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At a fast-paced final table that only lasted five hours, Israel’s Lipszyc pushed through to take down the €200,000 top prize in his first big live poker tournament.
In the last hand his pocket fours held up against the A-4 of runner-up Yaron Borenstein.
The story of Lipszyc’s journey to the Battle of Malta title is the stuff poker dreams are made of.
Lipszyc, who said “99% of the players in this field had more experience than me,” won a satellite in his hometown in Israel that gave him a full package for the Battle of Malta.
He then crusied all the way through a field of 2,074 players. It was the biggest field ever at the Battle of Malt and Lipszyc was stunned and overwhelmed when it was over.
“I think that Daniel Negreanu entered my body and played for me,” said Lipszyc in the aftermath of his win. “I can’t believe this was my own performance.”
“I Don’t Read Books on Poker”
“All I did was play my instincts. I don’t read books on poker. I don’t study. When I play online, I play for one or two Euro. I came here with basically no money in my pocket. I barely had money for breakfast.”
“You might not believe it but this is the first live event I’ve ever played except for the satellite. I’ve never known what I was really good at. I think I know it now.”
It’s going to be difficult to top that, though, as the farm manager Lipszyc just won the largest prize the Battle of Malta has ever paid out – €200,000!
Nadav Lipszyc came into the final table as chipleader but, as the dynamic of a finale goes, other players did gain some ground.
In this case it was Asbjorn Elvevold from Norway who turned into Lipszyc’s biggest threat. Elvevold eventually finished in third place.
The final table was a duel between Israel and Scandinavia. Four of the players were from Israel, while the rest of the field consisted of three Norwegian and two Swedish players.
While the Scandinavians are traditionally a strong force in the Battle of Malta, it was the first time that one country brought forth four of the last players.
Fredrik Akerholt from Norway was the first player to go. He was looking for a double up with pocket queens that didn’t hold up against A-K of Borenstein.
Jonas Hähnert was next about an hour later. He was involved in the exact same situation, playing A-K vs the queens of Elvevold, but this time the queens won.
Hähnert is the first player to make consecutive final tables at the Battle of Malta, which is probably the best performance there’s been at the BOM. Last year he finished in ninth place and this time he improved by one spot.
Dor Adda, who’d been chipleader for a long time on Day 3, eventually bowed out in seventh place in the very next hand. He also lost a flip to Elvevold.
The Final Six
Norway’s Per-Eirik Koi lost a big hand against Borenstein when he ran J-T into pocket aces and busted soon after. Borenstein continued his run as just another hour later, he found queens again and took out his fellow countryman Avihai Benshosham in fifth place.
By then, it was Joakim Wickström who had shown the most resilience at the final table. He had started the day as the second-shortest stack but picked his spots wisely and won a couple of flips when he really needed to.
His time had come, though, when he didn’t want to get pushed around by the big stack of Nadav Lipszyc and pushed all-in from the blinds with Q-Js against a button raise from the Israeli.
Unfortunately, Lipszyc had A-K and called. The last Swede found flush and straight outs on the flop but nothing hit so Wickström finished in a very strong fourth place.
The Top 3
With stacks of 7 million for Borenstein, 13 million for Elvevold and 30 million for Lipszyc we went to the top three spots. Borenstein was getting short and it looked like there would be a Norway-Israel final, but the poker gods had other plans.
Nadav Lipszyc opened with Q-4 and Elvevold called with K-J. The board ran out A-T-8 — K — J, and while Elvevold found two pairs on turn and river, this became a runner-runner straight for Lipszyc.
Elvevold couldn’t find a fold to Lipszyc’s push on the river and we had an all-Israeli heads-up. Lipszyc began with 42 million to Borenstein’s 8 million and although Borenstein managed to double up once, the end came fast.
Borenstein took a stand with A-4 and Lipszyc called with pocket fours. No ace on the board and the sixth Battle of Malta main event had found a winner.
You can find all the results and payouts of all Battle of Malta 2017 events on our results page. The High Roller final table is still running but all the results will be available within 24 hours.
Battle of Malta Main Event Final Table Payouts
Nadav Patrick Lipszyc
Fredrik Ronneberg Akerholt
And this concludes the 2017 edition of the friendliest and – according to the European Poker Awards – best low buy-in tournament in Europe.
We would like to thank everyone for coming, we congratulate the winners, and we’d like to invite every player who hasn’t been to the “BOM” to make the experience next year.
It took three days and almost 24 hours of sheer playing time to turn the largest ever BOM main event field into a table of just nine lucky finalists.
Here’s how it happened.
Main Event Day 3 – Rapid Bust-outs
63 players started the penultimate day of the Battle of Malta 2017 and we expected it to be a slow race to the finish line.
Instead, what happened was a bust-out bonanza and within just three hours we were down to the last three tables.
But it wouldn’t stop there. An hour later we were redrawing for the last two tables and before 9 PM the final table was all set.
As it turns out, it’s going to be a battle between Israel and Scandinavia.
Nadav Patrick Lipszyc is now the player to beat, as he leads the pack with 11.6 million of the overall 50 million in chips.
His fellow countryman Avihai Benshoham is hot on his heels, and behind him two Norwegian players are looking for their chance to take over – Per-Eirik Koi and Asbjorn Elvevold.
Incredibly, Jonas Hähnert from Sweden, who made the final table of the Battle of Malta main event last year and finished in ninth place, now has reached that table again!
He’s sitting in sixth place with 2.1 million chips and now has to fade becoming the Mark Newhouse of the BOM. Newhouse famously finished ninth in two consecutive WSOP main events.
Battle of Malta Final Table Players
Nadav Patrick Lipszyc
Fredrik Ronneberg Akerholt
The finalists will receive the following prizes.
Battle of Malta Final Table Payouts
The final table is set for 3 PM tomorrow. We will also live stream with a delay of 30 minutes. Check out the PokerListings live blog for details.
Side Event News
The second big event of the day was the €1320 Grandmaster High Roller event. 135 entries generated a prize pool of almost €160k.
The tournament will play deep into the night and then finish off tomorrow parallel to the main event.
The €245 “Siege of Malta” finished surprisingly early, as it was originally intended to be a 3-day event. It drew 560 runners this year, making it one of the largest side events we’ve had at the BOM.
Eirini Kokoni from Greece took down the title and a healthy €30,000! She’s also the first female winner of an open event at the Battle of Malta. Congratulations!
Our host Gaelle Garcia Diaz made the money in the Deepstack Turbo tournament. It started with 259 players and then went down and into the money in just over 6 hours.
Check back here or in the live blog for further results.
Also, check out the daily BOM video below.
In the Money! Battle of Malta ME Down to 63, €200k to Winner!
A blistering fast day today at the Portomaso Casino saw the field chopped from 414 to just 63. Over 130 players have been paid already.
Get all the updates and latest stories from Day 1C here in our live coverage on PokerListings.
Meanwhile, side events are selling out one by one …
Battle of Malta = Massive Poker Festival
Since its inception the Battle of Malta has grown in numbers every single year. 2017 marks the year in which, for the first time, we broke the sound barrier of 2,000 players.
That means that also for the first time there’s over 1 million Euro in the prize pool – €1.006 million, to be exact.
And there are over 50 million chips in play!
Out of that million Euro prize pool the winner of this tournament will bag €200,000 on Tuesday when the Battle comes to an end.
There are a few dozen players left who all have a shot at the biggest prize, but some have bigger shots than others.
Top 10 Chip Counts Battle of Malta Main Event 2017
Kjell Ingvar Johansson
Check back with us tomorrow when we play down to a final table of nine. These will be the payouts at the final table.
The first side events played out as well yesterday and we have the first woman to prevail in an all-female battle. Soile Lerviks from Finland went all the way through a field of 74 players to take down the inaugural Ladies Event for €2,100.
Meanwhile, heads-up finalists André Haneberg from Germany and Jakob Nielsen from Denmark decided not to battle it out to see who would win the “Win the Cross.”
Instead, they ended the tournament on a truce that consisted of chipleader Nielsen getting the higher prize money of €3,965 while Haneberg received €3,675 and a proper Crusader’s trophy.
Sunday saw the next side events kicking off and expectedly the “Siege of Malta” caught most of the attention.
560 players in the original BOM side event had the Spinola Suite bursting at the seams, and the winner will take home €30k from a prize pool of almost €120k — not much less than the winner of the first BOM main event back in 2012.
The Siege is a 3-day event but the PLO Knight’s Crusade also went down and well into the night. We’ll bring you the results later.
140 players jumped into the satellite for the High Roller event so we expect that to become the largest one yet as well.
The Cap for the €1,320 single re-entry event is at 150 players. It could be the first time we reach it.
Check back to our live coverage page where we’ll post news and updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out or video of Day 2 to get some impression of what it’s like to be part of the Battle of Malta.
It’s a Record! 2017 BoM Hits €1,000,000 Prize Pool on Day 1c
Every single starting day of the BOM 2017 turned out to be the biggest yet and the magic moment came late in the afternoon.
The number of players ticked up to 901 for Day 1C and that meant we had the 2,001st entry registered for the main event.
All the dealers available and almost all the tables in all three different tournament rooms were needed to accommodate them all, but everyone eventually found a seat.
This also means that for the first time ever there’s a cool million Euro in the prize pool, and first prize might well be more than the full prize pool of the first Battle of Malta in 2012, which was €170k.
Our host Gaelle Garcia Diaz hit the table again, as did Norwegian model Linni Meiser and former champion Nicolas Proust.
None of them made it to the end of Day 1 but German ex-champion Louis Cartarius, also on his second bullet, did.
Him and Antoan Katsarov are the last two former winners who made it into Day 2.
The biggest stacks of the day, however, belong to the Italian players Lucio Bernardo and Gianluca Deledda.
Chipcount Top 10 BOM ME Day 1C
Changes might still apply.
Ola Peter Bremer
Yaron Ben Avi
The overall chipleader is Valerio Citta from Day 1B with 438,000.
Two side events kicked off on Saturday as well – the inaugural €100 Ladies Event and the €110 “Win the Cross” – we’ll bring you the results later today.
177 players tried to win the cross and the €4.3k that came with it but the bigger surprise was that 75 female players turned up to play the first Ladies Event in the history of the Battle of Malta.
Saturday is party night, of course, and lots of players followed the call of the BOM’s official Players Party.
Come Back for Day 2
With 414 players left to fight for the win, Day 2 starts on Sunday at 1 PM local time. There are over 50 million chips in play and they are all in one room now — as is the next BOM champion.
Sunday is also the starting day of the 3-day Siege of Malta, which is the biggest side event of the festival. There will also be the PLO tournament and the satellite for the High Roller event.
Check back to our live coverage page where we’ll post news and updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out or video of Day 1C to get some impression of what it’s like to be part of the Battle of Malta.
Guarantee Reached on Day 1b
Right from the start of Day 1b it felt like this could be another record year. With 600 players in Level 1 we only needed 80 to fill up the guaranteed half million Euro.
Turned out there would be 180 more. This means for the first time we were able to get there before the last starting day.
It was also a day where we found many players who had deep runs in the past. Last year’s Rising Star Silje Nilsen made a return to the BOM stage and delivered a good battle until she had her two-pair counterfeited in a big pot.
Her successor fared a lot better. Espen Uhlen Jörstad is just back from a road trip along the American West Coast, where he learned that he was the SOPA “Rising Star” 2017, travelled to Malta, received a trophy and then started building a stack. It doesn’t look like he’s finished building yet.
Former BOM champion Louis Cartarius from Germany also returned and relished in being back where he once won the main event title.
He couldn’t make it through the day, though, and we’re hoping to have him back tomorrow.
Our host Gaelle Garcia Diaz also sat down to play today, but succumbed to the pressure that is the Battle of Malta. She’ll be back tomorrow for another introduction and another bullet.
Former final tablists Uri Gilboa (2015) from Israel and Robert Sverre Eik (2016) from Norway were there just as Swedish player Jonas Hähnert (2016) and Anne Meri from Finland (2015).
And then there was Valentin Messina, who’s achieved the rare feat of making the top 30 of the BOM twice, finishing second in the last EPT Malta and then made the final two tables of the WSOP main event this summer.
Chip Count Top Ten Day 1B
Yotam Bar Yosef
Also at the BOM
The last Super Satellite went down tonight and added another 30 players to tomorrow’s Day 1c of the Battle of Malta main event.
Meanwhile, 100 meters above us, the players who are off today celebrated the All-in Friday, a party located in the highest club and lounge on Malta on the 22nd of 22 floors of the Hilton Tower.
In addition to the main event, tomorrow will also see the first side events running in the Spinola Suite. Among the is our first Ladies event and the Maltese “Win the Button” variant called “Win the Cross” – it’s essentially the same, though, so get yourself a seat.
Come back to PokerListings tomorrow when we answer the magic question of whether we can break the 2,000 player sound barrier, and check out the live coverage. You can also find us on
Have a look at what happened on Day 1c in our short video of the day.
Rise & Fire! 2017 Battle of Malta Soars Again on Day 1a
After 14 levels were put in the books for Day 1a just 68 of the starting 320 players were left with chips in their bags and hope for Day 2 on Sunday.
All told it was another blistering start to BoM as the number of players rose again, a past champion returned and the first party kicked off, too.
Biggest Day 1a Yet
If you missed our Day 1a Live Coverage, here’s a quick rundown of the most notable happenings on the first starting day of BOM #6.
The official tally is 320 players for Day 1A which makes it the largest Day 1A since we added a third starting day to the main event in 2015.
In 2016 the BOM grew to a new record total of 1,813 entries but just 271 of those came on Day 1A.
What does that portend for the total field this year? We’ll find out late on Saturday when registration closes on Day 1c.
The Kats Comes Back
By the end of the day the field had whittled down to just 68 players with Anthony Healy packing up the biggest stack.
He’ll have 254,00 to work with when he returns on Day 2. Veronese Stefano with 250,000 and Anita Kmiciewicz with 197,00 are also among the big stacks.
Here’s a look at the unofficial Top 10:
Anthony Healy 254,000
Stefano Veronese 250,000
Marko Grujic 228,000
Andrea Grandi 217,500
Antonino Gassinaro 209,000
Gabi Gabraiel 208,500
Jonathan Tigell 203,000
Mirko Willsch 202,000
Anita Kmiciewicz 197,000
Quentin Larique 193,000
One of our former champions was in the field today, too. Bulgarian Antoan Katsarov won the whole shebang in 2014 and he clearly hasn’t lost his edge since. He moved into the last level of play with about 100k and held steady to finish the day with 95,500.
Norwegian Andreas Hoivold is now a veteran of the BOM, having played pretty much every year since its inception.
Lately he’s been more concerned with his health than poker, but he felt good enough to make his return today – even though it didn’t quite work out for him.
While he busted in the early levels today he’ll still have his re-entry to use tomorrow or Saturday.
We’ll Have a Mojito, If You’re Pouring
While late registration closed without any disappointed players left out and while the tournament moved past the dinner break, the Opening Cocktail Party took place in the Quarterdeck bar at the Hilton.
The Cocktail party was also the setting for this year’s Spirit of Poker Awards ceremony. Norway’s Espen Uhlen Jörstad was on hand and collected his award as the Rising Star of year, courtesy of PokerListings readers.
Per Hildebrand – the Living Legend of the Year – and Liv Boeree, the Most Inspiring Player, were also recognized.
Day 1B starts at 2 PM tomorrow from the Grandmaster Suite and we’ll be slinging up-to-the-minute updates at you over in the Battle of Malta 2017 Live Coverage section!
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The 3 Pillars of BoM 2017
This year the Battle of Malta has grown into a full-fledged poker festival with 9 different tournaments (including the Main Event, Siege of Malta 2nd Chance and Grandmaster High Roller), 4 player parties and more value than ever before.
The main focus of BOM 2017 will, of course, be the main event. We’re staying true to the legacy of our signature poker event so the buy-in will stay at €550 with one re-entry allowed.
We are also keeping the €500,000 guarantee for the prize pool – but if history serves that will be close to doubled.
There are 3 starting days again this year – Day 1A on Thursday at 2 PM, Day 1B Friday at 2 PM and Day 1C Saturday at 2 PM.
We’ll play down to the final table on Tuesday and it’ll be accompanied by a cards-up live stream on an appropriate delay.
Our signature side event – the Siege of Malta – is also back and is now a three-day event starting on Sunday, Nov 5, at 4 PM. Buy-in is the usual €220+€25.
The Grandmaster High Roller runs on Monday/Tuesday Nov 6/7 and will have a buy-in of €1,320. Watch out for the High Roller satellite on Sunday, the day before the event, where 1 in 10 players will get a ticket to play.
Side Events Galore
Our growing list of side events now also includes the following:
€330 NLHE Deepstack Turbo
€220 PLO Knight Crusader
€110 NLHE Win the Cross
€220 IPC After Battle Turbo
Two brand new events are also in the line-up:
PLAY2CARE Charity €165 Crazy Pineapple
€110 Ladies Event
By popular demand we’ve also brought back the Blackjack tournament and we’re raising the number of players to a cap of 25.
If you want in, be early!
Find the complete Battle of Malta event schedule here.
All Tomorrow’s Parties
A major part of BOM has always been to ensure the players have a good time and with that good time usually comes a few adult beverages.
In fact, at the Battle of Malta, there’s a party every day! Join us for the Opening Cocktail Party, All-in Friday, the Official BoM VIP Players Party, the Prosecco Breakfast, the Hilton Pool Party, and/or the Thirsty Barber Speakeasy Drinks.
The party never stops if you don’t want it to, basically. Check the full list of when and where the parties happen on the schedule page.
By the way … here’s the weather forecast for BOM 2017. Feel free to compare with your place.
Kudos to Liv Boeree, Per Hildebrand & Espen Uhlen Jørstad
The winners of the 2017 PokerListings Spirit of Poker Award were announced last month and we’ll have a SOPA award ceremony to honor them at BoM 2017.
Liv Boeree – Most Inspiring Player
Per Hildebrand – Living Legend
Espen Uhlen Jørstad – Rising Star
The 2017 SOPA Awards will be handed out during the Opening Cocktail Party on Thursday at the Quarterdeck of the Hilton.
Host of the ceremony (and the Battle of Malta) will be, for the first time, Gaelle Garcia Diaz.
She’s been a player at BOM and now she’s taking over from Maria Ho as the host.
Welcome Gaelle! it’s a pleasure to have you with us.
And players … please come and say hello to her.
Battle of Malta Live Satellites
As mentioned above there’ll be a Super Satellite to the Grandmaster High Roller event for €132+€18 on Sunday, Nov 5 at 9.30 PM.
It’s capped at 100 players and it’ll be full, so ask at the reception soon to secure your ticket.
We’ll also host last chance satellites to the Battle of Malta Main Event. The satellites run on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7 PM downstairs in the Portomaso Casino. The buy-in will be €55+€5, and 1 in 10 players get a ticket to the main event.
Again, the number of players is capped for each of the satellites, as there is limited space available, but we’ll give you a chance to re-enter and register late.
Prepare for battle. It is nigh.