Any Maltese history nut, or really any regular patriot, will be quick to point out Malta’s war-stricken past at most given opportunities. From the famous 1565 Great Siege of Malta to the island’s assistance during the two World Wars, it is safe to say that our ancestors have witnessed a battle or two. The next battle on the books, though, is a little less bloody. In fact, it comes in the form of a poker tournament, taking place between the 2nd and 7th of November! To be precise, we’re talking about The Battle of Malta, organised by PokerListings – a hold’em tournament that is considered to be one of the most inviting in Europe and that has even has been named by the European Poker Awards as the best tournament in Europe with a buy-in that is less than $2000.
Credit: Battle of Malta by PokerListings Facebook Page
In fact, the standard buy-in for The Battle of Malta is in the ballpark of €550, with VIP packages exceeding this number quite a bit. This can seem pricey, especially if you weren’t planning on entering such a tournament at all. However, this actually considered to be a low price for such a large-scale poker tournament. Plus, should you win, €550 will start to feel like change for the bus fare!
Why is this? Quite simply because the 2016 edition of The Battle of Malta has a whopping €1 million prize pool. However, getting a portion of the money is not going to be easy, because there’s a projected attendance of over 2000 people. In other words, if you are interested in participating, make sure that you have some skills to back your game up before Lady Luck shines down on you.
The Battle of Malta wasn’t always this gargantuan, though it certainly didn’t take a long time for it to become so. The first edition took place in 2012 and had a total of 342 participants – which is still considerably impressive for a debut poker event.
It only took another edition for The Battle of Malta to become fully established as Malta’s biggest poker tournament, and it wasn’t long before the rest of Europe caught on either.
In fact, 2014 saw one of the most notable editions of The Battle of Malta, with a prize pool that exceeded €700,000 and a huge influx of professional poker players. Among all the participants, there were over 30 professionals from all over the world. In 2015, the tournament once again broke its own record of attendance with over 1,800 people, and a prize pool of €875,000.
This brought a new edge to the tournament, as The Battle of Malta was always intended to be a people’s tournament – something that any casual poker enthusiast could take part in, and indeed it still is. The fact that you could be rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest shoulders in the game, though, perhaps even beating them if you’re good enough, is quite exhilarating!
So let’s take the discussion to 2016. What can poker fans expect during this year’s edition of The Battle of Malta? Essentially, an edition that keeps to the tradition of escalating further with every passing year. This will be the first year that The Battle of Malta has a €1,000,000 prize pool, and you can bet that the top 3 players of this year will each win a very, very generous chunk of that pool. In fact, it’s safe to say that they’ll win over €100,000 each.
You can also expect some really interesting side games in addition to the main event, such as the PLO Knights Crusader, BOM Crazy Pineapple, and the Siege of Malta Second Chance.
Like in previous editions, The Battle of Malta 2016 will be taking place at the Portomaso Casino, which is in St Julian’s. The PokerListings’ site still gives you the option of booking a seat, so if you’re up for the challenge, make sure to book as soon as you can!
Of course, there is the possibility that you might end up disappointed, especially if you only heard about the event through us and don’t quite manage to book your place on time. No worries!
If you’re craving some casino action, you can do just that at one of the many casinos that are located in Malta, such as the Dragonara Casino, which is also in St Julian’s, and the Oracle Casino in St Paul’s Bay.
If you’re really a diehard poker fan, you might even want to wait for next year’s edition of The Battle of Malta! Why not? Every year has proven itself to be substantially better than the last, and we have no reason to believe that 2017 will be any different!