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Day 1a Comes to an End

101 players started and 64 players finished. The chip leader was Fabien Sartoris with 127,350 and until we return tomorrow at 16:00 (CET) why don’t you have a read of the full recap here.

Full Chip Counts

  • Fabien Sartoris 127,350
  • Franco Guastamacchia 120,350
  • Christian Nitsche 112,850
  • Thomas Wolff 110,275
  • Matt Giannetti 101,025
  • Federico Cipollini 98,000
  • Mats Karlson 95,400
  • Daniel Carter 91,700
  • Basil Yaiche 84,550
  • Zsolt Vizsnyiczai 80,800
  • Julien Claude Pierre 71,775
  • Manfred Sierke 68,325
  • Joris Springael 65,575
  • Erik Smith 64,225
  • Isaac Haxton 62,900
  • Tony G 61,850
  • Fabio Montanari 60,850
  • Dominik NItsche 58,325
  • Armando Graziano 57,850
  • Julien Cohen Solal 57,150
  • Peter Andersson 57,025
  • Miguel Use 56,825
  • Dan Murariu 56,200
  • Nicolo Calia 55,025
  • Ilan Boujenah 54,800
  • Spehen O’Dwyer 54,000
  • Salvatore Bianco 49,725
  • Hugo Lemaire 49,450
  • Nassir Bennacer 48,900
  • Thomas Brauner 45,825
  • Fortunato D’Amico 44,400
  • Andreas Klatt 43,950
  • Robert Lipkin 41,975
  • David Vamplew 39,875
  • Sabino Didonna 38,750
  • William Thorson 38,325
  • Aleksandr Konstantinov 36,825
  • Alessandro Borsa 35,525
  • Antonio Di Marzo 35,250
  • Morten Erlandsen 34,800
  • Steven Van Zadelhoff 33,600
  • Andras Fekete 32,300
  • Justin Bonomo 29,000
  • Patrizio Di Micelli 28,650
  • Tristan Clemencon 27,850
  • Stefanita Fechete 27,300
  • Nicolas Poloniato 25,675
  • David Peters 22,975
  • Antonio Cipriano 22,975
  • Detlef Klein 22,750
  • Carmelo Rapisarda 21,050
  • Phillipe Culot 20,400
  • Giuseppe Palmisciano 20,150
  • Francesco La Scala 17,250
  • Matteo Gambino 16,7250
  • Tobias Renkemeier 16,050
  • Massimiliano Rosa 15,200
  • Florin Pandilica 14,000
  • Gianni Calanni Billa 13,675
  • Nikolaus Teichert 12,575
  • Gianluca Trebbi 8,000
  • Sergey Kolyshevsky 7,300


John Eames Has Been Eliminated

John Eames has just ran pocket sixes into the pocket tens of Matt Giannetti and he will now have to re-enter Day 1b tomorrow.

Giannetti ~ 120,000


Eames in a Mess

On a flop of there are three players in the hand and around 7,000 in the middle. Miguel Use, in the small blind, checks to John Eames who bets 2,300. There is one call behind before the small blind check-raises to 5,500. Eames has around 26,000 behind and he decides to call. The turn is the and Use bets 6,800 and Eames just calls. The river is the and Use moves his last 26,000 across the line. Eames has a look of a beaten man, he plays around with his last 13,000, looks at Use and then mucks his hand.

Use ~ 56,000
Eames ~ 13,000


Christian Nitsche

WPT Malta Day 1AChristian Nitsche really does look the part out there today. He has the looks, the style, the moves and he hit smashing the board.

Nitsche raises to 1,150 from the hijack seat and two players call (the button and the big blind).


The big blind checks to NItsche who bets 1,350 and both players call.


So we have a triumvirate at the turn but this time it checks through to Xavier Arnal on the button and he bets 3,200. The big blind folds but Nitsche check-raises to 8,800 and Arnal has a tough decision on his hands. He has 24,000 behind and he just calls.


Nitsche clasps his hand over his mouth and drops 16,000 over the line and leaving only 8,000 behind Arnal makes the call.

Arnal: Mucks his hand

Nitsche ~ 125,000


Tony G Bumps Into Hellmuth And Asks Him For a HU Match


Speed Poker – Hellmuth Exit

WPT Malta Day 1APhil Hellmuth joins the action in level six of this re-entry event. The cameras flock around the table and start shooting him from every conceivable angle. The great man plays a few hands of no minor interest before there is a 1,000 open from middle position and Hellmuth three-bets to 3,000 out of the small blind. The big blind folds and the original raiser calls.

Flop: [Qx] [5x] [3x]

Hellmuth leads for 4,000 and his opponent calls.

Turn: [4x]

Hellmuth moves all-in for 18,000! His opponent has a little think before making the call. When the hands are turned over Hellmuth has a stone cold bluff and his opponent has picked him off with ace-high and an open ended straight draw,

Hellmuth: [Kx] [7x]
Opponent: [Ax] [6x]

The river is a brick and as Hellmuth is leaving we can hear Matt Savage over the tannoy, “See you tomorrow at the same time Phil.”

Aggh, the beauty of re-entry tournaments.


Hugo Lemaire is the Latest Centurion

WPT Malta Day 1AHugo Lemaire is in red hot form coming off his WPT Grand Prix de Paris 2nd place finish.

He opens up to 1,350 from the cut-off and both blinds call.


Both blinds check to Lemaire and he bets a paltry 425 and the big blind is the only player who calls.


Once again the big blind checks and once again Lemaire bets the same amount: 425. This time the big blind check-raises and makes it 2,100 to play and Lemaire makes the call.


The big blind changes tact and comes out betting and he makes it 2,500 to play and Lemaire makes the call and it was good.

Big Blind:

Lemaire ~ 105,000

Here he is talking to our European Royal Flush Girl Violet Dillon


Daniel Carter Loses a Pot to Graziano

WPT Malta Day 1ADaniel Carter raises to 900 from the cut-off, Armando Graziano calls on the button and the big blind makes it a trio of players viewing the flop.


The action checks to Graziano and he bets 1,400. The big blind folds and the dealers head turns towards the direction of Carter and he check-raises to 4,000. Graziano has the decision and he decides to call.




Carter checks again and Graziano bets 7,500 and Carter folds.

Graziano ~ 40,000
Carter ~ 104,000


Matt Giannetti Talks to Violet Dillon About Life as a Nov Niner


Daniel Carter Takes the Chip Lead

In the aftermath of dinner some of the tables are empty, including the table where Daniel Carter and Byron Kaverman are seated together which only houses three players. The other player in the mix makes a raise from the effective button for 700 and Daniel Carter three-bets from the small blind making it 2,1000. Byron Kaverman calls in the big blind and the original raiser also calls.

Flop: [10x]

All three players check.


Carter comes out firing with a bet of 4,200, Kaverman calls in the big blind and the original raiser folds.

River: [8x]

Carter now checks and Kaverman moves all-in for 16,000 and puts Carter into thought mode. After a few minutes thought Carter makes the hero call and it puts him in the chip lead whilst Kaverman is out.

Carter: [8x] [7x]

Carter ~ 127,000


McLean Karr Has Been Eliminated

WPT Malta Day 1AIlan Boujenah raises to 1,100 in middle position, McLean Karr calls on the button and Alessandro Borsa calls from the big blind.


Boujenah bets 1,100, Karr raises to 2,975 and then after a quick count of the two stacks Borsa makes it 7,000 to play. Boujenah mucks his hand with disgust but Karr moves his last 12,000 over the ins and Borsa makes the easiest call of his life.




Karr makes the lonely walk through the auditorium and Borsa counts up his 38,000 stack.


Dominik Nitsche Doubles Up

WPT Malta Day 1AAndreas Klatt raises to 650 in middle position and Dominik NItsche three-bets on the button making it 1,650 to play. The action folds around to Klatt and he calls.


Klatt checks and Nitsche bets 1,525 and Klatt calls.


Klatt again raps his knuckles on the felt and Nitsche bets 3,500 and Klatt calls.


Klatt checks for the third time and Nitsche declares he is all-in. The bet is 7,625 and Klatt nods his head and calls.

“I have Ace-King,” says Nitsche.

Klatt just nods his head and mucks his hand as Nitsche turns over

Nitsche ~ 35,000
Klatt ~ 33,000


Dinner Break

We are on a 60-minute dinner break


Chip Counts

  • Dominik Nitsche 16,000
  • Mats Karlson 70,000
  • McLean Karr 15,000
  • Basil Yaiche 14,000
  • Ilan Boujenah 26,000
  • Nicolo Calia 65,000
  • Justin Bonomo 48,000
  • Thomas Brauner 57,000
  • Jacob Karlsson 35,000
  • John Eames 32,000
  • Daniel Carter 57,000
  • Marvin Rettenmaier 35,000


Fabrice Soullier Has Been Eliminated

A very angry Fabrice Soulier has been eliminated from Day 1a of WPT Malta. Soulier opens up the action with a raise and Andreas Klatt comes into the pot with a three-bet making it 2,000 to play. Soulier moves all-in for 18,000 and Klatt makes the call. Soulier is holding and Klatt is holding [Kx] [Kx]. The board remains clean for Klatt and Soulier was eliminated but had a parting shot and stare at Klatt for what he believes was a slow call.

“Why did you take so long?” Says Soulier.


Karr and Boujenah Are Still Sparring

WPT Malta Day 1AMcLean Karr has been away from his table for nearly a whole level. When he returned it was quite obvious that he was still angry with Ilah Boujenah after their little spat earlier.

On a board of Sabino Didonna bets 7,000 out of the hijack and there are two players staring at his bet and one of them is Boujenah. After a while in the tank Boujenah folds and so does the other opponent showing [Jx] [Jx].

“You fold your hand. You are so bad,” Said Karr.

Boujenah reaches into the muck and pulls out two queens and shows them to Karr. A further volley of words follows and Karr’s girlfriend Tatjan Pasalic places her hand over Karr’s mouth to quiet him down. On the next table Justin Bonomo tells Karr that Boujenah has been tweeting about how bad Karr is playing and Karr erupts into another verbal volley.

We will keep our eyes on Boujenah and Karr.


Assorted Chip Counts

  • John Eames 21,000
  • Tony G 32,000
  • Matt Giannetti 82,000
  • David Vamplew 28,000
  • John O’Shea 36,000
  • Steven Van Zadelhoff 30,000
  • Hugo Lemaire 27,000
  • Dominik Nitsche 10,000
  • Byron Kaverman 36,000
  • Nicolo Calia 67,000
  • Ilan Boujenah 36,000
  • McLean Karr 15,000
  • Thomas Brauner 46,000
  • Fabrice Soulier 29,000/li>
  • Morten Erlandsen 25,000
  • Jacob Karlsson 23,000
  • Daniel Carter 56,000
  • Marvin Rettenmaier 25,000
  • Bruce Atkinson 26,000


Ladies and Gentlemen Thomas Brauner is Justin Bieber

It was WPT Vienna Season Nine when we discovered the young Justin Bieber look-a-like Thomas Brauner. He had a good run during that tournament and finished in a respectable 20th place for $17,147. He may look young but Brauner can stand up for himself.

The player on the button raises to 450 and the small blind calls before Brauner announces a raise. He counted out his chips and moves 1,850 across the line. The action was back on the player seated on the button and he four-bet to 4,150 and the small blind folded. Back onto Brauner and after asking for a count he five-bet to 8,800 and the player on the button folded his hand.

Brauner ~ 46,000


Arnaud Mattern Has Busted

WPT Malta Day 1A

We did not see the exit hand but former EPT champion Arnaud Mattern has been eliminated in the first few levels of WPT Malta here on day 1a.

Mattern just did not have any run of luck today. He flopped a set of fives on a [Qx] [5x] [6x] flop and lost to [Ax] [6x] after a [6x] on the turn and an [ax]on the river. He then lost holding [ax][qx]versus the [jx][3x] of his opponent when the flop came down [ax][jx][jx].


Bonomo is in The House

Justin Bonomo is in the house and has just took his seat two places to the left of Byron Kaverman. Kaverman recently made a final table appearance at the WPT Grand Prix de Paris where he finished 4th.

Julien Rouxel raises to 500 from the first few spots and two players call including Justin Bonomo in the big blind.


Rouxel makes a c-bet of 975 and both Bonomo and the player in middle position makes the call.


Rouxel bets 2,550 this time and after the player in middle position folds Bonomo makes the call once more.


Bonomo checks to Rouxel for the third time and the Frenchman doesn’t take a single step back as he fires out a bet of 5,075 from a stack of 23,100 and after a seriously hard think Bonomo releases his hand.

Rouxel ~ 32,000
Bonomo ~ 36,000


The European Royal Flush Girls

We have two of the European Royal Flush Girls at Malta: Violet Dillon and Raysa Peres.

If you want to follow them on twitter here are the links.




Julian Herold Wins Back to Back Pots

Hand 1

November Niner Matthew Giannetti raises to 375 from the hijack, Julian Herold calls on the button and so did the player seated in the big blind.


The big blind checks to Giannetti and the Italian bet 550 and both opponents call.


This time the actions checks to Herold who bets 1,625 and both players muck their hands.

Hand 2

Julian Herold raises to 225 from the cut-off, John Eames calls on the button and the big blind again comes along for the ride.


The big blind checks to Herold who bets 600. Eames goes to collect some chips and the big blind folds out of position before Eames calls.


Herold doesn’t take his eyes of the flop and bets 1,525 and Eames folds.

Herold ~ 51,000
Giannetti ~ 58,000
Eames ~ 27,000


Karr Spars Verbally With Boujenah

We join the action late in the hand. Ilan Boujenah is seated in the hijack seat with 2,500 splayed in front of him and McLean Karr is seated on the button with 5,275 splayed in front of him. The entire table is looking at Boujenah when he picks up 95% of his chips and dumps them over the line. Karr mucks instantly and shows the by mistake. Boujenah turns over for the bluff.

“I love playing with European players. They are so much fun,” says Karr.

Boujenah mentions something under his breath about blockers.

“I don’t think you understand the notion of blockers,” says Karr.

“He was on the Partouche final table, of course he understands the notion of blockers,” says Matt Savage.

“You were just willing to gamble and got lucky. You have no idea how close I was to calling,” says Karr.

“You were too obvious. You will just buy-in if you lose anyway. I know that,” says Boujenah.

Boujenah ~ 37,000
Karr ~ 27,000


WPT Grand Prix de Paris Runner Up – Hugo Lemaire

It was only a few short days ago when Matthew Waxman won the WPT Grand Prix de Paris. The person he defeated in that heads up battle was Hugo Lemaire and he is at the Portomaso hoping to go one step further this time.

Dan Murariu raises to 250 in early position and Hugo Lemaire raises the stakes a little when he makes the three-bet to 800 from the cut-off. When the action returns to Murariu he makes the call and the two of them see a flop of and they both check. The turn is the and once again both players check. The final card is the and Murariu checks to Lemaire and who makes a tiny bet of 225 and Murariu makes the call and wins the hand.


Lemaire ~ 28,000


Tony G Challenges Phil Hellmuth

Tony G has a challenge for Phil Hellmuth here at WPT Malta


Nicolo Calia Wins The Blind Battle

Nobody shows any interest in the hand until it folds to to the small blind who makes up the loose change and Nicolo Calia checks in the big blind.


The small blinds bets 200 and Calia makes the call.


A second barrel worth 500 is made by the small blind and again Calia calls.


The dealers looks at the small blind and this time checks. Calia counts out a bet of 700 and pushes it across the line and the small blind snap mucks.

Calia ~ 33,000


Early Level Action

McLean Karr takes his seat on table six and Mihai Manole is sat to his direct left. Two seats to the left of Manole is Nicolo Calia so we have three experienced players all seated together.

The player in the cut-off raises to 225 and McLean Karr three-bets to 600. The action folds back around to the cut-off and he makes the call.


The player seated in the cut-off checks to Karr who bets 875 and wins the pot. Karr shows the tables for a set.

Karr ~ 31,100


Welcome to WPT Malta

Welcome to the inaugural WPT Malta and the fabulous Portomaso Casino. The action will be starting at 16.00 and the Matt Savage plan of the day is as follows:

We will be playing seven levels of 60-mins with a 15-minute break after every two levels. At 20:15 we will stop play for a 60-minute dinner break meaning we will probably be bagging and tagging at around 01:15 in the morning.

The WPT Malta tournament is also going to be the first ever WPT European re-entry event. If you are a Day 1a player and you bust then you can pay another €3,300 and return for Day 1b, so it will be interesting to see how that dynamic unfolds.

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