The organisers of the Battle of Malta poker tournament, Poker Listings, are expecting to set yet another record for participants in November.

Poker Listings is an affiliate which channels punters to the operators of online poker sites. It first organised the four-day tournament two years ago, attracting 320 people, but it was such a success that the second edition attracted around 900 players.

“We actually had to get more tables into the casino at Portomaso,” CEO Martin Carlesund said. “We could probably cope with 1,400 eventually but if we go much over that it will cause logistical headaches. We would either have to add more days or more venues.”

The attendance compares very well with international tournaments, such as a well-established one in Norway which attracts around 2,000 people.

“Our goal is to surpass this, and there is no reason to doubt that we can do it when you see what we have done in such a short time,” he said.

One advantage of the Malta tournament compared with those on the continent is its mix of nationalities – around 60 per cent are Italians and 30 per cent are German. It is also organised by an affiliate rather than an operator, which also sets it apart from other tournaments.

This year’s jackpot has been doubled to €500,000, with €150,000 of that earmarked for the winner. In line with last year, a number of celebrities will be attending.

He said that the tournament helped to boost the Maltese economy – all the rooms at the Hilton are booked for the tournament participants, and during a month normally associated with low occupancy. A number of the locally-based i-gaming companies are also sponsoring the event, while many of the players are bringing their families with them. The tournament will be complemented by VIP player parties and numerous side events.

“Malta has made a name for itself with operators but we now want to extend that awareness to the punters too. They are the front side of this community and it is important for them to see where the operators are and understand what Malta is about,” he said.


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