €1,600 to The Festival Series Bratislava at Banco Casino from Nov. 27 to Dec 3.

Here are how players can win a package:

The last path is something any player can do as you literally just have to play one cash game hand to get involved. We look forward to welcoming the package winners to Bratislava where we promise an amazing The Festival Series for its third visit to Banco Casino.

Jackson Wins a Slots Satellite? 15.05.2023 15:39 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 1: 100/100
Entries: 40/41

We caught up with The Festival Series Twitch streamer Joseph Jackson before the start of the Sviten Special tournament.

While we have seen Jackson playing two-card poker before, we have never witnessed him playing Sviten Special.

“Nothing is working playing poker,” said Jackson who fired two bullets yesterday during Day 1a of The PokerListings Championship. “Thankfully, I ran well in slots this morning and won €250. This covers my buy-in for today.”

Hopefully, Jackson can find a better run in the Sviten Special than he recently had in no-limit hold’em tournaments.

Joseph Jackson
“It Was Call, Call, Call” 15.05.2023 15:30 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 1: 100/100
Entries: 39/40

The Sviten Special tournament lost its first player and it was none other than our hero in The Festival Series founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk.

Franke will likely re-enter with unlimited re-entries permitted during the first eight blind levels but perhaps he will focus on one of the other events later in the day. In either case, Franke left the tournament area at least for now.

“Was it pot, pot, pot?” we asked Table 1 where Franke was sitting understanding that sometimes he likes to be aggressive preflop regardless of how strong his hand is before the flop.

“No, it was call, call, call,” responded both Nathaniel Brown and Philippe Laval from the table.

Laval apparently had the goods and had the early chip lead thanks for snagging all of Franke’s first stack.

Playing Four or More Cards 15.05.2023 15:21 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 1: 100/100
Entries: 34/34

A few new players got into the mix including Dutch poker player Sander van Wesemael, who calls Malta his home. We quickly said hello to our old friend that we enjoy seeing around the world but much less so recently and learned a bit about his plans for the week.

“I plan on playing only four cards or more,” van Wesemael shared.

Van Wesemael can also play hold’em as evidenced by the many deep runs we have covered over the years but in recent years loves PLO and mixed games.

Meanwhile, ACR Stormer Scott “PokerBrahs” Kenyon is in town after getting a taste of The Festival Series at its last stop at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. Kenyon is a popular poker streamer and is known to play all poker variants.

“I will be playing mixed games every day,” Kenyon shared. “The schedule is amazing and I already enjoyed some of the action last night.”

Sviten Special Begins 15.05.2023 15:12 by The Festival Team

€250 Sviten Special
Level 1: 100/100
Entries: 34/34

The Festival Series Founder Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk welcomed the Sviten Special players to The Festival Series Malta. Shortly after, the €250 Sviten Special kicked off with 30 entries.

Tuomas Roppanen won the £230 Sviten Special at The Festival Series Nottingham but thus isn’t in the field to defend his title. Barrie Deer and Franke were both on the podium in that event and are among the players battling it out for Sviten Special glory today.

Sviten Special author Martin Smith and mixed-game enthusiast Jeremy Tan both live in Malta and are in the field as are Christel Haller, Jonas Kovacs, The Festival Series Twitch streamer Joseph Jackson, and Oystein Brenden.

Christel Haller
Welcome to The Festival Series Malta 15.05.2023 13:12 by The Festival Team
the festival malta 2023 live blog

Welcome to sunny Malta for a week of amazing poker activity with The Festival Series Malta hitting Portomaso Casino from May 15-21.

This is our first visit to Malta and we have rolled out the red carpet for everyone in attendance with 49 numbered events! Players have come from near and far including to enjoy our amazing gaming festival including a record amount of qualifiers via our plethora of partners.

Poker players will not only enjoy plenty of no-limit hold’em action highlighted by the The Festival Series Nottingham €550 Main Event but also plenty of games in other poker variants including Sviten Special, Open Face Chinese Poker, pot-limit Omaha, 8-game, and more.

We used the term gaming festival as The Festival Series is more than just about poker. Players will also have the opportunity to battle it out in Blackjack, Roulette, Sports Wagering, and Slots tournaments. While these are typically known as house games, in this case, players will instead be battling against each other. In other words, there is some strategy in both games, so pay attention to how your opponents play and adjust accordingly.

Any player that wins any event will not only be awarded a handsome cash prize but also a one-of-a-kind portrait drawing of their winner’s photo.

Cash Game Challenge

Cash game players also have something to look forward to as not only will there be ring games in a variety of poker formats around the clock but also a live-streamed Cash Game Challenge where the top performing player of the week will be awarded a €1,600 package to The Festival Series Bratislava on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at Banco Casino.

Franke’s Flip Flops

Franke’s Flip Flops was an amazing twist added to The Festival Series last year. It has proven to be popular and, of course, it will be back for The Festival Series Malta.

Every day, a designated table will be created for rake-free flips to a variety of events. Players can get lucky without a house edge to enter an event of their choosing for a fraction of the cost and win something even more significant. The player that wins the most flips will win a package to The Festival Series Bratislava on Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at Banco Casino and a coveted framed pair of Franke’s actual flip flops.

Alexandru Talica won the most flips in the Franke’s Flip Flops at The Festival Series and will attend The Festival Series Malta compliments on the house. The emotions run high in these flips and we recommend giving them a try or at least watching some of the action from the rail.

Alexandru Talica

Today’s Action

While The Festival Series Malta officially kicks off at 3 p.m. today, some already got into the action yesterday as it featured Day 1a of the €250 PokerListings Championship. The event boasts three opening flights with players starting out with 30,000 in chips and will battle it out with 30-minute blind levels.

Yesterday’s Day 1a attracted a banner field of 89 entries with 13 players bagging chips at the end of the day. John Forsman performed the best after bagging 399,000 in chips yesterday.

Today we expect many more players not only in this event but also can enjoy other events including the €250 Sviten Special, the €70 Super Satellite to the Main Event, and the €125 Texas Knockout with the €550 Main Event kicking off on Tuesday. In addition, there will be two cash game challenges this evening.

Of course, Franke’s Flip Flops will also run today and the casino is hosting cash games 24 hours a day in a variety of poker variants and stakes.

3 p.m.Event #3: €250 Sviten Special
4 p.m.Event #1: €250 PokerListings Championship
8 p.m.Event #4: €70 Super Satellite to the Main Event
8 p.m.Event #5: Cash Game Challenge (€2/€2 NLHE)
10 p.m.Event #6: €125 Texas Knockout
10:30 p.m.Event #7: Cash Game Challenge (€2/€2 PLO)

Our coverage will begin at the start of the Sviten Special at 3 p.m. Stay tuned this week to check out the fun and see who will become the latest The Festival Series champions in Malta.