Originally set to take place from October 13th to 21st 2020 in the spectacular Eden Arena at the InterContinental Conference Centre in St Julian’s, the popular mid-stakes poker festival Battle of Malta 2020 has moved to the virtual felt, hosted at GGPoker Network (GGPN). Natural8 as one of the lead operators will take part in the festival which will now be held online and runs from November 1st to 22nd. The Battle of Malta Online features 15 ring events with more than $30 million in guarantees across all Ring and Side events.
Four of the 15 ring poker tournaments feature a seven-figure guarantee and the three highlights on the schedule all provide multiple flights to give poker players from different time zones the opportunity to qualify for the weekly final on Sunday.
|Event #7: $215 Siege of Malta||$215||$2,000,000||8th Nov|
|Event #11: $55 Mini Main Event||$55||$1,000,000||15th Nov|
|Event #14: $550 Main Event||$550||$3,000,000||22nd Nov|
The final tables of these three highlight tournaments will also be broadcasted with cards-up coverage and commentary on the GGPoker.TV channel the following Saturday.
Furthermore, Event #6 High Roller Championship with a buy-in of $5,250 will also take place on November 8th and boasts a guarantee of $2,000,000. Some of the biggest names in the world of online and live poker are expected to add this event to their schedule on a busy Super Sunday.
All 15 ring events, except for Event #2 $100 Gaming Employees Championship, provides a guarantee of at least $200,000 and takes place on either Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. Satellites to enter the competition for a fraction of the cost run will be offered. Furthermore, the top 50 players of the series through all Ring and Side Events will share more than €50,000 in Battle of Malta Live packages.
The very first time the Battle of Malta – a poker event aimed for the low and mid-stakes players in Europe – took place was back in 2012 and Nicodemo Piccolo became the first Malta Main Event champion after besting a field of 349 entries. Ever since then, the number has been growing significantly and the field surpassed 1,000 entries only two years later when Antoan Katsarov came out on top after beating 1,446 opponents.
In 2015 and 2016, near identical field sizes emerged with 1,804 and 1,813 entries whereas another leap followed in 2017. Nadav Lipszyc took home €200,000 in a massive field of 2,074 entries yet nobody expected the sheer magnitude that the festival would take on one year later.
For the first time, the €555 Main Event boasted a guarantee of €1 million and that amount was crushed thanks to 3,816 total entries. With €1,850,760 in total paid out, it was French online poker streamer and Malta resident Julien Stropoli that walked away as the winner and boosted his bankroll by €168,500.
The last live edition of the festival in 2019 then saw a new record set once more with 4,657 entries, which created a prize pool of €2,258,645. Former WCOOP Main Event champion Steven van Zadelhoff made it all the way to heads-up on his chosen home soil and cut a deal with Serghei Lisii. They left the title and extra money up top to play for and van Zadelhoff earned €217,167 for the efforts, Lisii padded his bankroll by €247,167.