Unibet Open Malta

4 Jun

May- the only month to have two Bank Holiday Mondays, also provided another exciting double with the Unibet DeepStack Open and the Unibet Open both being held in historical Malta.

Malta

 

The oft-invaded island was about to see a welcome invasion; this time of poker players from across Europe. It promised to be one of the best Unibet Open stops yet and I can say it did not disappoint.

It was my third trip to Malta, but I always love returning to this beautiful, welcoming island and to the Intercontinental Hotel which was to be home for the week. I was also looking forward to the latest Queen Rules outing in the Ladies Event scheduled for later in the week.

We arrived late Monday, and by early Tuesday lunchtime- all the fun Unibet crew had arrived including Ambassadors and Esport players- some of whom were on their very first trip! We had a wonderful meal together at the hotel restaurant called Waterbiscuit sampling Mediterranean cuisine, catching up and making plans for the week.

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From the left: salty Lappin, me, John, Ben aka Estonian Jesus and Dara 🙂

In the action packed schedule for the week ahead, my first game was going to be the new concept of a Tag-Team event with Unibet Poker Ambassadors teaming up with randomly selected Esport players with each of us picking a card to get a partner. I was thrilled to be paired with Lisa aka STPeach who was going to be playing her first ever live poker game at the tables with me the next day.

I did what any good partner would do in this situation-  I taught her how to play and got to know Lisa (and her lovely boyfriend Jay) better over Tequilas and Skittlebombs (Thanks Shirley!) in Hugo’s bar next door until 4am 🙂

 

 

 

After getting some sleep we both were ready to do battle with the other pairings in the inaugural Tag-Team event. This proved more fun than I could have possibly imagined- the 12minute levels dictated that you swapped with your partner frequently with the requirement to play one level each.

Some early fireworks saw a few duos bust and thanks to some sterling work by Lisa, taking the game in her stride, we were nicely stacked for the business end of the sit & go. With a luxury 3hr spa experience each to play for, but more importantly the kudos and bragging rights of first time champions we were focused as a team and strategies were working nicely.

Tag Team Event

Photo credit: Tambet Kask

The supportive rail had built nicely by the time we ended up head’s- up against Unibet Ambassador Ben and full time games streamer Papaplatte.

I can honestly say this is one of the most fun events I’ve played in. The tension had ratcheted up as the stack sizes rose and diminished and the teams tagged in and out. Everyone had broad smiles on their faces watching, and the game had run much longer than anyone expected as the battle continued to rage.

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Photo credit: Tambet Kask

Eventually it came down to Lisa to end proceedings, calling a shove from Ben when finding a hand with perfect timing and flipping over KK. They held and we were the winners. 

I was so very proud of Lisa and very impressed with her poker abilities; she was very fierce & composed and followed my advice/tips throughout the game regardless of all external pressures and excitement.

I hope we can be poker partners again in the future 🙂

Here are the highlights from the Tag Team event:

Lisa was really pleased and somewhat exhausted, especially as she had to jump straight into the eSports Battle Royale!

The eSports sit&go was equally as fiercely fought. In the end it came down to Mojo and Scott fighting for the trophy and €5,000 first prize. Congrats to Scott who played superb and took it down!

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Photo credit: Tambet Kask

 

With the DSO late reg closed, I headed for food and drinks with friends and plenty of the Unibet family at who had been on the rail.

Thursday started in unusual fashion- I actually made breakfast! I suppose this made sense with the Unibet Open Day 1 starting that day which I was going to be playing.

I started well accumulating chips quite nicely and  getting up to 38k from 30k after the first couple of levels. Sadly this was to be a high-water mark in the tournament. The next few levels were pretty brutal- losing multiple pots as run outs were far from friendly and a decent sized pot with JJ v AK.

I continued to battle though, but sadly shortly before dinner I lost a big flip to get back close to average with 10,10 no good against v AQ of e-sports streamer Syrinxx.

A too brief Unibet Open, but I turned my attentions to ensuring the Ladies Event the following day would be a great success whilst catching up with poker friends from all over Europe at the welcome drinks party.

 

 

 

Friday 6pm saw the third occasion of Queen Rules being implemented in a tournament. In short, the Q ranks higher than the K in all hands. With a convenient crib sheet for nigh-on 30 players we sat down armed with fresh Queen Rules cupcakes and glasses of Prosecco.

A big shout out to Sophia for a lovely girly afternoon together getting ready and my special “run-good” make up 🙂

 

 

 

The tournament was enjoyable from the very start. With Unibet Poker proudly represented by myself, Sophia aka Djarii, Dehlia and Lisa we loved the fact that over 11 different nationalities were represented at the tables and the atmosphere was friendly and the chat flowing. 

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With Dehlia and Lisa

I loved seeing quite a few tour regulars as much as welcoming new players to the Unibet Ladies Community.

Congrats to Ann Roos Callens on becoming the winner of the special #QueenRules Ladies Event! She played incredibly well and was chip leader most of the tournament. Ann came to Malta with her mum and it was amazing to see both of them having fun and making it to the final table together. I hope we will be seeing this great duo and the next Unibet Open stop 🙂

Also, very well played to Dehlia too for another strong performance and her third second-place at a Unibet Open Ladies Event. I finished 3rd for a nice profit for the day. too.

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Ann-Roos Callens. Photo credit: Tambet Kask

 

Check out the photo album from the Ladies Event taken by talented Elena Vareiko.

Saturday saw the opportunity for a day off playing as I wanted to be sure to make the Player’s Party that evening that sounded like it was going to be very special.

We headed out to walk around to St Julian’s bay in the sunshine which had finally made an appearance having hidden for most of the week. A tasty lunch suitably devoured, we headed back to check in on David Lappin who was deep in the PLO and on the Unibet Open which was literally on the Bubble.

Congrats to Fredrik who was the last Unibet ambassador standing in the main event finishing in 17th and to David on his 4th place finish in the PLO. I am sure this helped David soften the blow of a Heads Up defeat earlier in the week in a duel against Ian Simpson for a tasty €5000. Congrats also to Ian who won this and also cashed the Main.

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Ian Simpson. Photo credit: Tambet Kask

Now the sun was out, the perfect excuse to head up to the infinity pool on the top on the hotel for some photos and drinks with the Unibet family and before I knew it, it was time to get changed and head down for the coaches to the players party.

Always a highlight of the Unibet trips, this was taking place at the opening night of the summer season of an outdoor party village/club in the middle of the island. With a private VIP area, we could party away along with the couple of thousand other revellers who had made the trip to the club.

 

 

 

We were also able to celebrate the engagement of my tag team partner Lisa and her now new fiancé Jay. With drinks and dance moves both flowing, everyone got to enjoy themselves until nearly 5am when proceedings began to wind down.

With the dancing award going to David Lappin with the now rival video of him griding away readily available online if you dare sully your eyes!

Sunday-  Definitely a low-key day after the night before. I did a photo shoot session around Malta with Lenka and then I headed to rail the final table of the main event.

With some good strong play, it was a tough final table. Congrats to Daniel Jacobsen who bested the field of 273 runners in the Unibet Open Malta €1,100 Main Event and collected the trophy and €60,090.

The traditional Unibet staff poker game rounded off affairs and saw the usual banter, crazy plays and slow rolls 🙂

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I took a couple of days recovering in the sunshine of Malta from a hectic week at one of my favourite Unibet stops. The next leg of the Unibet Open will be in Bucharest and it has quite the week to match! Hope to see many of you there.

Next up for me is a few weeks of hard work studying and preparing for the WSOP. I’m heading out there on the 20th June and I can’t wait already!!

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