Unibet Open Malta 888poker XL Inferno

Feature Coverage
Feature Coverage
Day 1 completed

Scott "Sco" McMillan Wins the Esports Battle Royale IX (€5,000)

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Scott "Sco" McMillan
Scott "Sco" McMillan

It took until nearly 2 a.m. local time before the Esports Battle Royale IX concluded with Unibet ambassador Scott "Sco" McMillan as the victor. McMillan defeated Jordy "MojoOnPC" Janssens heads-up to win the first place prize of €5,000 and the bragging rights. Janssens received €3,000 for his second-place finish. Kevin "Papaplatte" Teller finished third and won €2,000. Alan "hotted89" Widmann bubbled the event.

Scott "Sco" McMillan is the leader of Method, a highly successful team in World of Warcraft. Alongside being a streamer, he has expanded Method’s success into a growing esports organisation. McMillan discovered poker a few years ago while on a trip to Las Vegas. He follows in Thijs 'ThijsNL' Molendijk's footsteps as the reigning eSports Battle Royale champion.

Unibet Poker Esports Battle Royale IX Results

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (EUR)
1Scott "Sco" McMillanUnited Kingdom€5,000
2Jordy "MojoOnPC" JanssensBelgium€3,000
3Kevin "Papaplatte" TellerGermany€2,000
Scott "Sco" McMillan
Scott \"Sco\" McMillan, winner of Unibet Open eSports Battle Royale IX

Moolhuizen, Murariu Advance on Day 1 of the €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup

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Mateusz Moolhuizen
Mateusz Moolhuizen

The first day of the €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup is done with 24 out of 190 players making their way to Day 2. Among those that made it into the money are two-time Unibet Open winners Mateusz Moolhuizen and Dan Murariu, Dara O'Kearney, Erwann Pecheux, Kaarel Lepik and Rauno Kiviloo.

All players are guaranteed at least €550; the first place prize for tomorrow's winner is €13,680.

Day 2 seating and chipcounts are as follows:

TableSeatPlayerCountryChip Count
141Charlo AzzopardiMalta270,000
142Mark VellaMalta367,000
143Erwann PecheuxFrance52,000
144Richard KruseNorway215,000
145Kyosti IsbergFinland398,000
146Kaarel LepikEstonia380,000
147Steven PenneyUnited Kingdom58,000
148Daragh DaveyFrance89,000
     
161Matthew MichelFrance200,000
162Mateusz MoolhuizenNetherlands178,000
163Ronni BorgNorway416,000
164Lawrence BonniciMalta351,000
165Darren McCarthyFrance384,000
166Domenico BarbbuzzaItaly291,000
167Joakim RahmouniNorway38,000
168Timo HirvolFinland154,000
     
501Robin SevastikSweden121,000
502Tom WiggersNetherlands205,000
503Eran BacharIsrael370,000
504Antoine DegiorgioMalta116,000
505Tomas KseneviciusLithuania439,000
506Dan MurariuRomania171,000
507Rauno KivilooEstonia377,000
508Pawel ZawadowiczPoland94,000

Alex Henry, Founder of Deepstack Open: "15% of the Field Paid Their Entry in Cryptocurrency"

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Alex Henry
Alex Henry

For the first time in its nine-year history, the Unibet Deepstack Open has joined forces with the regular Unibet Open tour to host the special €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup. The cup is an appetizer for those playing the Main Event later this week and drew 190 entries, each paying up the affordable buy-in to kick things off in Malta.

The Deepstack Open is a long-running poker series, predominantly active in France, Italy and Spain. Being combined with the Unibet Open here in Malta gave us time to catch up with Alex Henry, founder and president of the Deepstack Open.

"The Deepstack Open is a brand I've created with Alex Dreyfus ten years ago and I've been working with Unibet.fr for the last five," Henry said. "The brand is quite well known in France, Italy and Spain. Usually, the buyin is at €550; we created a special smaller last year of €330 so players can win a package for €500. For the regular tour, we usually draw around 300 to 500 players. A €300 event like this is usually slightly smaller as it's placed, like now, as an opener for a bigger festival."

The buyin is one of the first things that catches the eye when looking at the Deepstack Open: a multi-day event at a relatively affordable cost. Offering this range of buyins, the Deepstack Open prides itself on being one of the main poker tours in Europe specifically focused on recreational players.

Asking why Henry chose to specifically cater to these type of players with the Deepstack Open, he said the following:

"When we created this tour ten years ago, back then, to have a good tournament with a nice structure for this kind of buy-in, the options were at a minimum. I'm a poker lover, but I couldn't buy in for 1K just for fun. There was a real need for players to play a tournament with a great structure, a two- or three-day event, so that's why we went with the €300-€500 range."

Alex Henry
Alex Henry at the €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup

Catering to the recreational player requires a different approach than the big tournaments around the world, and one of the things the Deepstack Open separates itself with is by offering freerolls to players who busted an event. Players can win tickets as well as a share of the leaderboard prize pool of €15,000, giving players a second or even a third chance to win something at a Deepstack Open event.

Another thing that stands out — one that not necessarily benefits the recreational player only — is the acceptance of cryptocurrency. With crypto's being all the rage in the poker world, the Deepstack Open has become the first international poker tour to embrace the blockchain, allowing their players to buy in with Bitcoin or Ethereum as well as fiat currency.

"We offer our players the option to buy in with cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, it's not allowed in every country yet, but we accept it wherever it's allowed. With the event we did in Mauritius, we had 15% of the field paying their entry in cryptocurrency. Especially players from Russia or the Middle East like buying in with Bitcoins or Ether," Henry stated about the use of digital currency at his event.

It's one of the many ways the Deepstack Open tries to differentiate itself among the ever-increasing field of live tournament series. With 12 stops lined up in its ninth season, the tour isn't planning on winding down any time soon. Upcoming stops include a regular €550 event in San Remo this weekend, as well as stops in Lloret Del Mar, Varna and Gujan Mestras.

For more information about the Deepstack Open, upcoming events and how to qualify or register, go to www.deepstackopen.com.

Photos by Tambet Kask / Unibet Open.

Alex Henry
Alex Henry at the €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup

190 Players in the €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup

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2017 Unibet Open Copenhagen winner Kaarel Lepik
2017 Unibet Open Copenhagen winner Kaarel Lepik

With late registration closed, a total of 190 players have registered for the €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup, and 58 of them are still in contention. The prize pool and payouts haven't been announced yet as of writing.

A lot of notables are in contention to claim the Cup, including Unibet Poker Ambassadors Espen Uhlen Jorstad, David Lappin, Dara O'Kearney, Ian Simpson and Dan Murariu, as well as former Unibet Open winners Mateusz Moolhuizen and Kaarel Lepik.

Unibet Poker Ambassador Daiva Byrne on QueenRules and Ladies at Unibet Poker

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QueenRules Cards
QueenRules Cards

For as long as poker exists, the king has outranked the queen. At the Unibet Open in Malta, however, the king will have to take a backseat: it's time for QueenRules!

Originally launched at International Women's Day back in 2017, QueenRules adds a fun little spin on a Hold'em game. Playing No-Limit Hold'em with QueenRules is the same as playing a regular NLHE game, with one exception: queens outrank kings. This means king-high flushes will be losing to queen-high flushes and a queen-high straight ({Q-}{K-}{J-}{10-}{9-} will take down a king-high straight ({K-}{J-}{10-}{9-}{8-}). The order of all other cards remains the same — aces are still best.

On Friday, May 18, at 6 p.m. local time, a special €90 QueenRules Ladies Event will commence with the QueenRules in play. It'll be the second time the tournament finds its way onto the Unibet Open schedule.

PokerNews caught up with Unibet Poker Ambassador Daiva Byrne, the host of the QueenRules Ladies Event, to talk about this special event.

"We ran the first QueenRules Ladies event at the Unibet Open in London and it was a huge success, attracting 52 players. Women loved the concept and it was lots of fun!" Byrne said.

It comes as no surprise that the 'Baltic Blonde' has been selected to act as host for the QueenRules Ladies Event. The Lithuanian born professional, who currently resides in the United Kingdom, has racked up €130,782 in lifetime winnings over the course of her career, with cashes in 7 countries. She's also cashed in the WSOP Main Event last year, finishing 952nd for $16,024.

Dehlia de Jong & Daiva Byrne

Besides her on-felt accomplishments, the Unibet ambassador has been very active to promote and celebrate women in poker. In March 2017, Byrne founded the Ladies at Unibet Poker Facebook group, a vibrant female poker community that sports over 1,700 members, making it one of the largest communities for female poker players in the world.

"I update the group daily with relevant articles, group member final table appearances and wins, live streams, media articles and podcasts featuring female poker players," Byrne said about her involvement. "We also run regular competitions. One of them is a special Unibet Ladies Freeroll every Sunday, which is the biggest female online tournament. We're attracting over 500 runners on a weekly basis."

The community provides a welcome place to all female card sharks and enthusiasts out there, and Byrne touts on the positive atmosphere in the group.

"Everyone in the group is friendly and welcoming and we plan meetups at the live events. I am very excited about seeing community regulars and meeting new players in the QueensRules Ladies Event at the Unibet Open Malta!"

Although the king still reigns supreme in most places, the ladies are putting up a fight! For more information about QueenRules, visit QueenRules.com to read everything about this special initiative.

Photo's by Elena Vareiko / Unibet Open

Welcome to the 2018 Unibet Open Malta!

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The 2018 Unibet Open Malta starts today
The 2018 Unibet Open Malta starts today

Welcome to the coverage of the 2018 Unibet Open Malta! For the first time ever, the Unibet Open and Deepstack Open join forces to create a buzzing five-day poker event on the sunny island of Malta. The event is being run in conjunction with Casino Malta and the Intercontinental Hotel in the vibrant city of St. Julians to set the stage for five days of heated poker action in the Mediterranean hotspot.

The two-day €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup starts today and highlights of this event will be provided here. At 6:30 p.m., cards will also be in the air for the popular Esports Battle Royale IX. Alan "hotted89" Widmann, Sophia "djarii" White, Scott "Sco" McMillan, Fabien "Kiocsgo" Fiey, Kevin "Papaplatte" Teller, Rafael "Venikraft" Eisler, Colin "Koolein" Wijnholds, Lisa "STPeach" Vannatta and Jordy "MojoOnPC" Janssens will take part in a €10,000 freeroll. The winner of the freeroll will take home €5,000, the runner-up receives €3,000, and number three walks away with €2,000. The event will be live streamed with hole cards and on a 30-minute security delay.

As the €1,100 Unibet Open Main Event starts tomorrow, on Thursday, May 17, we have several stories lined up for today. There will be an interview with Alex Henry, founder of the Deepstack Open, of the premier European amateur poker tours, we'll speak with popular streamer Alan "hotted89" Widmann, who recently joined Unibet as an ambassador, and Daiva Byrne will talk about the Ladies of Unibet Poker and the QueenRules event on Friday, May 18.

Enjoy the PokerNews coverage of the 2018 Unibet Open Malta from the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Julians.