It sure sounds strange to say this, but welcome to Day 1A of the EPT Malta main event. The reason this salutation feels so peculiar is that this festival has already crowned a winner of more than half a million euros, has already hosted a tournament with 1,285 players and has half of the world’s poker media trained on a unique team event being held in a room next door.
But it is also true that only now is the festival really going to move into top gear with the inaugural EPT main event to be held on this island. Malta has become a bit of a hub over recent years for ex-pat poker players looking for perfect conditions to grind online, but for the first time now they also have a stop of the most prestigious poker tour in the world. This is the real deal: a €5,000 buy in event, with a first prize likely to be in the region of €800,000.
The real size of that depends, of course, on how many people show up, but with more than 250 players already qualified for the tournament on PokerStars, and a distinct enthusiasm for poker in this region of the Mediterranean, there are high hopes for a bumper field.
As ever, Day 1A will be significantly smaller than Day 1B, but the format will be the same. We will be playing eight 75-minute levels, with a dinner break after six, by which time about one third of however many start today will likely have been eliminated. Even though this is the first time the European Poker Tour has been to Malta, this much will always be true.
Here’s something else that’s true: you’ll find all your coverage needs fulfilled by PokerStars Blog. There’s a panel at the top of the EPT Malta Main Event in which you’ll find hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts. Below that, there will be feature pieces.