MPNPT Malta’17: Team32Red Report

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Good things come in small packages, and Malta seems to more than fit that particular bill. A naturally attractive place with a lot to offer in its tiny area of just 121 square miles, this popular island that sits in the Mediterranean Sea between Europe and North Africa proved once again to be the perfect venue for an international poker festival.

That was then, this is now…

The MPN Poker Tour last visited Malta in 2014. Along with Tallinn, Estonia, to where the tour will return later this year (19-22 October), it’s a testament to this mini paradise that it was chosen to again host the burgeoning tour. A conspicuously good development that you’ll see below is that in the intervening three years since first touching down on the sun-soaked island, the MPNPT has emerged as a major tour, with the key numbers this time dwarfing the first Mediterranean edition.

 

The Party

Malta used to be called Melita – meaning the island of honey – by the ancient Greeks and Romans. This is fitting, perhaps, given both the varied cuisine on offer and the limitless choice of beverages with which to wash down said cuisine. No doubt this was a factor at the now must-attend MPNPT Welcome Party, which took place on Thursday at Hugo’s Terrace. Indeed, it was free drinks all night, but Malta will also be remembered as the first time a great new attraction featured at the Tour…

 

Pocket Poker

Pocket Poker already sounds like a perfectly catchy name for a new poker game and, if the reaction of both players and spectators (yes – spectators) at the party is anything to go by, watch this space… Microgaming’s Ryan Pretorius, a talented developer, traveled all the way from South Africa with his new creation, which is a spectator-friendly Heads-Up game. Each player has their own device and the game is transmitted on a TV screen so that everyone can see the action as it unfolds. A 36-player knockout tournament was organised and it was a great success, with the crowd cheering on the players! When the proverbial dust had settled and drifted out to sea (just outside the venue) two Team32Red players had taken the two prizes up for grabs: Dmytriy Nesin (Ukraine) pocketed (see what we did there?) free entry to the €300+30 MPNPT NLH Freezeout Event, and Artur Yarovoy earned free entry to the €100+10 Play2Care tournament.

The Play2Care event, incidentally, was MPNPT Malta’s official charity partner (helping people with neurological disease), players being able to increase their stack by 10% by paying an extra €10, which was then matched by Microgaming.

 

The Numbers

As was mentioned earlier, the MPNPT has ballooned in size during the last three years, and it’s almost expected nowadays to see total entries in the €500 + €50 NLH Main Event combine to ‘break’ the advertised guaranteed prize pool. Malta 2017 was no exception, with the excellent venue, Casino Malta (located in the Intercontinental Hotel complex), managing with the numbers.

Day 1a saw 99 starters and, eventually, 28 survivors through to Day 2, Alan Carr topping the field with 185,600 chips. 99 might indeed seem like a healthy size, but Day 1b attracted 265 starters. UK youngster, Jonathan Bowers, with a mighty 278,500-strong stack, had amassed the most chips of the day’s 75 survivors.

Add four extra registrations, and 107 players fought it out on Day 2 for a seat at the final table which, when players regrouped to decide who would win top honours, saw Alessandro Siena of Italy, an online MTT specialist, with a mountainous stack of 2,854,000 chips. Perhaps not surprisingly, he used his numerical advantage to the full and succeeded in securing the MPNPT Malta trophy and, of course, the €35,000 winner’s purse. The fact the 20-year-old lives in Malta also gave it a bit of a home win feel.

Let’s take a moment here to reflect on how far the MPNPT has come. We’ve just seen that the 1st prize this year was a massive €35,000, which equates to about 2/3 of the TOTAL prize money at Malta 2014! This year the €150,000 guarantee was smashed thanks to the 368 total entries, which bumped up the total prize money to a whopping €178,480!

 

Team32Red… onward & upward!

With the MPNPT looking so healthy as the world tour continues, we’re well aware, and very proud, that our players have made such a great contribution to the success story. We have an unrivaled satellite structure for these events in terms of bankroll-friendly qualification opportunities, the point being to present our players with maximum chances to bag both €1,500 packages and €550 Seats for peanuts (the satellite quest for Malta started at a mere €1!).

This is evidenced by the fact that Team32Red is ever-present at MPNPT events, always conspicuous by being excellent ambassadors both during the tournaments and away from the tables. As always, some players fared better than others but, importantly, a good time was had by all…

 

Team32Red Results

Julie Whitworth had an eventful time in Malta. A multiple qualifier, this time she hadn’t done so but went along anyway, which shows what a great time our players have at these festivals. After a bit of people-watching and finding herself suffering from sunburn, she decided to go for it, and entered the Main Event… a great decision, because by the end of the weekend she was on her way home with the €1,450 she’d earned for finishing in 25th! This was Julie’s fourth cash in seven MPNPT tournaments, including twice in a Main Event!

Meanwhile, other notable performances were Johannes Hubalek (who played in the Vienna leg in January) in 29th and Dara O’Kearney’s 33rd. Dmytriy Nesin, apparently not satisfied with his Pocket Poker victory, won the €135+15 MPNPT Casino Malta Poker Cup, which also saw Volodymyr Pastuschenko finish in 6th place, and Daniel Leal (who had won a €1,500 package in a freeroll at 32Red) came 9th.

Memorable Hands

This part of the report should paint both an interesting and instructional picture for those players who are interested in how tournament poker can produce all sorts of situations, regardless of what the event is. Whether it’s a big money festival or a new players’ freeroll, the poker gods don’t discriminate…

Here are a few of our players’ experiences at the tables:

Knut Berntsen: “Lost KK v QQ in a side event when my opponent flopped quads for the ultimate pain”

Simon Taylor: (a veteran of Tallinn – twice – Dublin, Sofia and Vienna): “I made a bad fold early, then lost all my chips with QsJs vs AsAh on a 8s7s6s flop”

David Lappin: “KK into AA to bust in the very first hand of the €300 side event”

Mario Sanchez: (played in Tallinn, Morocco and Vienna), without even making a single reference to specific cards – sums up what we all go through on a regular basis (often without properly noticing how or why!): “… lost 80% of my stack in the first three levels…”

Finally, look what happened to Simon Millard (played in Ireland, Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria – twice) in a cash game: “Lost a €180 pot all-in with JJ v 72 when he hit 222…”

But it’s not all bad… Here’s how Dara O’Kearney (he’s played everywhere!) got the most out of a pair of aces: “I min- raise AA under-the-gun, playing 28BB, to 8,000. The Button (Daniel Jacobsen, who ended up coming second) throws in 9,000, saying nothing (he didn’t see my raise). Both blinds defend. Flop of 522 is checked around (I’d sometimes bet but was hoping the aggro Button would stab). Turn is an ace and I check again as there is very little that can call me. No bad River cards, so I might as well try to induce a bluff or let someone hit the River. River is a jack and the Small Blind bets 17,000. I raise to 45,000 and he ‘cry’ calls”

Final Table Replay

 

Away from the tables…

While some of you may or may not find it interesting to know that both Bryan Adams and Britney Spears are of Maltese descent, or that Popeye Village Malta is a successful tourist attraction nearly four decades on from when the musical film Popeye was made there in 1980, our players were probably more impressed that Valletta was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, or by the sea and the sun and the locals.

Volodymyr Pastuschenko sums it up nicely: “Malta is so magnificent. Valletta may be the most beautiful city I have ever been to.”

Others, meanwhile, soaked up the culture – the two Simons (Millard and Taylor) might have waxed lyrical that Calypso Cave is said to be the very cave that Homer wrote about in The Odyssey, but instead this stuck in their memories (Simon Millard): “Went to Valetta. That was nice, and visited the pub Oliver Reed had his last drinks in before he died…”

 

Finally, a good old ‘shout-out’ to the following, without whom etc… MPNPT’s globetrotting Clodagh Hansen and the indefatigable Mark Spur, Jess Botha, who did a superb job as organizer, and Dana Immanuel, Jen Mason and Rod Stirzaker, the magnificent bloggers.

The next stop on the MPNPT is Manchester, 20-23 July, for which you can qualify via all manner of player-friendly routes at 32Red – even hitting a royal flush in our fun-filled, €3 rebuy, €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale (nightly, 7pm UK time) tournament gets you an instant €1,500 package!

In the meantime, have fun at the tables!

Next up, MPNPT Manchester!

€50,000 Cash Drop (May 4-31)

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

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Sometimes something good just falls right into your lap, and this is what happens during our €50,000 Cash Drop promo – every five minutes we’ll be ‘dropping’ €5 into a player’s account, at random, for the rest of the month!

Numbers-wise, this will mean giving away €40,000 in total by the 31st, and to be eligible to receive a cash drop the criteria isn’t rocket science: simply play at our cash tables. All our promotions are fun and interesting, but this particular one is fantastic in its simplicity because our players benefit by virtue of the fact that they’re just enjoying themselves playing cash poker.

It’s also important to note that this is very player-friendly in that poker fans who play a single table are equally likely to be the recipient of a cash drop as those who multi-table!

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering what the other €10,000 of the promotion is for, there’s another element in the form of a €10K Cash Drop Leaderboard. With each cash drop received you’ll earn one point towards the Leaderboard table, and at the end of the month those who have accumulated the most points will win a share of the booty – the more cash drops you get, the bigger your ultimate prize. And that’s not all – to spice proceedings up a bit we’ve added two special additional prizes: a €1500 MPNPT Package and a €550 MPNPT Seat will be awarded to the winner and runner-up respectively.

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So, if you’re already a cash games player, then carry on doing what you do best and, if you’re new or inexperienced as far as cash games go, remember that we have bankroll-friendly limits as low as €2 max tables.
Have fun, good luck and see how many cash drops you can collect between now and the end of May…

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€200,000 Escalator Series

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News

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It might seem like stating the obvious to say that there’s a lot of poker to look forward to at 32Red, but there is indeed even more juicy stuff than usual to get stuck into thanks to our Escalator tournament series.

Between 9-16 April we’ll be hosting 29(!) special events, with guaranteed prize funds totaling €200,000. There’ll be an assortment of freezeouts and rebuys, full-ring and 6-max tables, with varying buy-ins. The theme of the series is that each successive tournament will have bigger starting stacks and longer blind levels than the previous one – hence the name Escalator – and, as the week progresses, a certain amount of versatility will be needed to navigate your way through the various tournaments.

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By the time of the €320 buy-in Main Event – which boasts €75,000 in prize money, a hefty 10,000-chip starting stack and 15-minute blinds – poker fans will have experienced a whole range of tournament dynamics. Too many players underestimate the implications of stack sizes and what is effectively the cadence of the blinds, but the optimal play for the same hand in the same position is heavily influenced by relative stack sizes and the blind structure…

Highlighting the contrast, and getting the series off to a fun start, will be the inclusion of so-called Flip tournaments, where everyone is all-in each hand until a sole winner emerges. After that, events will be decreasingly frenetic until the deeper stacks and longer blind levels test players’ patience and staying power.

And finally…

Bonus Promotion

It wouldn’t be the same without a bonus to aim for, and the target here is to play 10 or more Escalator events by April 15th, the reward for which is a free ticket (worth €22) for a Main Event Mega Satellite!

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MPN Poker Tour Manchester

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

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One of the biggest poker rooms in the UK will host the MPN Poker Tour this summer (July 20-23) when the MPNPT hits Manchester. While British players will appreciate the opportunity to take part in poker festivals around the globe, it will make a welcome change to see the tour return to home soil. Those from other countries will also be able to see how poker tournaments are organised in the UK, and no better place to show them how it’s done than the Grosvenor Casino in Manchester which, as well as being the ultimate poker venue, also boasts excellent facilities that will add to the experience.

As usual, we’ll provide poker fans with the most comprehensive, player-friendly qualifying structure so that, whatever the size of your bankroll, you’ll get every chance to win a fantastic €1,500 package – in fact the satellite quest starts at just €1! You can even bag a package in our nightly, €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale (only €3 buy-in) by hitting a royal flush.

And the package is well worth winning because it consists of the £550 entry to the £150,000 Guaranteed Main Event, entry to the £110 MPNPT Manchester Poker Cup, four nights’ accommodation (including breakfast) for two at the Park Inn by Radisson, €200 towards travel and expenses and an invite to the Players Welcome Party…

If the presence of #Team32Red at the Welcome Party is anything to go by these days, it’s a sign that our players now regularly qualify for MPN Poker Tour events. We want to maintain our presence so that true poker enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the thrill of big money poker and, with this in mind, will endeavour to keep providing you with the best satellite structure around.

Good luck, remember to have fun along the way, and hopefully we’ll see you in Manchester…

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Daily Deals: Smaller buy-ins, Bigger prizes

March 13, 2017 by  
Filed under News

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‘Smaller buy-ins, Bigger prizes’ – that’s music to the ears of any poker fan, and we’re rolling out the whole orchestra at 32Red this month because there’ll be more reduced buy-ins and increased prize pools than you can shake a virtual stick at.

In fact, every day between March 20th and March 26th you’ll be able to take advantage of these player-friendly tweaks in five multi-table tournaments. Who cares what the nutritionists say? At 32Red you’ll be guaranteed a week’s worth of your ‘5 a day’ essentials…

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Of course, in this case, instead of having to nibble on an apple and trying to do something interesting with a turnip, your 5-a-day is made up of fun-filled tournaments. And eating fruit and vegetables doesn’t come with a chance of winning money. Numbers-wise, we’re talking slashing buy-ins by over 40% and bumping the prize pools up by more than €20,000 during the course of the promotional period!

Finally, to top the week off, March 26th will see a special edition of the Sunday Showdown, with the buy-in lowered to €135 (from €215) and the prize fund increased from €25,000 to €32,000!

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Latest News

March 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News

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New tournament fees

Having made a thorough revision of the entire tournament schedule, the Microgaming network of which 32Red Poker is part has decided to apply small fees to rebuys and add-ons in the multi-table events that have yet to undergo such changes, the new set-up being put into place network-wide from March 14.

The aim is to better facilitate the improvement of tournaments and how they run, as well as to provide more tournament variants and, of course, bigger guarantees.

Malta schedule now available

The schedule has been released for the MPN Poker Tour festival in Malta, 27-30 April, and it’s going to be a packed four days!

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32Red provides our players with the best qualifying set-up for these European poker festivals, and you can win a €1,500 MPNPT poker package for as little as €1! This includes the €550 buy-in for the €150,000 Main Event, entry into the Casino Malta Poker Cup, four nights for two at the Intercontinental Hotel, €200 towards travel/expenses and an invite to the must-go Welcome Party…

We have another winner

Congratulations to Raimat999, who last weekend won a €1,500 MPNPT package in the Sunday 2 Package Final. That’s another Team32Red member to add to our merry band, who will be proudly flying our colours in Malta.

5 Packages Guaranteed, April 2nd

Note that we’re running a 5-package guaranteed Mega Satellite for Malta on the 2nd of April, which will replace our usual 2-package tournament for that week.

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Fish Party: €10K in Added Money Tournaments

March 7, 2017 by  
Filed under News

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By now you should all be aware of the attractions of Fish Party poker at 32Red, namely 3-player progressive jackpot Sit & Go tournaments that can pay out thousands of times the buy-in. And you can sit down at these fun-filled games for as little as €1!

Of course, that’s already enough incentive to click the Sit & Go tab in the Poker Lobby and find the Fish Party section, but this month we’re rewarding players for enjoying themselves at the Fish Party tables by having three Added Money Flash tournaments to the tune of €10,000!

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Flash tournaments are characterized by having 300 starting chips and 2-minute blind levels, thus producing exciting poker right from the off. There will be three Flash events, each requiring very doable milestones that can be achieved by simply playing Fish Party games.

To get your ticket for the €1,000 Added Fish Party Flash (20 March), the requirement is to play just 20 x €1 Fish Parties between 10-19 March. The other two Flash events are €3,000 and €6,000 Added respectively and have similar tasks, while it’s possible to bag tickets for all three in one fell swoop by winning 30 Fish Party tournaments of ANY buy-in!

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32Red regular wins Fish Party Jackpot

March 6, 2017 by  
Filed under News

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The Sit & Go format has been popular since the beginning of the online poker boom for more than one reason. A key attraction is that players can enjoy the atmosphere of a tournament in a matter of minutes, while being up against a limited number of opponents also increases the likelihood of winning a prize.

The word ‘prize’ has taken on considerably more significance now that players are enjoying the fast-paced, three-player Fish Party Sit & Go tournaments because, thanks to the set-up revolving around progressive jackpots, the prizes at stake could be literally tens of thousands the size of the buy-in.

This happened yesterday when, while the players of a €5 tournament watched the mini Fish Party slot feature determine how much they were playing for, the amount the reels produced was a staggering €128,126!

Most of the time there’s one prize, which starts off at twice the buy-in, but with such an enormous jackpot all three players are guaranteed a chunk of the cash. As it turned out it was a 32Red Poker regular, Ronald A (aka fini00) who beat his two rivals to take the lion’s share – €64,063 to be precise. Not that the others will have been complaining to earn €38,437 and €25,625 respectively for their initial €5 buy-in…

Here’s what Ronald had to say…“Ever since the €1 Fish Party jackpot had been hit I started playing the €5 Fish Party tournaments a lot more when I could. I would play up to 8 tables at a time but I found that I couldn’t play any other tournaments because of how quick they go, and a €5 loss here and there can add up when you have a small bankroll as I did. Less than two weeks ago the €10 Fish Party Jackpot hit, and it was just a matter of time before somebody would hit the €5 jackpot.

On March 5th I played as usual. I was concentrating more on my multi-table tournaments rather than the Sit & Gos when out of the corner of my eye I saw the first fish party symbol pop up. I jumped out of my chair because I knew that the prize is determined based on the first symbol. My sound was off on my laptop so I don’t know what new sound I would hear. My heart started racing. I only dreamt about having a chance to play for the jackpot and with my luck over the past few months, I never thought that it would happen to me.

I ended up sitting out on all the other tables because a mis-click here would be devastating. I had to close the chat because I tried to type and play at the same time. Bad idea. I was nervous until I lost with AK to some hand that I don’t remember. I was down to 170 in chips. I was able to double up a few hands later and then put my tournament on the line with KQ all-in pre-flop against AJ. I had even more luck on my side and I survived. From then on I think I played as well as I could. I had over a 2 to 1 chip lead and was faced with a call this time with KQ. Blinds were high at this time and it seemed like my opponent was getting restless. I called, and he/she showed Q4 or K4 unsuited I believe. My hand held and I won. I checked my account a few times to make sure it was real. It’s hard to describe the feeling.”

Following on from another recent hit, when a €10 game paid out a whopping total of €207,438 (with the winner receiving €103,719), this is sure to attract even more players to what has already established itself as a fun way to spend a poker session.

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Fish Party: Massive Jackpot Hit!

March 2, 2017 by  
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It’s no surprise that Fish Party tournaments have become a popular choice for poker fans because – apart from being fast and furious fun – the potential payouts for very modest buy-ins can be massive. Fish Party Sit & Go tournaments have only three players and, despite the buy-ins ranging from only €1 to €50, the prizes can be thousands of times the buy-in – for example, a €1 tournament can have a €6,000 prize pool!

The prize for the winner is measured in multiples of the buy-in, randomly selected in the form of a Fish Party slot once the players have registered. And as the buy-ins increase, the rewards can be life-changing, as was the case this week when the Jackpot was hit in a €10 game…

Christmas came early and several times over when the nose-bleed sum of €207,438 was paid out to the players. The winner received €103,719, with €62,231 and €41,487 being paid out to 2nd and 3rd respectively – far, far more than anyone would have been expecting from their €10 investment.

Meanwhile, similarly huge prizes are waiting to be won at the Fish Party tables, so have fun along the way to winning big…

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MPN Poker Tour: Malta

February 7, 2017 by  
Filed under News

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Just as the return of the MPN Poker Tour to Vienna (see report) is a testament to the Austrian capital’s standing as a global poker venue, selecting Malta as the second host of 2017 is indicative of how popular the tiny Mediterranean island proved the last time the MPNPT enjoyed the hospitality of this popular tourist resort.
 
Taking place at Casino Malta in the picturesque St George’s Bay, 27-30 April, the festival will boast a Main Event with a guaranteed prize pool of €150,000 as well as other interesting events for players to stick their teeth into. One such is the MPNPT Casino Malta Poker Cup, for which the €150 buy-in is included in the €1,500 package that can be won at 32Red for pennies!
 

As always, the qualification process is very player-friendly. Of course, it’s possible to simply buy a package or the €550 Main Event buy-in directly via 32Red, but it’s a great feeling to sit down at a big money tournament knowing that you earned your place as part of a poker holiday for a mere 25 cents…

In addition to the conventional qualification process that features regular qualifiers for packages and seats, with cheap ‘feeder’ tournaments every day, players can also win the whole package by hitting a royal flush in 32Red’s exclusive €3 buy-in Flush Royale tournament, which runs every night, and has a €500 guaranteed prize pool.

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The Package

The Package, valued at €1,500, consists of the following:

  • Entry into the €550 Main Event (€150,000 Guaranteed)
  • Entry into the €150 MPNPT Casino Malta Poker Cup
  • 4 nights, including breakfast, at the Be Hotel (for you and a guest)
  • €400 for travel/expenses
  • Welcome Party

 *You may transfer your side event ticket to a guest if you wish. If you do not transfer your side event ticket but are unable to play because you’re still playing the main event, we’ll refund the buy-in/s to your MPN account. Otherwise, the side event entry is not refundable or exchangeable.

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