Sunday, 4th June 2023 04:02
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The Summer Festival Malta is back for 2023. As in 2022, the destination for fun in the sun is Malta, with the festival running 27 June – 2 July.

Whilst the focus for poker players flocking to the Mediterranean will no doubt be the €1,100 Main Event, anyone who has attended the PokerStars Summer Festival, either in Malta, or Marbella, will know that there will be plenty of activities off the felt to keep you entertained, should the poker not go as planned.

The festival will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julian’s, an area of Malta known for its many bars, restaurants and its proximity to the beach.

On The Table

We can tell you that the Main Event will have the standard €1,100 buy-in and for those who wish to bump the buy-in even higher, they’ll also be a €2,200 High Roller as part of the festival. For those looking to win their seat to the Main Event for a fraction of the price, the good news is that satellites to the Malta Summer Festival will start from Monday, March 27th with full packages up for grabs, which include a hotel room and expenses for flights included.

Whilst the full schedule is still being finalised a look back at the 2022 event will provide some clues as to what to expect. The 2022 edition had a total of 28 tournaments on the schedule (including satellites) with buy-ins ranging from €220 to €5,200. Popular events included the €440 NLHE Mystery Bounty and €275 Summer Kick off Knock Out.

The sunny island of Malta plays host to the Summer Festival this June and July

Off The Felt

Of course, one of the major attractions of holding a summer festival on an island that is known for being the sunniest country in Europe, basking under almost 3000 hours a year of sunshine, is that they’ll be plenty of fun in the sun to be had. With average temperatures of 28 to 31 degrees in June and July, be sure to pack the factor 40 along with your sunglasses.

As already mentioned, with the location in the heart of St Julian’s, with its plentiful bars and restaurants, there’s entertainment on tap. PokerStars will, as ever, also be putting on its own roster of activities for players and their +1’s.

The tournament team are still finalising the exact line-up for a flavour of what to expect, last year the players were treated to options including a catamaran trip, jetskiing, a Beerpong tournament and, of course, the ubiquitous Players’ Party.

If you prefer your activities to be a little more high brow, then Malta has you covered there too. There’s a wide array of cultural excursions – take a tour of Mdina, or a day trip to Gozo. Being an island, there’s also a wide array of water based activities, from diving to sightseeing cruises.  

All in all the Summer Festival is an ideal opportunity for anyone wanting to mix poker and a holiday, with affordable options on and off the felt. Full details of both will be announced in due course and you can win your Main Event package from Monday, March 27th.

What Happened Last Year?

Players from near and far attended the festival with event winners hailing from Denmark, Italy, France, Poland, UK, Spain, Norway, Switzerland Hungary, Portugal and Bulgaria.

And it was Bulgaria’s Zlatin Penev who claimed the biggest title of them all, as he was crowned the Main Event champion claiming the top prize of €144,630. There were a total of 815 entries in the Main Event, creating a prize pool of €782,400. The top 119 players secured a return on their investment, eleven of whom cashed for five figures.

It was a cosmopolitan final table, seven different nationalities held a seat, with Italy the only country to have more than one representative. Everyone who pulled up a seat at the final table did so knowing they’d be walking away with at least €17,400. Canada’s Vadim Tsatskin made the podium, but had to settle for the bronze medal and €64,620. Whilst Krzysztof Michalik fell at the last, but still had an exceptional festival, winning €90,460.

They weren’t the only ones to book big scores, others to have every reason to look back on the Summer Festival with fondness are Ben Jones, who took down the High Roller, winning €75,190. Thomas Haverstad, who banked €22,710 for winning the €550 Deepstack and Karl Sandoff, who collected a total of €44,868 on his way to victory in the €440 Mystery Bounty.

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