Nicodemo Piccolo Wins Inaugural Battle of Malta’s first ever live poker tournament is over and retired Italian doctor Nicodemo Piccolo is the inaugural Battle of Malta champion.

Piccolo, a former anesthesiologist who has been playing poker for more than 40 years, wasn’t fazed by the long days and said after the win that he felt happy and relaxed throughout the entire final table.

“I love the game. I used to play with friends and we used to play more than 72-hour sessions at a time,” he explained as to how he was able to deal with the long hours.

Despite playing poker for more than four decades the first BOM champion has only been playing No-Limit Hold’em tournaments for a few short years.

In that time he’s racked up well over $150,000 in live tournament earnings, the biggest score being a $65,000 win on the Italian Poker Tour in Nova Gorica.

Piccolo defeated start-of-day chip leader Giulio Astarita heads-up who received €22,300 for his runner-up finish.

Also making strong finishes were Canadian ex-pat Roger Hardy who cashed twice at this year’s World Series of Poker, and UK pro Chris “DOOFUS86” Kiefert.

Here are the full final-table results for the first PokerListings Battle of Malta. Click here for the full Battle of Malta payouts.

1. Nicodemo Piccolo (Italy) – €35,000
2. Giulio Astarita (Italy) – €22,300
3. Luca Capostagno (Italy) – €15,700
4. Roger Hardy (Canada) – €12,200
5. Christian Bergstrom (Sweden) – €9,100
6. Puk Nabuurs (Holland) – €7,100
7. Daniel Dalsborg (Norway) – €5,500
8. Chris Kiefert (England) – €4,600
9. Alessandro Barone (Italy) – €3,900

Astarita Falls Short of Chip-and-a-Chair Comeback

Giulio Astarita began Day 3 with the chip lead and made it all the way to heads-up play before making his exit.

The Italian was at a severe chip disadvantage at the beginning of the one-on-one match but managed to fight his way back to almost exactly even before losing a massive preflop all-in.

The money went in with Piccolo holding A-Q against Astarita’s A-9. The best hand held up and when the stacks were counted down it turned out Astarita was left with a single 10k chip.

Astarita was all-in blind and doubled up. The same thing happened the very next hand.

It seemed like an epic comeback might be in the works but on his third all-in his luck ran out.

So while A-Q wasn’t technically the hand that ended the tournament for Piccolo, it was definitely the one that earned him the Battle of Malta title.


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2012 PokerListings Battle of Malta Results

The PokerListings Battle of Malta is playing down to a winner and you can find the full results right here, updated as they happen.

The remaining players are busy fighting it out for the title of BOM champion and the €35,000 first-place prize.

Check back later for the full daily rundown and a video interview with the winner, courtesy of event host Kara Scott.

1. Nicodemo Piccolo (Italy) – €35,000
2. Giulio Astarita (Italy) – €22,300
3. Luca Capostagno (Italy) – €15,700
4. Roger Hardy (Canada) – €12,200
5. Christian Bergstrom (Sweden) – €9,100
6. Puk Nabuurs (Holland) – €7,100
7. Daniel Dalsborg (Norway) – €5,500
8. Chris Kiefert (England) – €4,600
9. Alessandro Barone (Italy) – €3,900
10. Lina Teuma (Malta) – €3,300
11. Hans Risaager (Denmark) – €2,800
12. Jonas Broden (Sweden) – €2,370
13. Cato Vonheim (Norway) – €2000
14. Pieter de Goede (Holland) – €2000
15. Rafa Contagulu (Turkey) – €2,000
16. Stevan Sopar – €1,670
17. Maris Zilgavis (Latvia) – €1,670
18. Stefano Stefanacci (Italy) – €1,670
19. Bastien Lebel (France) – €1,440
20. Giovanna DiMartino (Italy) – €1,440
21. Kristian Svensson (Sweden) – €1,440
22. Simon Hoffman (UK) – €1,440
23. Nick Jakobsen (Denmark) – €1,440
24. Terrence Byrne (USA) – €1,440
25. Francesco Crisafulli (Italy) – €1,440
26. Gabriele Russo (Italy) – €1,440
27. Davide Guerrasio (Italy) – €1,440
28. Salvatore Chillemi (Italy) – €1,275
29. Giovanni Rizzo (Italy) – €1,270
30. Johan Linder (Sweden) – €1,270
31. Gaëlle Baumann (France) – €1,270
32. Bruce Stubbs (Costa Rica) – €1,270
33. Joe Grech (Malta) – €1,270
34. Giuseppe Bellinghieri (Italy) – €1,270
35. Matijas Lundström (Sweden) – €1,270
36. Daniel Montford (Malta) – €1,270
37. Francesco Renda (Italy) – 1110€
38. Carmelo Germano (Italy) – €1,110
39. Thomas Braun (Germany) – €1,110
40. Piotr Sekuza (Poland) – €1,110
41. Biagio Torrisi (Italy) – €1,110
42. Gaetano Di Franco (Italy) – €1,110
43. Jackie Cachia (Malta) – €1,110
44. Filippo D’Accorso (Italy) – €1,110
45. Michael Agoutborde (France) – €1,110


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Up to $1 Million Offered in PokerStars’ 90-Billionth Hand Promo

PokerStars is set to deal its landmark 90-billionth hand over the next week and poker players could benefit in cash rewards up to $1 million.

As part of its Road to 100 Billion promo, PokerStars will award cash prizes every one million hands from 89,700,000 to 90,000,000 at regular real money ring game tables.

The first Milestone is expected to take place on Saturday, Nov. 24, with the final Mega Milestone likely to be awarded six days later.

The player who wins the 90-billionth hand on PokerStars will receive at least $20,00 in addition to other cash prizes accrued at the table.

Players can win considerably more depending on how many VPPs they’ve generated in the previous 50 hands. The winner of the Mega Milestone could potentially win over $100,000. To learn more about how prizes are calculated check the PokerStars website.

The biggest prize so far was awarded to edroqui07, from Columbia, who took home $42k for winning the 75-billionth hand.

Interestingly 27 players who signed up for PokerStars through PokerListings received a cash reward from the last 85-billionth hand giveaway.

Click here to sign up for PokerStars and get access to our massive sign-up bonus and exclusive promos.


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Kara Scott Among Survivors on Battle of Malta Day 1b

Both Day 1 flights are done at the PokerListings Battle of Malta with event host Kara Scott advancing to Day 2 of the contest.

With 42,800 chips, Scott will join the likes of Dan “Jungleman” Cates and Gaelle Baumann tomorrow, both of whom survived Day 1a, to begin the playdown to the final table.

“I’m having a lot of fun and I’m really glad I didn’t bust because I get to keep playing poker tomorrow,” said Kara Scott.

“The people at my table are a lot of fun and we’ve had a ton of interesting hands and conversation today so I’m really looking forward to trying to make the final table tomorrow,” she added.

Leading the pack heading into tomorrow’s playdown is Christian Bergstrom, a paramedic from Stockholm who bagged 234,500 before all was said and done on Day 1b. That’s roughly 100k more than the chip leader from Day 1a.

Here are the top ten Day 1b counts. Click here for the full end of day chip counts.

1. Christian Bergstrom – 234,500
2. Fernando Cimaglia – 147,400
3. Piotr Sekula – 98,600
4. Kristian Svensson – 97,900
5. Jan Helander – 87,000
6. Jackie Cachia – 84,700
7. Gaetano di Franco – 83,600
8. Biagio Torrisi – 83,600
9. Fabrizio Fagiolini – 79,700
10. Simon Berntse – 79,200

Battle of Malta Prizepool Announced

A total of 196 players bought in to the Battle of Malta today which, combined with the 153 runners from Day 1a, brings the overall field to 349.

That number translates to a €174,500 prizepool, which easily surpasses the event’s guarantee of €150k.

Forty-five players in all will be paid with the eventual Battle of Malta champion to walk away with €35,772. A decent return on the €550 buy-in.

The minimum payout in this event will be €1,134. Check the blog for complete chip counts from Day 1b of the 2012 PokerListings Battle of Malta.

Action in the event is scheduled to resume at 13:00 local time tomorrow although it could be a long day with 160 players looking to make the final table.

Here are the payouts for the nine final-table spots:

1st: €35,772
2nd: €23,034
3rd: €16,228
4th: €12,564
5th: €9,423
6th: €7,329
7th: €5,758
8th: €4,798
9th: €4,013


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Battle of Malta Beats Guarantee with 349 Players

Registration is closed at the Battle of Malta and with 349 players in on the action the event has far surpassed its €150k guarantee.

153 players bought into the first Day 1 flight and 196 registered to play on the second.

With that total the prize pool has swelled to almost €175,000. Official prize numbers will be out soon but in the meantime players are busy fighting for a berth in the roughly 36 spots that will get paid.

The full payouts will be posted soon on the Battle of Malta page.

Among the almost 200 players who bought in today were a few notable names, including Pierre Neuville and Andrea Dato.

We also had the chance to speak with two qualifiers who came all the way here from the United States. Don Ford from St. Louis and Mark Mattsson from Chapel Hill, North Carolina were both last minute additions to the Battle of Malta lineup.

Keep an eye on the Battle of Malta page to read their stories later today.

Another pro who found his way to the felt today was Johannes Strassmann but it didn’t last nearly as long as he had hoped.

Short Day for Strassmann

German professional Johannes Strassmann was one of the Battle of Malta ambassadors but unfortunately was unable to survive even the first skirmish.

Strassmann has been taking time away from poker to focus on other interests – his last live cash was in 2010 – so we had high hopes for helping him get back to his winning ways here in Malta.

Details of his exit are still unknown, more to come later, but we do know Strassmann was out of the event and out the door before we could even get a photo.

Strassmann’s early exit wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary today, however, as we saw a few players hit the rail in extremely speedy fashion.

One unlucky Swedish player in particular lasted barely two minutes, going broke on the very first hand of the day with pocket kings against a flopped full house.


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Cates Brings Battle of Malta Halfway to €150k Guarantee

Dan “Jungleman” Cates was the 150th player to register for the Battle of Malta, meaning this tournament is already halfway to making its €150,000 guarantee.

Cates took advantage of late registration but wasted no time getting involved in the action. In the first orbit after sitting down he was all-in against the player to his left, check-shoving the turn and getting a fold to instantly increase his chip stack.

Players were visibly surprised to see one of the most successful high-stakes poker pros in the world sit down at their table, given the €500 buy-in, and the player who lost the pot described above couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Cates continued his aggressive approach and was soon up to almost three times the 20k starting stack. Although his chip counts has waned since then he’s still well above average.

153 players in total have registered so far, and since the Battle of Malta is a re-entry tournament we can expect some of the players who bust today to return tomorrow to take another shot.

And since local recreational players will only be able to take one day off work to play poker, expectations are very high for Friday’s Day 1B.

Battle of Malta on Pace to Beat Guarantee

Tournament staff and players are estimating that the Battle of Malta will get more than 300 runners, meaning it will surpass the €150k guarantee promised by

Italian professional poker player Giovanni Rizzo said that before the event began he considered taking the over on a line of 400 players for this event.

Speaking to him today he says he’s even more confident in that estimate now.

Tomorrow will also see more online qualifiers play, including players from as far away as Missouri and North Carolina.

And while we’ll still have to wait until roughly 6pm tomorrow to find out exactly how many players will enter, it’s looking very likely the prize pool will swell past the €150k mark.

Keep an eye on our Battle of Malta page for continuing updates, and check out our blog for videos from the event.


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PokerListings Battle of Malta Starts Now

The wait is over and the cards are just hours away from hitting the felt at the first-ever Battle of Malta.

Playing out over the next four days at the Portomaso Casino in St. Juliens, Malta, this event is shaping up to be the most exciting €500 buy-in poker tournament in history.

After all, it’s not every day a player like Dan “Jungleman” Cates takes the time to fly somewhere for a tournament where the buy-in’s equal to the big blind in the games he’s used to playing.

Cates will be joined by a growing list of big-name players including BoM host Kara Scott, 2012 WSOP Main Event 11th-place finisher Gaelle Baumann, German star Johannes Strassmann and Italian pro Andrea Dato.

Also playing is Belgian old-schooler Pierre Neuville, known as the “Serial Qualifier” on the European Poker Tour.

These seasoned pros will be facing off against online qualifiers, local Maltese rounders and players from all over Southern Europe who have flown in for a piece of the action.

With two Day 1 flights, a re-entry option and a €150,000 guarantee, only time will tell what the final numbers will look like.
More than Just Poker at Battle of Malta

While the poker tournament will be taking center stage this week it’s by no means the only thing happening at the Battle of Malta.

In addition to everything the Mediterranean island has to offer, from beautiful weather to an amazing offering of cultural experiences, has cooked up a few extras for BoM players.

Following the action on Day 1B players are invited to a VIP party at Level 22, perched atop the Hilton tower. Everyone will have a chance to unwind on’s dime and, for the survivors, time to prepare for the playdown to the final table on Day 2.

And on Sunday before the final table begins both Kara Scott and Daniel Cates will be donning wetsuits to swim with dolphins at the Malta Marine Park.

Usually seen as people swimming with dolphins, this time it’s going to be more like dolphins swimming with sharks.

You can keep an eye on everything that’s happening at the Battle of Malta right here. We’ll be posting updates, interviews and daily videos leading up to the event’s conclusion Sunday night.


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Brock Parker Takes Borgata Fall Poker Open for $372k

Brock Parker beat the toughest final table ever assembled at the Borgata Fall Poker Open to win $372k earlier this morning.

Parker, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner, got past 644 entrants and a final table that included noted pros Vinny Pahuja, Jeff Papola, Matt Stout and recent WSOP October Niner Michael Esposito.

“It was a really good final table,” Parker told the Borgata blog after the event. “A lot of talented players.”

Matt Matros, Brian Lemke and Allen Kessler were also in the final 27 players of the event.

Stout busted ended up busting in seventh, Esposito in sixth, Papola in fifth and Pahuja in fourth, which left Parker, Patrick Chan and Scott Baumstein to play three-handed.

It ended up being a marathon three-handed session that lasted for more than four hours.

Chan finally fell in third place when he shoved ace-nine into Parker’s ace-ten.

Heads-up was an extremely short affair that saw Baumstein flop top-pair against Parker’s pair of kings early. The kings held up and Parker became the latest Borgata champion at around 6 a.m. ET.

Here’s a look at the complete final-table payouts:

1. Brock Parker (Silver Spring, MD) $372,568
2. Scott Baumstein (New York, NY) $209,480
3. Patrick Chan (Brooklyn, NY) $131,895
4. Vinny Pahuja (Hicksville, NY) $107,067
5. Jeff Papola (Monmouth Beach, NJ) $85,344
6. Michael Esposito (Seaford, NY) $70,602
7. Matt Stout (Las Vegas, NV) $56,637
8. Ravi Raghavan (Northbrook, IL) $42,672
9. Kambiz ‘Tony’ Behbahani (Fairfax Station, VA) $29,482
10. Lou Crispino (Amityville, NY) $20,172


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