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Zlatin Penev Wins PokerStars Summer Festival Malta Main Event (€144,630)

Zlatin Penev

Bulgaria's Zlatin Penev became a live poker tournament champion for the first time and what a way he did it. Penev came out on top of am 815-strong field in the PokerStars Summer Festival Malta Main Event, a result that came with a winner's trophy and a career-best €144,630.

Penev cashed in the €2,200 High Roller earlier in the festival but missed out on a final table appearance. He more than made amends by taking down the €1,100 Main Event and scooping his first six-figure score.

PokerStars Summer Festival Malta €1,100 Main Event Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Zlatin PenevBulgaria€144,630
2Vadim TsatskinCanada€90,460
3Krzysztof MichalikPoland€64,620
4Riccardo ErcaItaly€49,710
5Marcin DziubdzielaPoland€38,230
6Serdar DemircanSweden€29,400
7Manuele CiccarelliItaly€22,620
8Matte KarjalainenIceland€17,400
9Martin PaapNetherlands€13,390

Martin Paap of the Netherlands was the first of nine finalists to bust out. Paap collected €13,390 for his efforts, the fourth-largest live score of his career.

Iceland's Matte Karjalainen was the next to fall. Karjalainen picked up the €17,400 eighth-place prize, which is the first recorded cash on the Icelandic grinder's Hendon Mob page. A nice way to get underway, that is for sure.

Seventh-place and €22,620 went to another player enjoying their first live score, Italy's Manuele Ciccarelli. Sweden Serdar Demircan joined the list of busted players; his sixth place finish coming with €29,400, which is a career-best.

Poland's Marcin Dziubdziela collect €38,230 after falling in fifth. This princely sum is twice the size of the Pole's previous best score of €17,780 which he banked after cashing in the 2022 European Poker Tour Prague Main Event.

Riccardo Erca's decision to make the short trip to Malta for this event proved to be an excellent one because he navigated his way to a fourth-place finish, his first live cash, worth €49,710.

Until the UKIPT / Estrellas Malta Main Event, Krzysztof Michalik had live cashes totalling $9,264. He now has $77,363 in earnings thanks to third place in this event weighing in at €64,620 ($68,099).

Heads-up pitted Penev against Canada's Vadim Tsatskin. No deal was struck despite a €54,170 difference in the payouts. The lack of a deal meant Tsatskin walked away with €90,460 when he fell in second place, and Penev padded his bankroll with a cool €144,630.

PokerStars Summer Festival Malta Side Event Results

Although Penev's six-figure haul was the largest payout of the festival, a handful of others saw five-figure prizes head to their bank accounts.

Ben Jones, the British online grinder known as "jenbizzle," won the €2,200 High Roller for €75,190, while Norway's Thomas Haverstad triumphed in the€550 No-Limit Hold'em Deep Stack and collected €22,710.

Switzerland's Karl Sandoff won the €440 Mystery Bounty for €44,868. Sandoff banked a €16,768 top prize which €28,100 worth of mystery bounties bolstered.

The final five-figure prize went to Hungary's Szabolocs Horvath, who won the €5,200 Super High Roller for €33,370.

EventEntrantsPrize poolChampionCountryPrize
€275 Summer Kick Off Knock Out391€93,840Tobias StrandlystDenmark€9,345
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo56€10,752Alberto Ricco GalluzzoItaly€3,282
€330 Pot-Limit Omaha40€11,520Timothee ColcherFrance€3,280
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo105€20,160Michael WojtkowiakPoland€5,260
€2,200 High Roller172€330,240Ben JonesUnited Kingdom€75,190
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo109€20,928Igor BukowskiPoland€5,478
€1,100 Main Event815€782,400Zlatin PenevBulgaria€144,630
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo95€18,240Josee Nogues LauzSpain€4,890
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo131€25,152Renato MessinaItaly€4,794
€550 No-Limit Hold'em Deep Stack241€115,680Thomas HaverstadNorway€22,710
€440 No-Limit Hold'em Mystery Bounty452€173,568Karl SandoffSwitzerland€44,868
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo89€17,088Marco ColonnaItaly€4,658
€330 Pot-Limit Omaha50€14,400Giovanni AgliozzoItaly€4,680
€5,250 No-Limit Hold'em Super High Roller16€77,600Szabolocs HorvathHungary€33,370
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo91€17,472Manuel Leal BorgesPortugal€4,652
€220 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo Bounty230€44,160Salvatore TerdossiItaly€4,470
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