Julien Stropoli wins Battle of Malta after 5-way deal
After six gruelling days of play, the record-breaking MPNPT @ Battle of Malta Main Event has been won by French-born Malta resident Julien Stropoli, who bested a tough final table featuring previous MPNPT finalists Mantas Urbonas, Mateusz Moolhuizen and Andy Hills, and came out on top heads up against his fellow countryman and start-of-day chip leader Maxime Canevet.
First to bust out on the day in ninth place was American retiree Jerry Mangum, his desperate T-5 shove called by Mantas Urbonas holding A-J. Mangum took home €23,000 for a very short day’s work.
Next to go was UCOP Leaderboard winner Mateusz Moolhuizen in 8th place. Reduced to just 2 million chips from the 8.6 million he started the day with, he pushed with Q-9 and got looked up by Maxime Canevet dominating with A-9. Moolhuizen picked up €30,000, as well as the €1,500 package to MPNPT Tallinn which he won in the MPNPT qualifiers’ last longer promotion. Canevet meanwhile moved even further into the lead - and then picked up even more chips busting Gustav Vadenbring in seventh place for €41,000 not long after.
Sixth place (€53,000) went to Grosvenor Poker Ambassador Andy Hills, who was outdrawn by an ecstatic Erik Ostergaard, and soon after Hills’ departure the remaining five players struck a deal. €50,000 would go to first place, €23,000 for second, and the rest would be awarded in the following amounts:
- Julien Stropoli – €118,500
- Maxime Canevet – €169,000
- Fakhreddine Abdallah – €108,500
- Erik Ostergaard – €139,500
- Mantas Urbonas – €121,500
Within minutes of the deal being agreed, Abdallah Fakhreddine was eliminated in fifth place; his mother - who he left in charge of his chain of hair salons in Dubai - will presumably be pleased with the €108,500 he’s taking home. Fourth place (€121,500) went to MPNPT Tallinn finalist and tour regular Mantas Urbonas, who shoved with A-Q only to get cold-decked by Erik Ostergaard’s pocket aces. Third place then promptly went to the same Erik Ostergaard who, having played very aggressively throughout the final, misjudged a shove with J-T against Julien Stropoli’s Q-J for a €139,500 payday, leaving the two Frenchmen Canevet and Stropoli heads up.
Stropoli was in possession of the chip lead by this point, and just a few hands into the heads up, he raised with 5-3 and Canevet, looking down at pocket kings, reraised. Canevet bet out on the J-4-3 flop and Stropoli flatted, before all the chips went in on the crucial 5 turn. The river couldn’t help Canevet, who took home €192,000 according to the terms of the deal, while Stropoli got €168,500 but, more importantly, the trophy and the eternal glory of the 2018 MPNPT @ Battle of Malta title.
The €500 + €50 NLH Main Event took place over six days, October 25-30. With 3,816 entries over four starting flights, it smashed the previous record for a poker tournament in Malta, which was held by last year’s 2,074-strong event. It has generated a prize pool of €1,850,760, nearly double the €1,000,000 guarantee, with first place officially paying out €300,000 before deals among the finalists.
Main Event final table results:
- Julien Stropoli - €168,500
- Maxime Canevet - €192,000
- Erik Ostergaard - €139,500
- Mantas Urbonas - €121,500
- Abdallah Fakhreddine - €108,500
- Andy Hills - €53,000
- Gustav Vadenbring - €41,000
- Mateusz Moolhuizen - €30,000
- Jerry Mangum - €23,000
The MPN Poker Tour will be back next January 24-27 in Tallinn with all the poker, parties and personalities that tour regulars have come to expect; online satellites are running now on the MPN Poker Tour’s partner sites. Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more updates.
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