Day 1b completed
Day 1b completed
Day 1b of the European Poker Tour Malta Main Event attracted 460 players to the Portamaso Casino, which along with Day 1a's 184 runners brings the current total to 644. However, that number is sure to go up some as late registration is open until the start of Day 2.
After eight 75-minute levels of play, approximately 285 players remained with Poland's Jaroslaw Sikora (153,700) and France's Ludovic Riehl (150,000) leading the way. Others who bagged big stacks were Jens Lakemeier (138,000), Faraz Jaka (120,900), and Ari Engel (109,000), just to name a few.
Speaking of Jaka, he won an particularly interesting hand in the last level of the night. It was one worth a massive 96,500, and he won it at showdown without so much as a pair. You can read more about that hand by clicking here.
Last season, France's Jean Montury made history by becoming the first-ever EPT Malta champ, a feat he accomplished after topping a field of 895 players – which created a €4,340,750 prize pool – to take home a €687,400 first-place prize along with a SLYDE championship watch.
Montury was in action on Day 1b, but his title defense came to an abrupt end shortly after returning from dinner. His demise came after Mamouni Smain opened for 1,200 and then called when the defending champ three-bet to 3,600. Smain proceeded to check-call a bet of 3,600 on the two-heart flop, and then checked the non-heart turn. Montury bet 7,200, Smain check-raised all in, and Montury called off his remaining 3,000 or so.
The river was a blank, meaning Smain's flopped set help to send Montury to the rail where he joined the likes of Luca Pagano, who was the first player eliminated on Day 1b; EPT8 London champ Benny Spindler; EPT first-timer Doug Lee; 2011 World Series of Poker runner-up Martin Staszko; Team PokerStars' Fatima Moreira de Melo, Pier Paolo Fabretti, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, and Andre Akkari.
Akkari actually fell in Level 4 (100/200/25) when he opened with a raise and Engel three-bet holding . Akkari ripped 35 bigs with , Engel called, and the board ran out clean. With that, Akkari was eliminated from the EPT12 Malta Main Event while Engel jumped out to the early chip lead.
Others who advance from the Day 1b field include three-time WSOP bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche (98,000); Mike "Timex" McDonald (88,900), who was fresh off his win in the EPT12 Malta €25,000 High Roller; WSOP APAC champ Scott Davies (36,000); newly minted WSOP Europe champ Kevin MacPhee (27,200); and Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden (87,200), Marcin Horecki (76,500), Mickey Petersen (43,700), Matthias De Meulder (21,000), and Liv Boeree (16,900).
Day 2 is set to kick off at Noon local time on Tuesday with the plan to play six more levels. Of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture all the action, so be sure to tune in then. While you wait, check out video of Sarah Herring's four-wheel Malta adventure:
The tournament staff just announced there will be three more hands before bagging and tagging for the night. We're headed down to the field to capture any last-minute action and to compile a list of chip counts. Stay tuned for those as well as a full recap of the Day 1b action.
After former EPT champ Kent Lundmark raised from the small blind, Spain's Mario Moral Rodriguez three-bet all in from the big for what looked to be 5,000 or so. Lundmark made the call and had his opponent dominated.
The board ran out , and Lundmark sent the Spaniard to the rail.
Bart Kuiper opened with and got no less than three people to call. The flop came and Kuiper made a continuation bet of 2,500. One player shoved for 18,000 total and Kuiper called with his flopped trips. Kuiper had to dodge the hearts as his opponent had , and succeeded in that objective with blanks on turn and river.
Shaan Siddiqui opened under the gun for 1,500 and Luis Rodriguez, who was to his direct left, made the call. Action folded to the player in the big blind, who also called, and three players took a flop of .
The player in the big blind checked, Siddiqui bet 2,000, and Rodriguez folded. The player in the big blind called, but ended up folding to a bet of 3,500 on the turn.
Meanwhile, Griffin Benger has been eliminated from the EPT12 Malta Main Event.
Faraz Jaka was sitting behind quite a big stack and when he got up from the table to stretch his legs, we asked him if he had won a big hand. "Yeah, I won a quite interesting hand." Jaka told us what had happened.
The player in seat 1 opened to 1,200 in the previous level (250/500). The player in seat 4 three bet to 3,000 from the hijack and Faraz Jaka was sitting in the small blind and four bet to 7,200. The big blind and initial raiser folded, seat 4 made the call.
The flop came and Jaka check called a bet of 6,500. Jaka check called another 11,500 on the turn and an off suit hit the river. Jaka checked, and called the 22,000 shove that followed with nothing but . His opponent had even less, showing a red for absolutely nothing.
And so the 96,500 pot went Jaka's way, while the player in seat 4 exited the tournament in the second to last level.
Poker players often ask their opponent’s to show the bluff and it’s something Mustapha Kanit and Remi Wyrzykiewicz actively wanted to do earlier today. Learn more over at the PokerStars Blog.