The first live super satellite for the Malta Poker Open – Powered by XLBet.com kicked off at 4:30pm on Sunday the 5th September 2010 at the Portomaso Casino. 66 players participated in the €110+€10 freeze-out tournament each competing for a €1,100 main event seat for the Malta Poker Open.
Players were handed 15,000 chips at the start of the tournament which featured 30 minute blind levels, giving them a relaxed blind structure to play through the tournament duration which was expected to last between 7 and 9 hours.
32 of the players present had gained entry to the tournament through the weekly ‘Stage 1’ satellites which took place throughout the month of August 2010. These stage 1 satellites featured a €10+1 entry and took place every Tuesday at the Portomaso Casino. The remaining 34 players bought into the tournament directly on the day of the event.
A few hours into tournament, by 8:00pm, players had decreased to 51 in all, from a starting count of 66 originally. They were at the 6th level with blinds at 250/500 + 50 antes and the average stack was 19.4k. Players all held relatively close chip stacks yet early indications showed Jason Deguara as a favourite, already at an early stage of the multi-table poker tourney. Some hours later, by 11pm, players were further reduced to 20 players and held an average of 49,000 chips, with Jason Deguara still in the lead – a position he held consistently throughout the duration of the tournament till that time.
By the 11th level of blinds, Jacques Balzan Demajo, took the lead of the tournament after holding a sizeable chip stack throughout, and was closely followed by Domenico Tortomasi and Jason Deguara. These 3 ‘big boys’ at the table held approximately 1/3 of the entire tournament chips amongst them.
As the blinds started take their toll on some of the lower stacked players, we saw two players leave the scene after attempts to make a double up. Before his exit, Joe Mangion had a very strong starting hand, AK but was one of the short stacks at the table when he pushed all in with 8.7k. He got called by Nicolas Kostardis holding a respectable 88. Nicolas’s hand kept it’s strength up to the river and sent out Joe in 18th place. Joe was followed by Fabien Mezanger who was also relatively low stacked, although he was playing a relatively tight game to conserve his chips. Being in an unfavourable position he made an all-in attempt at the blinds but didn’t have strong enough cards to dominate his opponent who called his bet and sent him out in 17th place.
By the time the clock struck midnight, players were at the 13th level and the average stack had rose to 70,000chips. Blinds were at the 2.5k/5k level and 500 chips were being paid out by the players as antes. At that point, Jason Degauara was back in the lead with over 180k chips, followed by Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Tortomasi with 120k.
Andrea Miceli [Italy] was the next player out, when holding AJc, he pushed pre-flop with 45,000 chips whilst on the BB. Miceli got called by Michele Petrone [also from Italy] who held AQ. A queen was the first card on the board as the dealer uncovered the flop, pairing Petrone’s Q giving him the advantage on Miceli’s hand. The turn and river cards followed up yet there were no signs of Miceli’s hand getting any stronger and Miceli was taken out in 14th place.
Roman Dours, a young French player, was relatively low stacked by the thirteenth level of blinds yet he doubled up and then again tripled up in a matter of a few hands which propelled him to inches away from the chip leader, Jason Deguara. Ramon had then achieved a far safer position giving him a better chance at reaching a ‘money finish’ in the tournament.
We also saw a great comeback from Franco Bugeja, who was reduced to just 500 chips and took them up to 20,000 in a matter of a few hands, first hitting trips Q’s and then a straight. Franco was still in ‘murky waters’ with a sub average chip stack, yet he performed a noticeable feat at such a late stage of the tournament.
A fairly debatable hand took place right before the break when Michele Petrone at the big blind called an All-in bet by Jacques Balzan Demajo. Jacques, who was close to the lead for a big part of the tournament was holding 54k in this particular hand, when Petrone called his bet whilst holding pocket 5’s. Jacques’s AT doubled paired on the flop which helped him take over Petrone’s seemingly loose call as 12 players were left in the game. Jacques took his stack up to 105k whilst Petrone went down to 51k from over 100k a few minutes before.
Players went on their final break by 12:30am before entering the 14th level of blinds. Almost all the players were equally stacked, with the exception of Jenny Tumino, the only remaining female player at the tables, who held approximately 21,000 chips.
Once players were back from the break and back into the action, Thomas Harvey, was on the big blind which was 7,000 chips at the time. Dan Hully, who was under the gun, raised the blind to a 20,000 bet which was uncalled by the rest of the players at the table. Harvey retaliated with an all in bet of 44,000 chips whilst holding AQ. Dan Hully called Harvey’s bet with his pocket ten’s and the dealer started off uncovering the flop, which showed a 7 8 9 on the flop, a Jack on 4th street, giving Hully a straight, and an Ace on the river, pairing Harvey’s Ace. Harvey’s pair was not strong enough against Hully’s pocket ten’s which had developed into a straight by the turn. Hully covered all of Harvey’s stack sending him out in 11th place. Jenny Tumino was the next player out in 10th place.
After Jenny Tumino’s exit, in 10th place, the 9 remaining players at the felt were all relatively equally stacked. The lowest stacked player at the table was Michele Petrone with 35,000 chips. All the other player were in the 100k territory.
A heads up between Jacques Balzan Demajo and Daniel Bonello – almost equally stacked – resulted up with Jacques on the losing end and started his next hand with barely enough for the blinds. Jacques didn’t last much longer after this face off with Bonello. An unfortunate turnout as Jacques was one of the most consistent players throughout the tournament who maintained a strong lead for a big part of its duration. Jacques won a €110 + €10 Super satellite seat for his placing
The next player out was Michele Petrone who held 9T whilst on the button. An opponent under the gun pushed all in pre-flop with AQ and all other players folded. A Queen on the flop gave Petrone’s opponent the advantage and kept his strength all the way to the river. Michele went out in 8th position, winning himself a ticket for the next edition of theMalta Poker Open – Super satellite.
The game came to a close at 1:35AM, when Federico Vitale pushed all-in holding 99. Vitale got called by Romain Dours with KQ. A 4Q8 came out on the flop giving Dours an advantage, which got further strengthened on the turn when a King came out giving him two pairs. The final blow came out on the river with another Queen which developed Dours’s hand into a monster full house with Queens full of Kings – demolishing Vitale’s frail pair. Dours held a larger stack than Vitale sending him out in 7th place.
The winners of the Super Satellite for the Malta Poker Open – Powered by XLBet.com were:
1st to 6th – Won a main event seat to the Malta Poker Open 2010 – Powered by XLBet.com!
From left to right:- Dan Hully, Jason Deguara, Reuben Vellden, Mark Vella [Tournament Director], Daniel Bonello, Romain Dours, Domenico Tortomasi.
7th Federico Vitale
8th Michele Petrone
9th Jacques Balzan Demajo
10th Jenny Tumino – €80
The Malta Poker Open ‘Stage 1’ satellites for the month of September kick off on Tuesday, 7th September at the Portomaso Casino. Tournaments will follow up the same structure as the August ‘Stage 1 satelltes’ – €10 + €1 rebuy/add-on tournaments. Tourney’s will kick off at 8pm and players are advised to register as early as possible to ensure seating at the tournament.
The next ‘Super Satellite’ for the Malta Poker Open 2010 – Powered by XLBet.com will take place on the 3rd October 2010 at the Portomaso Casino. Players are invited to win their seats for this through the weekly ‘Stage 1’ satellites every Tuesday or buy-in directly at the Portomaso Casino, any day throughout the month of September.