History of the Battle of Malta
From humble beginnings, the Battle of Malta has grown to become one of the most exciting live poker festivals in Europe. The buy-in may have stayed the same since 2012, but the event has grown substantially with side events, the Spirit of Poker Awards as well as live-streaming and commentary.
The tournament has also featured notable hosts, such as Kara Scott, Maria Ho, Gaëlle Garcia Diaz, and most recently Laura Cornelius.
In 2014, the festival won the European Poker Award for Best Poker Tournament Under 2k Buy-in.
The Battle of Malta brand and festival was sold by PokerListings to the Eden Group, which runs and operates Casino Malta and the InterContinental Hotel Malta in 2018. The festival was moved from its original home at the Portomaso Casino and the Hilton Malta to the massive Eden Arena in the InterContinental Hotel adjacent to Casino Malta, and the new space was much in demand.
Related: Serghei Lisii Wins Record-Breaking Battle of Malta Main Event
Battle of Malta Winners (2012-21)
The Battle of Malta began with humble beginnings in the basement of the Portomaso Casino in St. Julian’s, Malta in 2012 and proved popular from the start with a Main Event featuring a €550 buy-in, a price point that remained the same a decade later. Nicodemo Piccolo will forever go down in history as the first Battle of Malta Main Event champ after defeating a field of 349 entries to win the title and the €35,000 top prize.
The Main Event more than doubled in size in 2013 to 888 entries when Louis Cartarius won the €68,000 top prize and nearly doubled again in 2014 when Antoan Katsarov came out on top of a field of 1,447 entries to win the €122,750 top prize.
The festival grew once again in 2015 when Nicolas Proust navigated through a field of 1,804 entries to win the €110,000 top prize and more or less plateaued the following two years with Robert Berglund defeated a field of 1,813 to claim the €160,000 winner's prize in 2016 before Nadav Lipszyc defeated a field of 2,074 entries to win a cool €200,000.
The festival took another huge leap in 2018 after moving to the Eden Arena in the InterContinental Hotel with the field nearly doubling to 3,816 entries when Julian Stropli won the title along with the €168,500 as part of five-way deal. The field then grew to 4,657 entries in 2019 when Serghei Lisii defeated Steven van Zadelhoff heads-up to win €247,167 and the title.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the live Battle of Malta in 2020 and 2021. The festival lived on instead online at GGPoker. Rodrigo "Eureka!!" Selouan won the $636,478 top prize in 2020 after defeating a massive field of 8,789 entries. New Zealand's "raggaz" came out on top of a field of 6,591 entries to win the €378,285 top prize in 2021.
|Year||Entries||Total Prize Pool||Winner||First-Place Prize|
|2020||8,789||$4,592,252||Rodrigo "Eureka!!" Selouan||$636,478|