EPT12 Malta: The MVP returns

Cast your mind back to March of this year and the EPTs first visit to Malta. It'd been some time since a brand new stop had been added to the tour and the EPT wasn't the only event in town that week. As well as the EPT festival there was the stand alone Global Poker Masters.

It comprised of eight teams of six players representing Italy, Russia, United States of America, Germany, Canada, Ukraine, France and the United Kingdom and there's no polite way of saying this, but nobody gave Italy a chance. But, if history teaches us anything about Italian teams it's that they're at their best when they're written off. They weren't fancied before the 1982 or 2006 Soccer World Cup's but lifted the trophy on both occasions and they made a mockery of their 22/1 odds in Malta to defeat Russia heads-up to win the inaugural Global Poker Masters.

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Champions!

Whilst this was poker as a team effort if there was one player key to the Italian's victory it was Giuliano Bendinelli. He accumulated more points then any other player on the first day of the event and also took heads-up scalp in the quarter-final. He was rightfully voted the MVP of the tournament, a personal triumph that was somewhat forgotten due to this being one of the few occasions where poker wasn't about the individual.

Since then Bendinelli has racked up another eight cashes, including one already here in Malta, in the €300 Malta Cup. During the dinner break we spotted him doing a interview to camera for one of the many media here in Malta. Unfortunately his Main Event is now over though as he four-bet shoved for around 25 big blinds with Q♠J♠ only to run into Thomas Muehloecker's aces.

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Giuliano Bendinelli


Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the side event coverage can be found here. Earlier today Mike McDonald and took down the €25,000 High Roller whilst Natan Chauskin prevailed in the IPT Main Event.


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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour