Live Events 2
Main Event



Main Event
Day 2 Completed

[Removed:155] Leads Final Nine of the 2018 Unibet Open Malta Main Event

KaleGozer • Level 20: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante

On Day 2 of the 2018 Unibet Open Malta €1,100 Main Event, it took 9.5 level to whittle a field from 82 down to the final nine. Each of them has already locked up €5,750 for their accomplishment, but all eyes are set on the first-place prize of €60,090 and the coveted moniker of Unibet Open that awaits the champion on Sunday, May 20 in the InterContinental Casino in St. Julians.

Chipleader is [Removed:155], who will start the final day with 2,043,000 in chips. Brand was in a commanding position throughout the day, using his big stack to his advantage and wielding it like a sledgehammer. In the final stages of the day, Brand soldified his lead with an amazing king-high hero call that proved pivotal towards his end of day chip lead.

Brand is joined on the final table by Julien Stropoli (1,648,000), Henri Piironen (1,070,000), Kristof Segers (993,000), Jan Eckert (638,000), Day 1b chipleader Daniel Jacobsen (586,000), Roberto Morra (557,000), Ilkka Heikkila (335,000) and Nicolas Ludwicki (304,000).

Cards for the final table will be back in the air at approximately 12 p.m. local time on Sunday, May 20, with 29:17 left in level 20. Blinds will be 10,000/20,000 with a running ante of 3,000. Unibet Poker will provide the live stream will hole cards on a 30 minute security delay.

2018 Unibet Open Malta Main Event Final Table Seating & Chip Counts

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
2Roberto MorraItaly557,00028
3Julien StropoliFrance1,648,00082
4Daniel JacobsenDenmark586,00029
5Jan EckertGermany638,00032
6Nicolas LudwickiFrance304,00015
7Henri PiironenFinland1,070,00054
8Kristof SegersBelgium993,00050
9Ilkka HeikkilaFinland335,00017

Day 2 Action

The day started off with 82 out of 273 entries with a clear first goal in mind: making the money. With 39 spots paid, not everyone would receive a cash prize of at least €1,920. For Phil Schonebaum, Romain Nardin, Erwann Pecheux, Johan Guilbert, Toby Locky and Day 1a chipleader Charly Grenet, a empty-handed faith awaited. George McDonald ended up as the bubble boy after losing pocket jacks against ace-king when an ace hit the turn. As a consolation prize, McDonald received a bottle of champagne from Unibet to ease the pain of missing out on the money.

The Unibet squad was represented by six players on Day 2, but only Fredrik "DBergie" Bergmann and Ian Simpson were able to make the money. For Simpson, a blind battle with ace-queen against pocket fours didn't end up in his favor and he finished in 31st place (€2,150). Bergmann claimed the honor of best Unibet representative with a 17th place (€3,380). Down to seven big blinds, Bergmann moved all in from the button with king-trey and got looked up by ace-trey and didn't improve.

Kevin "Papaplatte" Teller
Kevin 'Papaplatte' Teller just missed the money in the Main Event

Kevin "Papaplatte" Teller was the sole Unibet Esports survivor on Day 2, but he just missed out on the money when he reshoved pocket fives into the pocket kings of Jan Eckert. Dara O'Kearney, Quentin Lecomte and Rauno Tahvonen were the other Unibet players on Day 2 that failed to make the money.

Once in the money, Jack Sinclair, the most accomplished player in the field left at that point, had to bow out in 22nd place (€2,690). Sinclair lost his stack in two big hands. Other notables that cashed but didn't make the final table include [Removed:158] (39th - €1,920), Toni Ojala (30th - €2,150) and Mats Karlsson (19th - €3,010).

At the final two tables, the big stacks turned up the heat, and Brand as well as Stropoli went on a raising spree at their respective tables. Brand also showed his prowess at the feature table with an amazing hero call that commentator David Lappin described as the best hand of the tournament. Holding king-deuce, Brand raised on the button and Roberto Motta defended his big blind with queen-eight. The jack-nine-trey flop went check-check, then Brand called a bet when the nine came on the turn and a sizable bet on a seven river with the best hand. Due to the hand, Brand moved up to the two million mark and the chip lead at the end.

While Stropoli ended up as one of the big stacks, he avoided a setup that would've cost him most of his stack with 23 players left. Holding ace-king, Stropoli was all in against a short-stacked Kevin Possemiers, while Jenny Israel folded pocket queens preflop. Both a queen and ace flopped and Stropoli would have had to part much of his chips to Israel. Instead, the Frenchman soared to new hights and never looked back after that.

Meanwhile, Israel received the most brutal beat of her poker career shortly after when she did play pocket queens all the way. Her opponent Erik Nordahl got it in with pocket tens on the turn, only for a ten to come on the river to end Israel's run in brutal fashion.

Just missing out on the final table were Brand's fellow Dutchmen Ronald Haverkamp (10th) and Luigi Knoppers (11th), as well as Scotland's Jamie Munro (12th), Maltese resident Manuel Zapf (13th) and Sweden's Daniel Aaberg (14th). Mats Karlsson, who retired to Malta years ago and had great poker success in the past, ended up in 19th place after Eckart took his stack with a turned wheel against a one-pair hand.

All players will return at noon on Sunday to play for the title and the first-place prize of €60,090. The stream will start at 12:30 p.m. with hole cards face-up. PokerNews will be on the floor until the winner of the 2018 Unibet Open Malta Main Event has been crowned.

Fredrik "DBergie" Bergmann
Fredrik 'DBergie' Bergmann finished in 17th place

Tags: Daniel JacobsenHenri PiironenIlkka HeikkilaJan EckertJulien StropoliKristof SegersNicolas LudwickiRoberto Morra

Ronald Haverkamp Eliminated in 10th Place (€5,000)

KaleGozer • Level 20: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante
Ronald Haverkamp
Ronald Haverkamp

On the final table bubble, [Removed:155] opened the action to 45,000 from the cutoff, Ronald Haverkamp three-bet shoved 221,000 from the big blind and Brand called.

Ronald Haverkamp: {2-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}
[Removed:155]: {6-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}

The Dutchman was drawing slim and picked up nothing more than chop outs along the way: {A-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}{K-Hearts}. With Haverkamp's elimination in 10th place, the final table is now set. All players will return on Sunday, May 20 at noon to contest for the Unibet Open title and €60,090.

[Removed:155] NL
NL 2,043,000 343,000
Ronald Haverkamp nl
Ronald Haverkamp
nl Busted

Tags: Ronald Haverkamp

Brand Hero-Calls with King High

KaleGozer • Level 20: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante

[Removed:155] raised to 45,000 on the button with {K-Hearts}{2-Hearts} and Roberto Morra defended the big blind with {Q-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}. The {9-Clubs}{3-Spades}{J-Hearts} flop went check-check.

On the {9-Spades} turn, Morra bet 77,000 and Brand called with his weak king-high. The {7-Clubs} on the river prompted a 250,000 bet from Morra. Brand gave it some thought then called it off. Morra threw his queen-high open and Brand smoothly collected the pot to claim the chip lead.

[Removed:155] NL
NL 1,700,000 300,000
Roberto Morra it
Roberto Morra
it 556,000 -244,000

Tags: Roberto Morra

Luigi Knoppers Eliminated in 11th Place (€5,000)

KaleGozer • Level 20: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante
Luigi Knoppers
Luigi Knoppers

Nothing went in Luigi Knoppers' way the last hour. and the Dutchman residing in Malta was down to his last 300,000 in chips. From under the gun, Knoppers shoved the majority of it in the middle.

Everyone folded to Daniel Jacobsen in the big blind, who quickly stuck his total stack of 263,000 in.

Daniel Jacobsen: {9-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}
Luigi Knoppers: {5-Spades}{5-Diamonds}

Jacobsen's hand played with a nine kicker on a {7-Clubs}{K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}{A-Spades}{A-Hearts} board and Knoppers was left with mere crumbs, which he lost shortly after.

Daniel Jacobsen dk
Daniel Jacobsen
dk 550,000 274,000
Luigi Knoppers nl
Luigi Knoppers
nl Busted

Tags: Daniel JacobsenLuigi Knoppers

Jamie Munro Eliminated in 12th Place (€4,350)

KaleGozer • Level 20: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante
Jamie Mundo
Jamie Mundo

Henri Piironen opened to 45,000 in the cutoff, Jamie Munro three-bet shoved around 300,000 from the big blind and Piironen quickly called.

Jamie Munro: {9-Hearts}{9-Clubs}
Henri Piironen: {A-Hearts}{J-Spades}

"One time hold!" Munro said while he raised his finger. The one time held up on the {Q-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{2-Spades} flop and {4-Diamonds} turn, but the {J-Hearts} river gave Piironen the winner. After the river fell, Munro stared briefly at the sky for a few seconds, then went off to collect the 12th place prize.

Henri Piironen fi
Henri Piironen
fi 1,150,000 350,000
Jamie Munro gb
Jamie Munro
gb Busted

Tags: Henri PiironenJamie Munro


Stropoli Drags A Monster Pot from Eckert

KaleGozer • Level 19: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
Julien Stropoli
Julien Stropoli

In the biggest pot of the tournament, Jan Eckert clashed massively with Julien Stropoli. Eckert was in the small blind and Stropoli played from the cutoff.

There was already a substantial pot brewing between the two when action was on Eckert on a {7-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{A-Clubs} board. The Dane bet 210,000 and the Frenchman called in position.

On the {2-Diamonds} river, Eckert settled on a bet of 250,000. Needing about five seconds, Stropoli went all in for 685,000 and Eckert slumped back in his chair. He sighed, double-checked his hole cards, then gave it up after about twenty seconds.

Julien Stropoli fr
Julien Stropoli
fr 1,900,000 710,000
Jan Eckert DE
Jan Eckert
DE 495,000 -905,000

Tags: Jan EckertJulien Stropoli

Manuel Zapf Eliminated in 13th Place (€4,350)

KaleGozer • Level 19: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
Manuel Zapf
Manuel Zapf

It got folded to Julien Stropoli on the button who slid a large stack of chips forward, enough to put both blinds at risk. Jamie Munro folded the small blind, but Manuel Zapf called it off in the big blind.

Manuel Zapf: {A-}{3-}
Julien Stropoli: {A-}{9-}

The board brought no help for Zapf and he had to make his way to the rail. The Maltese resident received €4,350 for his deep run.

Julien Stropoli fr
Julien Stropoli
fr 1,190,000 390,000
Jamie Munro gb
Jamie Munro
gb 130,000 -120,000
Manuel Zapf mt
Manuel Zapf
mt Busted

Tags: Manuel ZapfJulien Stropoli