The Malta Madness Poker tournament was held at the Casino di Venezia from the 22nd till the 25thSeptember 2010. The tournament included a €990 team tournament event as well as €1,100 No Limit Hold’em main event which took place between the 24th and 25th September 2010.
The opening Team Tournament started off with a characteristic entrance of the players aboard a traditional Maltese Luzzu [boat], where the players were greeted by the Poker Idol angels offering champagne to the participants upon their entry.
The Poker Idol, Malta Madness Team Tournament attracted 18 teams made up of 3 players each for a total of 54 players. This took the pot up to a sizeable €16,200 of which the biggest share was won by the team “We bet, You fold” – made up of Arvin Golrang, Bob Ekelund, and Hannes Persson – who took home €8,100 for their placing. Second and third place were filled by teams ‘Muhaha’, and ‘Team 8850’, winning €4,860 and €3,240 respectively.
The €1,100 main event Day 1 kicked off on Friday the 24th September. A new fancy addition to the tournament was the use of live stream of the tournament which was available to viewers who couldn’t make it to the venue. Viewers could log onto the Malta Madnesssite in order to see the action as it as happening live, a new development in Maltese Poker Tournaments. The event attracted 73 players taking up the prize pool to €73,000.
A variety of players participated in the event including several European nationals as well as some of Malta’s Finest Poker players, including Andrew Cutajar sponsored by XLBet.comand Gordon Mifsud a regular winner and ‘in the money’ finisher. Jacob Nielsen, another XLBet.com player was also in the tournament on the second day, in 20th position with 33,600 chips. There were also some other European professional players renowned in both the live and online fields present at the tournament, which helped in creating a highly competitive atmosphere at the felt.
By day two, 27 players were left in the tournament which had Nick Jensen in the lead with 130k, Roberto Nulli in second with 129K and Marcus Naalden in third with 94k chips. From all the Maltese players who took part in the tourney, Gordon Mifsud was the only one left, with 46,100 chips in 12th position.
By the later hours of the tournament, at the final table Anna Colley, sponsored by Power Poker was looking like the favourite to win. She was the chip leader at the time with over 380,000 chips, followed by Luca Franchi, Julius Malzanini and Victor Dedek.
At 2:30am, Julius Malzanini lost his place in the tournament when he collided into a pair of kings held by his opponent – Luca Franchi. Malzanini, who was already slightly crippled from an earlier hand, gave a great performace and took home €8,030 for his efforts.
By that point, Franchi was in the chip lead with over 700,000 chips, followed by Anna Colley with approximately 550,000 and Dedek trailing with 168,000. Blinds had reached 10k/20k/ with antes of 2k and an average stack of 456,000
A few hands later, however, Luca Franchi got unlucky on the flop when he entered a pot against Anna Colley. Anna pushed all-in with her pocket K’s pre-flop and got called by Luca, holding AA. The dealer delivered a flop which showed 10s8hKs and followed up with a 9c and 9d on the turn and river. In doing so, Anna hit trips Kings [and full house] versus Luca’s paired aces [and paired nines], taking a massive chunk of his chip stack from 700,000 down to around 150,000. That hand was a big turnaround in the tournament and Anna was then the new chip leader with over 1 million chips stacked in front of her, with her two remaining opponents miles behind.
With not many chips left at Franchi and Dedek, the players had no choice but to go for pushes in order to regain some grounds and cover distance to reach Anna Colley. Luca managed a double up on Victor going up to 300,000 leaving Victor very badly wounded but Victor retaliated minutes later thanks to an Ace on the River which helped him double up and leave Franchi with what one could call ‘A chip and a chair’. Franchi, did not get dishearted though, and quickly bounced back pushing all-in with 44 against Victor’s K2. His hole cards maintained strength all the way to the river, winning the hand and putting him in better shape to tackle the uphill struggle to reach Anna Colley
By 3:15am, the blinds had reached 12,000/24,000 with ante of 2,000. As his final struggle, luca pushed with 3T and got called by Anna Colley who paired a J on the flop sending Franchi out in 3rd place. After a log and arduous game, Anna Colley and Victor both congratulated Luca Franchi on his wonderful performance and great competition he offered them. Franchi, who was one of the favourites to win at the beginning of Day 1 and Day 2, was given lots of support by his fans at the tournament, both at the venue as well as various chats which took place around the tournament. He took home €10,950 for his placing.
Before the heads up battle between Anna Colley and Dedek kicked off, Anna wished good luck to her opponent and was soon drowned by yells of support by her fans and onlookers who gathered up around the final table for the final battle for first place.
Victor started the heads-up battle with 380,000 chips, whilst Anna was in possession of more than 3 times that amount. Although she was so far ahead, it would only take one mistake at this stage to bring Dedek within reach of equality, so Anna was still not in a position to relax.
A few hands into the heads-up, after checking his hole cards, Viktor pushed all-in with 88, aka Snowmen, and Anna called with 77. As she was slightly behind her opponent, Anna didn’t lose confidence and actually commented that 77 is a ‘Lucky hand in Malta’- and was she right?! A 7 was the first card which came out on the flop – as though she magically called it out of the deck! Followed by QA, A on the turn and T on the river, giving her the advantage with trips 7’s. This final hand gave her the title of the Malta Madness champion and €20,000 for first prize, whilst Victor claimed €13,870 for coming in second place.
The Malta Madness tournament came to a close at around 3:30am, when champagne bottles started flowing and fans, photographers and interviewers gathered round the winners to congratulate them on their performance at the two day tourney. After collecting their cash prizes, the players went off to celebrate after their long journey to the final table.
Malta Madness main event winners
1st: Anna Colley €20,000
2nd: Viktor Dedek €13,870
3rd: Luca Franchi €10,950
4th: Julius Malzanini €8,030
5th: Nick Jensen €5,840
6th: Jan Jachtmann €4,380
7th : Massimiliano €Greco 3,650
8th : Dmitri Heldeew €2,920
9th: Emil Eranosyan €1,170
The Malta Madness tournament also featured a €220 side event which was taken down byMalta’s Jackie Cachia, who won €4,180. Andrew Cutajar also got a very respectable 6thplacing winning €680.
The 2 upcoming tournaments include:
– Swedish Championship [Swedes only]: 27thSeptember – Casino Di Venezia
Players who would like to participate at the Malta Poker Open 2010 – Powered by XLBet.com may visit the Malta Poker Opensite. Qualification options include direct buy-in, live qualifiers, or online qualifiers on XLBet.com and Jetbull.com
Malta Poker Events – Remarkably known for
– Premium Poker Event Management