Scheduled on November 1 to 6, the Malta Poker Festival will be held at the Portomaso Casino, Saint Julian's, the heart of Malta's vibrant nightlife.
Set over 6 days in the first week of November, this massive poker festival brings together a lot of different nationalities enjoying several poker tournaments. The amazing and vibrant local poker community awaits to show all players a great time!
The Malta Poker Festival has been established by the former organizers of the Battle of Malta, who went on separate ways and created a whole new exciting poker fest that is geared towards the players. At the Battle of Malta's Main Event last year, the number of participants reached 2,074. This time at the first Malta Poker Festival, Event Director Ivonne Montealegre strongly believes that many of the loyal players will attend this inaugural event.
The main reason Montealegre, who is actually a licensed psychologist with a masters degree in psychology, chose to separate from her previous venture in Malta and decided to make something new was to formulate a festival that is "independent and ethical."
She also emphasized that the Malta Poker Festival she created is all about the players, and that players can speak with her any time about anything related to the festival, "I wanted to re-calibrate. For example, the Malta Poker Festival is absolutely independent. There isn't an affiliate owning it which was a big conflict of interest in the past. They would start charging CPAs to the operators, which is ethically compromising in many ways for the sponsoring operators."
"So for the Malta Poker Festival, I think I corrected these things and it is a pure brick and mortar operation that caters to online operators. I want to make the Malta Poker Festival the tournament where every operator wants to be in and not one particular network like others are doing, thus catering to the network's demands. It has zero ethical compromises and is a highly ethical situation to catering to everyone in the poker world, most importantly the players. It is a beautiful thing that we are not tied up to a sponsor and this really guarantees a good ethical system."
The First Ever Malta Poker Festival Grand Event
The main highlight of the Malta Poker Festival is the €550 buy-in Malta Poker Festival Grand Event which will run November 1 to 6, consisting of three opening flights and a colossal €500,000 guaranteed prize pool.
The Malta Poker Festival Grand Event only allows one re-entry per flight. To be able to reach the guarantee, the event must pull in 1,000 entries. Montealegre said that it's an easy feat to accomplish, "I expect a thousand players easily of course. We have been working very hard on satelliting a bunch of players. Keep in mind, I have been doing this for seven years in the same casino and handling the same business; I know my numbers pretty well. So by September, I already knew I was covered. Easy game."
While it is the norm in other poker festivals to have satellites held on just one poker site or network, Montealegre isn't limited to one sponsor but instead has made a clever move to team up with multiple online partners such as RedBet and Videoslots. She added, "The Hendon Mob is also a fantastic partner. We are also working with the Let's Go Poker Facebook group and in general it is very grassroots marketing. But in 2019, I expect many more online operators."
Of course, while the Main Event is considered the main highlight of the Malta Poker Festival, it is just one of the many events on the schedule. Montealegre said each event has its own value, "Every event we are making its own flavour. There are no second chance tournaments. Every event is important on its own."
Some of the events will be:
- November 3 - €100 Ladies Event
- November 3 and 4 - €1,320 NLH Grandmaster High Roller
- November 4 and 5 - €250 Hendon Mob Championship NLHE
- November 5 - €275 Israeli Poker Championship Tour
- November 5 and 6 - €120 APAT Maltese Amateur Poker Championship