IPT Malta 2010 – by Pokerstars.it
The IPT Malta made it’s debut on the Maltese islands a few days ago at the Portomaso Casino. The event, which was co-hosted by Pagano Events – Italian Poker Tournament coordinators – was one in a series of stops for the Italian Poker Tour, brought about by Pokerstars – Market leader in the online poker industry.
The event accumulated over 380 players for a €2,000 + €200 No Limit hold’em tournament, resulting in the biggest prize-pool ever to feature in a local poker tournament reaching almost €750,000. The Portomaso Casino proved once again, that they are at the top of their ‘game’ providing players with a fantastic tournament from registration up till the prize giving ceremony which took place at the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Players started on Day 1A and Day 1B with 20,000 chips on the 11th and 12th November 2010, and progressed through the 75 minute blinds throughout day 2 and day three, till the final day on the 16th November 2010.
Italian Sergio Castelluccio was a clear early favourite, when he managed to lead the tournament by the start of Day 2 in possession of 159K chips ahead of another 154 players. Castellucci was followed by Michal Polchlopek holding 148K chips and Cipriano Basilio with 138K.
Castelluccio maintained his lead onto Day 3 where he started with 801K leading the 29 strong poker tournament, showing that focus and strategy are both qualities which can see a player consistently make it to the top.
The final day of the €2,000 + €200 main event started on the 16th November with the following chip distribution:
Seat 1 Sergio Castelluccio 968.000
Seat 2 Lars Jesper Persson 1.082.000
Seat 3 Oleksandr Sharov 985.000
Seat 4 Roberto Tassi 537.000
Seat 5 Johan Philip Siraback 1.248.000
Seat 6 Edoardo Scimia 1.200.000
Seat 7 Basilio Cipriano 269.000
Seat 8 Michal Polchlopek 1.393.000
Following his stellar performance all the way to the final table, it came to us as a bit of a shock when we saw Castelluccio as the first player out at the final table. After collecting his prize, we took Sergio aside to get some insight of his experience at the IPT Malta 2010.
“Ive been playing poker for the last three years. My passion started when playing online, which I kept up for the first year, after which I eventually moved onto the live poker scene. I find myself extremely comfortable in the live environment and for whatever it may be worth, I have already sat at 4 final tables at the IPT tournaments.”
“This was my first time playing poker in Malta, and I loved it. The organisation was fantastic, and the Portomaso Casino is a really great venue for these kinds of events. We all received top treatment in our journey to the final table. I will surely return, most probably for the upcoming EPT circuit taking place in Malta at the Portomaso Casino next year.”
“As regards to my progress throughout the tournament, I had a very good start, and played my best throughout the first 3 days of the tournament, taking the lead by the start of both day 2 and day 3. From then on however, I was a bit disappointed with the turnout as I was card dead for the remainder of the tournament, and played it as best I could with the cards that were being dealt to me. The few times I actually caught good cards, they were dominated which put me in a riskier situation.”
“Today I started with an average stack and in 2 or 3 unlucky hands, I found myself short stacked and then the inevitable happened. My K 9 went up against my opponents J 3, but he managed to hit trips 3’s by the turn, sending me out in 8th position”
“I’m looking forward to play at other tournaments of this level in Malta, see you in 2011!”
We returned to the tournament area for an update on the chip count which was now led by Polchlopek
The next player out was Roberto Tassi, also from Italy after a heads up against Philip Siraback when the Swede’s A Q hole cards got paired on the flop and turn. Tassi went out in 7th taking €22,500 for his placing.
Basilio Cipriano had a great run throughout the tournament, and was one of the last remaining Italian players at the final table. Holding AQ, he pushed 457K chips in retaliation to Sharov’s bet on the 10 J 4 flop. The 5 5 held by Sharov gave him the confidence to call and the dealer proceeded to dish out a 10 on the turn and a 7 on the river, taking away any hopes for a straight or overpair for Cipriano. The Italian was sent out in 6th position with €30,000 as his prize.
After Cipriano’s exit the chip count looked as follows, with Sharov in the lead:
The only remaning Italian at the table Edoardo Scimia, held 996k before entering his final pot for the tournament. Holding 7s8s, Sharov opened with a 72k bet whilst under the gun. He was followed by a fold from Sirback and a 215K raise by Scimia AhJd [button]. Sharov replied with a shove and after some well deserved thought, Scimia went for the call.
The board instantly gave a blow to Scimia’s confidence, when 7 7 5 gave trips to Sharov, a Jack on the turn paired Scimia’s but the 3 on the river left Scimia behind Sharov in what was ultimately the Italian’s final hand at the tourney. Scimia’s placing won him a respectable €36,000 for placing 5th.
With no Italians left in the game, and just 4 players left, Sharov took his aim onto Persson, when he called Persson’s [J 10] push. Sharov’s A7 was behind at the flop, when Persson paired his 10 on the 2 5 10 flop. The turn showed a 4 with Persson still in the lead, but the river came out in favour of Sharov as a 3 which completed his straight A – 5. A rather unexpected turnout as unlikely as runner runners get, Persson left the final table in 4thplace with €56,000 to soften the bad turnout of his final hand.
The final 3 players were all in for big money with the top three payouts as:
Sharov had a spectacular run throughout the entire tournament, with an exemplary performance at the final table. He was eliminating his opponents with sniper like precision and was in for another all or nothing move against Swede Philip Sirback. A pre-flop all-in and call by the boys with Sirback In possession of K8 and Sharov holding A9, the flop showed a 7 3 7 5 A, giving the advatange to Sharov, eliminating Sirback in 3rd place, winning €76,000 for his efforts.
With two players left at the felt, it was time for some top quality heads up action. Sharov and Polchlopek started out with 4.9 mil chips and 2.73 mil, with Polchlopek as a 2:1 underdog. The players started off with an extremely tight strategy, but Polchlopek slowly started to open up in order to capitalise on a window of opportunity. Polchlopek’s strategy eventually showed it’s fruits when he managed to equalise and eventually dominate Sharov with an A high versus Sharov’s K 10 as the final hand, walking away with the €190,000 first prize.
The action continues in Malta thtoughout the month of November with the EMOP 2010 at the Casino di Venezia and the GSOP Live tour at the Portomaso Casino.
More information about the upcoming events may be found on Malta Poker Events – The online portal about the Maltese Poker Scene.