One of Europe’s largest tournament series, The Battle of Malta, returns in October and its title sponsor, 888poker, is bringing out their big guns for an all-out war on the felt.
Nearly the entire roster of 888poker ambassadors will be making the journey to the beautiful island of Malta from October 15-22 to enjoy some sun, sand, and the on-the-felt competition.
Vivian Saliba, Ana Marquez, Sofia Lovgren, World Series of Poker Main Event champion Martin Jacobson, and the newest addition to the roster, Daria Feshchenko are headed to Malta to play host to the players and take their seat in the €555 Battle of Malta €1,000,000 guaranteed Main Event.
“Malta is a wonderful island and the casino is located next to the sea,” Sofia Lovgren said. “You can take a swim in the seat or a morning jog along the beach and walk there before the poker tournament. You can also enjoy a nice dinner with a nice sea view at the dinner break.”
In fact, it wasn’t a difficult sell to get the 888poker pros to agree to make the trip to Malta. It’s not only the amazing weather, the fantastic food, and the island life that attracts players to the tournaments, it’s the competition and the camaraderie.
“The live stops are amazing for so many reasons, being able to visit new places while playing poker and also getting to see friends and other poker players are one of those aspects,” said Vivian Saliba. “Poker is still a social game and I can say that some of the closest people in my life I’ve met in the poker world.”
“It’s truly a privilege to get to travel the world and represent and give poker the attention it deserves,” Martin Jacobson added. “Interacting with fans always fuels me with energy and the passion I have for the game.”
Those very same people that are happy to meet the pros away from the table are the ones that are sitting between them and the Battle of Malta trophy. It’s a minefield for the ambassadors, as most players know who they are and what they’ve accomplished in poker.
“I find for the most part people tend to play more cautious but then you have others who can’t wait to run a big bluff against you. It’s important to pay close attention to be able to differentiate between the two,” said Jacobson.
“I’ve experienced players acting and playing very weird against me and I’m pretty sure that was personal,” said Saliba. ”On the other hand, some players may think a pro makes magic with the cards so they decide not to play a hand against you because they might feel intimidated.
“We are all there to play our best and at the table, there is no mercy,” said Lovgren.
The Battle of Malta Main Event is a five-day affair but throughout the entire week, there are plenty of side events with buy-in starting as low as €60 and going as high as the €1,320 High Roller. Both in the card room and outside there’s something for everyone to look forward to.
“To speak honestly, I feel like a tourist!” said Daria Feschenko who will be representing 888poker in her first event outside of her home country of Russia. “I’ve never been to Malta, but I’ve seen the pictures. The area looks great and the weather should also be awesome.”
“I’m super excited to explore Malta as it will be my first time there,” Saliba said. “I am also looking forward to meeting my teammates and play live poker!”
“I’m looking forward to being able to play a relatively small buy-in with a huge prize pool. I’ve never player Battle of Malta but I’ve heard that it’s a great atmosphere and a lot of fun all around.”
For Ana Marquez, the weather may be nice and she enjoys hanging out but she’s got her eye on one thing and one thing only.
“Getting the Battle of Malta trophy. It’s pretty cool.”
The 2019 Battle of Malta takes place from October 15-22 at The Intercontinental Hotel in the seaside town of St. Julian’s. Online satellites are running right now on 888poker.