Host: Malta Poker Events
Venue: Portomaso Casino
Main Event: €220 Freeze-out
Side Event: €50+5
Registered Players: 49
Tourney Duration: 8 Hours
Another fantastic live poker tournament took place on Sunday the 29th November 2009 in the charming Maltese Islands at the heart of the mediterranean. The ‘Kings and Queens of November’ by Malta Poker Events drew together 49 players at the Portomaso Casino, St. Julians for November’s €220 Freeze-out tournament, taking up the prize pool to almost €10,000.
7 Poker players were paid out at the end of the poker tourney which had Dave Meli in first place winning €3,000 for his efforts. Meli protected his stack and took it up to over 180,000 when he started the heads up on the final table against Sergei Cutajar who placed in second, winning himself €2,100. Utilising an extremely aggressive heads up strategy, Meli managed to take over Cutajar’s stack and win himself the title of ‘Poker King of November 2009’. This is Meli’s second consecutive win in the end of month tourneys, after he placed fourth in last months Halloween €220 tournament taking home €1250 winning a total €4250 in the last two events.
The tournament started when players took their seats by 16:30hrs after being handed their 7,000 chips. They slowly started building up their stack further in the moderately paced 30 minute blind levels, by taking shots at their opponents hands – checking, betting and smartly folding their way to later stages of the game.
By 9pm, the tournament had been reduced to 2 tables which took the average stack to around 17,000 chips – 2 hours later, players were at the final table in bubble territory with 8 players left in the game and an average stack of 43K.
With Dave Meli in the chip lead, the players at the final table in this month’s end of tourney were the following:
– Dave Meli
– Sergei Cutajar
– Patrick Mifsud Tommasi
– Jackie Cachia
– Tania Apap
– Giovanni Tozzolino
– Andrea Wirth
– Kevin Price
Some action from the final table –
With the blinds at the 12th level at 1,500/3,000 + 300 antes, Kevin price pushed all-in holding A10. Kevin was quite low stacked at this stage yet took his chances with a relatively strong hand. Dave Meli called Kevin’s push whilst holding QQ, a hand which maintained its strength after the board showed 4 7 6 5 9. Kevin exited the tournament in what could have turned out to be a straight, had an 8 come out on the board, yet as the river card was uncovered, he lost his entire stack to Dave and left the tourney in 8th position, almost placing himself in the money.
At the 13th level of blinds, now at 2,000/4,000 + 400 antes, Andrea Wirth [Germany] was down to her last 30,000 chips. She took her chances at an all-in with a very respectable K 10 – a move which got called by Sergei Cutajar who held A K at the time. The dealer uncovered a 2 7 9 3 9 giving Sergei the advantage with his A high and pair of 9’s on the board. Andrea went out in 7th position winning €330.
6 players were left in the Game and the action started heating up considerably as the game dynamics started to allow for a wider range of starting hands – Here, Tanya Apap, pushed her 11K stack into the pot and got called by Patrick Mifsud who held a much larger stack in comparison at around 60K. Tanya’s K5 went up against Patrick’s A10 who hit a pair when a 10 came out on the board. Tanya’s hand didn’t gain any strength by the river which sent her out in 6th position winning a respectable €475.
A head to head clash took place towards the later stages of the game when Segei Cutajar pushed all in with 70K after seeing the flop show 9 6 7. Sergei had top pair with a chance for a straight yet this didn’t stop Patrick Mifsud from insta-calling him – Patrick had already hit his straight on the flop with his 8 9. The turn came out as a nine which now gave Sergei a set of 9’s, yet he was still behind Patrick’s straight. The river card came out as a 7 which paired another 7 on the board giving Sergei a runner-runner-Full house, and a terrible bad beat to Patrick, whose call didn’t cover Sergei’s stack, which sent Patrick out in 5th position with €700 in cash as his prize. Sergei was now up to 143,000 chips and leader at his table with Dave Meli now in a not so distant second.
Jackie Cachia, the last remaining female at the table pushed her 23K stack whilst holding Q10. Sergei was at a slight disadvantage with his J10, yet called Jackie’s bet in an attempt to take over her entire chip stack and widen the gap between him and Meli. The community cards showed a 7 A 5 K 3 which didn’t strengthen Sergei’s hand and gave Jackie a quick double up, which came as a blessing at this stage of the game. Jackie was now at 46K.
The next hand saw two pocket holders go head to head with KK held by Dave Meli who pushed all in and got called by Giovanni Tozzolino, who held 10 10. Dave kept his advantage throughout the flop turn and river cards, winning 20K in chips and sending out Giovanni in 4th position with €1,115.
3 players were left in the game at this stage and Sergei Cutajar was still at the lead followed by Dave Meli and Jackie Cachia. In an attempt to double up whilst holding Q9, Jackie pushed once again and got called by Dave with his K 10. The flop showed a 4 T 7 giving Dave a pair which turned into a set when another 10 came out on the turn. Jackie took her final blow when Meli’s hand changed into a full house when the second 7 came out on the river. Meli was now in the chip lead holding over 180K when he sent out Jackie in 3rd position with €1,580 as her prize.
A relatively balanced heads up between Sergei and Dave started at 1:00Am with each of them holding approximately 50% of the tourney chips. The blinds were 3k/6k + 500 antes at the 14th level.
Dave, a regular and experienced live player who frequently makes it to the final table in his live and online tourneys was quite comfortable in this environment. A heads up specialist, with a well sized stack to complement his position was ready for the challenge against his slightly less experienced yet competent opponent Sergei.
Within a few hands, using an extremely aggressive strategy, Dave managed to dominate Sergei and take over a large proportion of his stack, reducing it to around 30k before giving Sergei his final blow.
The final hand had Sergei start at an advantage while holding QQ when he pushed all in and got called by Dave when he held 6 9. The board showed a 7 5 7 which kept Sergei in the lead, but didn’t maintain its strength when the turn and river cards came out as a 6 and another 6 which gave Meli the lead with a set of sixes.
Dave meli won the tournament sending Sergei out in 2nd with €2,100. Dave went home with €3,000 in this months €220 tourney.
A €50+5 side event was also hosted for players who either busted out early or didn’t make it into the €220 tournament.
The final hand of this 10 player sit ‘n’ go saw some interesting action between Henning Frick and Etienne Roe. Etienne Roe flopped a straight with his Kh J and pushed against Henning who held AK at the time. The J on the turn gave an advantage to Henning who now had an Ace high straight, yet lost the hand when the river gave a K high flush to Roe. Etienne Roe won the tourney taking home €250 for placing first.
Dave Meli [Left] and Sergei Cutajar [Right]
€220 Tourney Results:
1. Dave Meli – €3000
2. Sergi Cutajar – €2100
3. Jackie Cachia – € 1580
4. Giovanni Tozzolino – € 1115
5. Patrick Mifsud – € 700
Photos of the Event may be viewed at the Gallery at MaltaPokerEvents.com. A highlights video of the tournament will also be online in the coming days.
The December satellite tournaments are back starting from Thursday, the 3rd December at the Portomaso Casino. Winners of these €37+3 satellite events will win their seats into the 2 day Poker NYE Special Edition €330 taking place at the Portomaso Casino on 29th and 30th December 2009. Check out the events section at Maltapokerevents.com for the full live schedule.