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
|4||Dario Barone||United Kingdom||€20,300|
The Main Event witnessed 71 players earning at least a min-cash of €1,000 for nearly double the €550 buy-in.
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.
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.