EPT11 Malta: A new dawn in the Mediterranean

Good afternoon (and/or morning) everybody and for the first time may we welcome you to EPT Malta.

These are exciting times. For many years, Malta has become a bit of a go-to destination for the various professional poker players of the world. Even before the events of Black Friday made refugees of countless Americans, this island in the middle of the Mediterranean had attracted anybody looking for sunshine, sports and a decent internet connection. A vibrant community of professional online poker players quickly established itself.

A few years later, PokerStars opened an office here, running many of its European operations from the island, and Malta's many advocates have touted its potential as a destination for the European Poker Tour with utmost enthusiasm. Eventually the powers that be yielded to all the bleating and so it is that the penultimate stop of EPT Season 11 has finally brought us here.

We are not yet one day in, but it's already crystal clear that there's plenty to be excited about. The bleaters were right.


We are in the conference facility shared by the Hilton Hotel and the Portmaso Casino, around the bay from the throbbing party centre of Malta, St Julian's. Conveniently for anybody suffering double vision after the St Patrick's Day celebrations last night, our focus today is two-fold. The Italian Poker Series (IPT) is playing out its Day 1A on the main tournament floor, watched over by Chris Hall on the main IPT page.

There is also a €25,000 High Roller tournament starting this afternoon, which will attract a smaller field but one stacked with the stars of the game. Both of these events are due to run for ten one-hour levels, but the IPT started first (at noon) so that will be done at midnight. The High Rollers will tarry until just past 1am.

There will be hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top of the page, then plenty of features scattered throughout all the EPT Malta pages. Enjoy.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour