Malta Poker Open 2010 – Powered by XLbet.com
‘Stage 1’ Live Satellite at the Portomaso Casino, St. Julians, Malta.
A total of 53 players registered for the MPO2010 ‘Stage 1’ live satellite at the Portomaso Casino on the 21st September 2010. The event kicked off at 8:05pm when the casino dealers started off the first shuffle of the night and dealt out the initial hand to all the eager poker players at the table.
The ‘Stage 1’ satellite qualifiers cost players €10 + €1 and give them a chance at starting their journey to the Malta Poker Open 2010 main event – which is worth €1,100. At the ‘Stage 1’qualifier, players are each given 5,000 chips as their starting stack, and have the opportunity of placing two re-buys and one add-on before the break.
A re-buy allows players to buy-in once again if they lose all their chips or hold less than 5,000 chips at any point before the first break, which essentially gives players a second chance just in case they get unlucky the first time round. The ‘stage 1’ tourneys are limited to 2 re-buys, so players do not take advantage of their opponents by playing recklessly just because they may afford to do so.
An add-on is similar to a re-buy in the sense that if the player wants to, he may pay an additional €10, but this can only be done at the beginning of the first break and only if the player is still in the game. Players may have any amount of chips when purchasing an add-on, and it is seen as more of a top-up rather than a new ‘life’ altogether. In the ‘Stage 1’ satellites, players are given 5,000 chips for both the re-buys and the add-ons done during the game.
By the beginning of the first break, some players had exited the tournament making space for an additional 3 players to join in on the action, taking up the starting count of 50, to a total of 53 players. By 10pm this number had dropped to 48 with Ryan Lanzon at the lead holding 38,000 chips at the 7th level.
At the break, we found some time to ask a few questions to the current chip leader, and one of the ‘new kids on the block’ – Ryan Lanzon, a Poker player, who recently turned 25 and is now legally permitted to play in Maltese land based casinos.
“I used to live in the UK and started seeing poker on TV. This gave me the ‘Poker Bug’ and I soon started playing with some of my mates. When I came to Malta, I started playing in tournaments – and I have to admit – I wasn’t so successful in the beginning of my Poker journey. This gave me the drive to learn more about the game, learn about strategy, bankroll management and the other factors that make the difference between a winner and a loser at the felt. I kept following Poker on the television stations which aired some of the best games, and learnt a lot from watching the players take on each other at some of the most prestigious tournaments and cash games ever televised. From there I learnt about reading opponents, table behaviour, image development, and all that stuff”
“Now I’m finally 25 and came to the casino to start experiencing poker in a more organised environment than what I’m used to. The dealers know what they’re doing and the environment is much more organised. The first time I played, last week, I was a bit shocked with the different plays I was faced with, but at the end, I guess if you master a way to tackle players you can prevail and keep improving”
“Playing at the casino compared to playing at home games is fairly different I guess. The primary reason being that there is substantial age difference. In addition, casino players tend to play a completely different strategy so obviously you have to adapt.”
“Last week, when I played, it was my first time in the casino and I got eliminated 4 players before reaching the money, but this time I’m confident that I’ll make it. Before I started playing in the casino, I used to play at home games with friends, and entered in approximately 20 – 25 tournaments. I had a relatively high success rate, by placing in more than 50% of them.”
“When it comes to online play, I find it a much harder environment to get good results in. I don’t particularly like sitting at a desk, and often get bored when I’ve been staring at my PC for hours on end. I associate that environment to work, so I’d rather play Poker in a more sociable live environment with players I can speak to and build bonds with.”
“Tonight’s tournament was set out brilliantly, I’ve been waiting to play in the Malta Poker Events tourneys since last year when there was the Malta Poker Open 2009. It’s great that we have our own ‘Official’ Poker tournament here in Malta, it’s encouraging for players like myself who wish to participate with like-minded players in an international level tournament and not having to leave the islands to do so. Two thumbs up for your events! You’ve gone a long way in the live poker industry here in Malta. As avid poker players, we really appreciate your dedication to one of our favourite hobbies”
The numbers dropped further by 11pm when 36 players remained in the game at the 10thlevel of blinds. Ryan Lanzon was still doing fairly well with 48,000 chips but was the third biggest at the table which was now led by John Walker with 62,000 followed by Ivan Farrugia with 55,000.
Kent Berg was at the lead of the tournament with 160,000 chips by midnight which was then down to 16 players. Kent was followed by Mathese Attard with 100,000 and Celia Portelli in 3rd with 80,000 chips. Here, players were at the 14th level of blinds, at 3000/6000 with 500 chips being paid out as antes.
With a prize-pool that reached €1,440, there were a total of 12 prizes going out to the participants. Each of the tournament winners would eventually be awarded with a €110 + €10 seat for the next MPO2010 super satellite, which is taking place on the 3rd October 2010. The emerging players of the ‘Super satellite’ would in turn win their seats to the €1,100 main event of the Malta Poker Open 2010.
Since there were 16 players left in the game, there were another 4 players to go before the tournament came to a close. This number was reduced to 3 players to go, when Joe Smith, holding AK went up against Marthese Attard holding AA. Marthese was already ahead with the best possible starting hand, and luckily for her, her hand kept it’s strength all the way to the river, sending out Joe in 16th place.
Giuseppe Cali managed to knock out another player when he held KT against his opponent’s 44. Cali was marginally behind at the start of the hand, but managed to make it through hitting a pair of 10’s on the turn, and sending out his opponent in 15th place.
Benny Hili holding KdJh went up against an opponent holding A3 off suit when the flop showed 99Q with two hearts on the deck. The KJ took the lead with the Jack of hearts, and eventually won the hand with a runner runner flush. The tournament was down to 13 players at that stage.
An attempt by Marthese Attard – one of the bigger stacked players at the table – to end the tournament was foiled when John Walker pushed holding a pair of 10’s. Marthese called with J8 and the dealer followed to uncover 7A5, 2 on the turn and an 8 on the river, giving Walker a much needed double up at such a late stage of the game.
The game came to a close when Maude Smith, David Zammit and Kent Berg went into a hand which left Maude as the winner with her pair of 10’s sending out David in 13th position.
The 12 remaining players and winners of the tournament were:
Marie Therese Attard
The next edition of the ‘Stage 1’ satellite for the Malta Poker Open 2010 – Powered by XlBet.com is taking place on Tuesday the 28th September 2010. Players will once again compete for ‘Super satellite’ seats to the €1,100 Malta Poker Open main event.
The next edition of the ‘Super satellite’ tournament will take place on the 3rd October 2010 and so far 32 players from this month’s qualifiers and 15 others from the August satellites have tickets for this event. That’s a total of 47 players who are already listed for the upcoming ‘Super satellites’. There will be another ‘Super satellite’ hosted on the 28thOctober as well as several SnG ‘Super satellites taking place on the 29th October 2010, so players still have 3 events at which they may win their main event seats to the Malta Poker Open 2010.
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