IPT7 Malta2 Day Main Event: Alessio Peciarolo leads Day 1A field

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No doubting Peciarolo's stack

The IPT/EPT festival visited Malta earlier this year and, while the poker action was hot, the weather didn't always live up to the expectations everyone had in mind for a Mediterranean island. The PokerStars festival bandwagon couldn't wait to get back here though for what has quickly become one of the favourite stops on the poker calendar. Today, the weather was hot but the poker was fresh, like dawn of a mid-summer's day where you know it will end up roasting.

A total of 224 players entered the Main Event and by the end of twelve 45-minute levels, 59 players remain. Forty-two year old Italian Alessio Peciarolo had a very active day at the tables and ended as chip leader with 274,200. That amount could've been a whole lot more had he not lost 90,000 off his stack at the death. His pocket jacks faired badly against an opponent's pocket queens on a ten-high flop.

Before that big pot, things had gone very well for him. After play Peciarolo, who has a passion for football and poker, told the blog that won two keys pots during the day's play. One where he had a full house versus an opponent's two pair for a full double up, and another where he was fortunate to hit a straight flush versus an unlucky opponent who had the nut flush. If the Rome-native can carry on his (overall) upward trend, he'll have a tidy bankroll to take the Las Vegas next time, a trip he makes every year.

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Broens was happy with his day

Peciarolo has two players right on his heals though, in the shape of Massimo Di Cicco (263,300) and Henry Broens (241,100). The latter informed the blog that two big pots, amongst many smaller ones, were the key to his day. He said an aggressive but talented player joined his table midway through the day with a healthy stack. The two tangled in a big pot and Broens came out the victor, his pocket queens bettering his opponent's queen-ten on a queen high board. The queens and two hearts came on the flop and Broen's opponent though he had a worse hand or busted flush draw after he called all in on the river.

The other major hand saw the Dutchman flop a pair and straight draw. He passively stuck around to the river where he missed his straight draw but made trips. He raised his opponent's river bet and took the pot after he was snapped off with pocket aces.

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Pagano started and ended well today

Team PokerStars Pro was represented on three fronts today and all three made it though to Day2. Luca Pagano got off to a quick start with an aggressive approach but dropped back slightly during the day before the Italian poker legend ran aces into kings in the last four hands though to double, and end on 131,900. Team Online's Mickey Petersen was never in trouble and cruised through with 79,100. Matthias De Meulder ended the day with 49,000, up from the 27,000 he doubled to earlier when his kings bettered Cameron Couch's pocket queens, all in preflop.

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De Meulder jumped straight into a turbo event after making it through

Other notables to make it through included: Matas Cimbolas (72,600), Russel Thomas (20,600), Franck Alain Delmas (145,000), Dara O'Kearney (48,800) and Andrew Chen (84,100).

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Chen battled opponents and jet lag today

Many a big name came, played and busted today. The festival is large and long though, so the following have a high chance of filling the blog pages again before we leave Malta: Dominik Panka, Jason Wheeler, Kitty Kuo, Benny Glaser, Griffin Benger, Daragh Davey, Kevin Killeen and Ben Wilinofsky.

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Wheeler got smoked at the tables today

Day 1B starts at 12pm CET where we'll do it all over again. Planes have been landing and ships have been docking all full of poker players, so our Seagull lookout informed us. Tomorrow will be a bumper day either way so please do join us back here.

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For full details of the festival, click here.

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Updates provided by Marc Convey, with photos coming from René Velli and
Tomáš Stacha.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in European Poker Tour