Select players of the online poker portals Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Casino could be in a seat at the Malta Poker Festival (MPF) in November. The sites are offering a chance for several lucky winners to earn a trip to participate in the NHLE Grand Event, which will run from Nov. 1-6 at the Portomaso Casino and offers a guaranteed prize pool of €500,000.
Beginning Sept. 5, the sites will run four satellite tournaments daily. The tournament champions will win a prize package worth $2,500 that includes the event buy-in, a 5-night stay at the Hilton Malta Resort, two tickets for an exclusive MPF VIP Player party, travel money and additional gear.
The MPF has its starts in the Battle of Malta (BOM) tournament. However, a legal dispute with the owners of the BOM brand forced the event founder, Ivonne Montealegre, to change the name. In announcing the MPF, Montealegre stated, “With an operation like the one we have at Portomaso Casino, breaking records for the past seven years, it makes sense to take the tournament to the next level. We have been listening to our clients and have recalibrated the entire operation to focus on good quality poker in the most spectacular destination in Malta.”
According to tournament director Danilo de Bernardis, the Portomaso is the only casino that could be considered for this type of event. He said when the MPF was first announced, “Portomaso Casino is the only venue on the island capable of hosting an event of this magnitude. We have both the manpower and the facilities to create a comfortable, ethical, and professional environment to conduct an unforgettable poker experience. Our team is as strong as it gets after working together for 7 years.”
The BOM had been a highly successful event in Malta the past couple of years. Last year, Israeli amateur Nadav Lipszyc emerged from a field of 2,074 entries to win the Main Event and bank $232,585. It was his first recorded cash win—and one of only three—according to The Hendon Mob.
There are a number of different events scheduled for the festival, including, NLHE, Pot-Limit Omaha, several “Hendon Mob” challenges, a ladies event and even a Black Jack tournament. On top of the poker fun, there are also several cocktail and player parties scheduled. The full schedule of activities can be found on the Malta Poker Festival website.