IPT7 Malta2 Day 2: What brings online players to live events?

October 23, 2015

Ten years ago the poker landscape was very different from today. Many poker players claimed that online poker players were the “value” and that most of the game’s sharks operated in the live arena. Make your own mind up whether or not that was true.

Today, the online poker has grown significantly and is deemed to be a lot tougher as the standard of play has improved over the years. The live poker scene has also seen big growth and many, in this day in age, see it the softer of the two.

Some people just play live, some just online but most play both. It’s got us wondering. What motivates players who mainly play online to turn up to live events these days? Time to hunt out some players who started out online and ask them why they started coming to live events.


Shaun Deeb
Shaun Deeb, “When I first started coming to live events it was to to meet people. I also always felt like there was more money in live tournaments because the prize pools were bigger but I don’t know it that was true looking back on it.

“Now, I live in the (United) States and I don’t get to play that often so I go to a live stops to play online while I’m here and play a few of the high buy ins that are floating around.”

Charlier Carrel, “I think the main motivation I play live events is down to the longterm EV of money, which I hate to say. It’s just because the game is softer (than online) and there’s more breadth to it. There’s more room for improvement; there’s a bigger edge to be found and I find myself slowly moving away from the online world because so much of it is about learning software and learning how to use programs that other people have made, which is not really working of your own merit. Basically, anyone can do it if they put time into it but I’m sure other people can do it better (than me).”

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Charlie Carrel
Adam Owen, “I used to watch live events on TV and they looked a lot of fun so I come to have that sort of fun. I also come to make money as I find live events to be a lot easier although completely different to playing online.”

Vicente Delgado, “My motivation of playing live is for the glory. Online you can play more tables and have a better hourly (earnings) but I play live for the titles!”

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Vicente Delgado (right)
David Lappin, “I spoke to a good friend of mine, Fintan Hand , who’s an Irish pro living here in Malta for the last couple of years and he looks at it very differently. I always say I like to balance in a little live action – four or five tournaments in a month – because I think it’s good for my life balance and gets me out of the house playing poker, it gets me interacting with people and I don’t get bored and sick of it as quickly. Fintan says when he thinks about travelling to events he doesn’t want to play poker, he just wants to hang out and socialise. All his life balance comes from parties and enjoying his life when he’s not sitting at a computer. He just doesn’t enjoy the pace of live poker, it doesn’t suit him.”

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David Lappin
The most common theme is that live poker seems to be an easier game to beat than online poker these days but, for many, it’s also about the travel, social aspect and a change from the usual online grind. Come a to a PokerStars event to work hard but also play hard.

So it’s worth getting yourself a PokerStars account if you don’t have one. Come and join the fun!

Main Event update

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No spin up for Akkari
The first two levels of the day have passed and the exits (as normal at the beginning of a Day 2) have been coming thick and fast. Almost 100 have been eliminated and included are names such as: Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari; EPT London champion Sebastian Pauli; online heads up specialist Kellyann Hefferan; Italian cowboy Alfonso Amendola; Scottish businessman/poker player Fraser MacIntyre; the man, the myth, the legend that is Salvatore Bonavena; former ultra marathon runner Dara O’Kearney; former November Niner Antoine Saout and Irish poker player of the year Dermot Blain.

At the other end of the scale, Andreas Chalkiadakis has lost the chip lead he came into the day with as he’s dropped back to 270,000 which is still good for a top-ten stack. He had a difficult start before recovering yesterday so he won’t be getting down-hearted.

The top five at the first break (according to Pagano events):

Yohan Cohen (Israel), 452,000
Henry Broens (Netherlands), 326,000
Denis Strebkov (Russia), 310,000
Loius Cartarius (Germany), 290,000
Francesco Lombardo (Italy), 290,000

For full details of the tournaments on offer, and when you can register for them, click here.

Updates provided by Marc Convey, with photos coming from René Velli and Tomáš Stacha.


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