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Welcome to Malta!42120066602_8a901af141_o.thumb.jpg.7cb465f714df02dd134710dad68403e6.jpgGood morning everyone and welcome to Day 1A of Unibet Open Malta 2018 being held at Casino Malta in St Julians'.

After an eventful couple of days already, we are finally ready for the start of the €1,100 main event. 

Plenty of players are expected to take part in either today's Day 1A or tomorrow's Day 1B and contribute to a what is always a whopping prize pool at the Unibet Opens.

Yesterday saw a lot of action, including the Tag Team event which involved both Unibet Poker ambassadors and eSporters, which was played on the feature table but will not be broadcast until Friday so make sure you don't miss that one!40352948500_9d898f8443_o.thumb.jpg.3db33bf617dca15dccde96ff811c1527.jpg

The eSport Battle Royale XI took place right after this event which Scott 'Sco' McMillan take down the event for the trophy and €5,000! 

Jordy 'MojoOnPC' Janssens took second for €3,000, while Kevin 'Papaplatte' Teller took third for €2,000 in a very eventful sit and go that was broadcast live on Twitch last night.

Yesterday also saw the conclusion of Day 1 of the Deepstack Open which is twinned with Unibet Open here in Malta for the very first time. A live stream of Day 2 of this event will be broadcast live on Twitch from 4pm.

My focus today however will be on the main event. Let me know if there's anyone you'd like me to keep an eye by finding me in the press area or sending me a message. Best of luck to everyone playing!



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Notable names jump into the action

There are plenty of notables playing Day 1A today including Unibet Poker ambassadors Espen Jorstad and Daiva Byrne. Daiva has just taken her seat whilst Espen has been playing since the start of play but hasn't had any major changes to his stack.

Speaking of stacks, players start with 30,000 chips with the first level being 50/100.

Midway through the first level and 82 players have registered so far, but that number is expected to exceed that by a fair stretch.

Other notable names today include Unibet Open London 2017 winner Gerret Van Lancker and Unibet Open Cannes 2015 Runner up Karl Stark.

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Nice pot for Pacheux

In a battle of the Frenchmen, Erwann Pacheux got into a river betting war with Mohamed Kerkeni.

On a board of Q♦️ 4♦️ 5♠️ 2♦️ T♥️, Kerkeni led the river from the SB for 300 which was tiny compared to the pot size of around 5,500.

Pacheux raised on the button to 5,000, and Kerkeni snap re-raised to 11,300 which sent Pacheux into the tank, only for him to click back a raise to 17,600!

Kerkeni shook his head and said "Call!", only for Pacheux to show A♦️ K♦️ for the stone cold nuts.

Kerkeni unhappily turned over his J♦️ 5♦️ as Pacheux scooped in the pot. 

Kerkeni who has over $35,000 in live tournament earnings now has a short stack, while Pacheux has had the start he will have hoped for, sitting on a stack of around 55,000 

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First break

Players are on their first break here in Malta and notable name stacks are as follows:

Gerret Van Lancker - 88,000

Andreas Thorsen - 78,000

Daiva Byrne (Unibet Poker ambassador) - 36,500

Phil Schonebaum (Unibet eSporter) - 30,000

Amko Hoogendijk (aka Maestro) - 27,000

Espen Jorstad (Unibet Poker ambassador) - 23,000

Dehlia De Jong - 12,000

Play will continue in just under ten minutes.

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Brief update

We are midway through level three here in Malta with the blinds at 150/300 with a 25 ante.

96 players have registered and with only two bust outs so far, it seems like a fairly tentative start here at Casino Malta.

42166342901_55086011be_o.thumb.jpg.637da1e7d8449f752d0636d8b0a2b712.jpgThose two bust outs have come in the form of Wim Van Munster and just recently Mohamed Kerkeni, who was coolered in a flush over flush situation earlier. 

Unibet eSporter Sophia 'Djarii' White has recently entered the picture, but is already down to 25,000 from her 30,000 starting stack.

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Early bustouts

Six players have been knocked out so far here on Day 1A. 

The tournament clock and information on display here in the tournament area has been adjusted to account for those who haven't taken their seats yet, making there 76/82 remaining.

Johannes Park, Soeren Voehrs, Timo Hirvola and Niko Koop join Wim van Munster and Mohamed Kerkeni on the rail.

Current level is 200/400, as we approach the next break in around 10 minutes.

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40359376460_75409a8978_o.thumb.jpg.b383fb017ac9267ede317aab0ac94c27.jpgDjarii doubles through Stark

Unibet eSporter Sophia 'Djarii' White has just doubled up through Unibet Open Cannes 2015 runner up Karl Stark.

Catching the action by the river, a board of K♥️ J♠️ 4♣️ 9♠️ 6♦️ was showing with Djarii's K♣️ J♦️ on display as Stark counted out the chips to pay Djarii as his hand was already mucked. 

Sophia said he had Ax Kx, but his top pair top kicker was no match for Djarii's flopped two pair.

With that hand, Djarii moves up to 60,000, while Stark loses around half his stack and is down to around 25,000.

Notable name stack updates coming shortly.


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We lose Daiva!

38761304272_7d742aa395_o.thumb.jpg.4ae0695ebdbfc03ec10a3fe677ea1d95.jpgWe have our first Unibet ambassador casualty in the main event here in Malta. 

Daiva Byrne has been eliminated after losing a flip for her tournament life.

After min-raising pre off of 25bbs at bb 600 in the CO, she faced a 3-bet from Unibet eSporter Phil Schonebaum on the button to 3,000.

Daiva 4-bet shoved with Tx Tx for Phil to call with Ax Qx. A queen high flop was enough to send Daiva to the rail.


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Dinner break update 40359373590_ee06b0a2ae_o.thumb.jpg.c65308be27c5db688ec2d5684ff30a14.jpgThe players have just left the tournament area for their one hour dinner break and 64 players remain out of 88 entrants.

Late registration will be available up until play restarts which should be around 7:30pm local time.40362493360_6cec934591_o.thumb.jpg.b7f753777b21f49e4bd7d9bdba350b3d.jpg

Frenchman Charly Grenet leads the pack with over 100,000.


Unibet eSporter Sophia 'Djarii' White has worked up a decent stack in the first part of Day 1A, while Unibet Open London 2017 winner Gerret Van Lancker is also enjoying the start he's made. 

Unibet Poker ambassador Espen Jorstad would have hoped for a better start as he has less than 10bbs when he comes back from dinner, meanwhile we unfortunately lost Amko Hoogendijk otherwise known as Maestro to the Unibet community before the dinner break. Unlucky dude, maybe next time!

Here are some notable stacks:

Charly Grenet - 105,000

Djarii (Unibet eSporter) - 85,000

Karl Stark - 70,000

Gerret Van Lancker - 60,000

Phil Schonebaum (Unibet eSporter) - 55,000

@triceraatopp - 18,000

Dehlia De Jong - 14,000

Espen Jorstad (Unibet Poker ambassador)- 7,000


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Huge pot for syrinxx!

Unibet esporter Phil Schonebaum otherwise known as syrinxx on his Twitch stream has just won a massive pot to propell himself up near the chip leaders.

Catching up with the action on the turn, Phil check called a half pot bet. The pot being around 15,000 at this point.

When the river was dealt the board read: 2♣️ 8♣️ 8♥️ 4♦️ 9♣️

Phil on the river then decided to lead for a bet of around 8,000. His opponent Guilbert Johan thought for a few seconds and then decided to shove, which Phil snap called and showed 9♠️ 9♥️

Johan nodded his head and showed his 4♠️ 4♥️ to the table. A very unfortunate cooler that went against him and in the favour of Phil.

Their stacks now are as follows:

Phil Schonebaum (Unibet esporter) - 125,000

Guilbert Johan - 25,000 

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We lose Espen40364628410_e5f4434abc_o.thumb.jpg.5ce0f6b38779ecde4195e7b7f88864a4.jpg

We have lost our second and last Unibet Poker ambassador of the day here in Malta.


Cash game specialist Espen Jorstad was very short after coming back from the dinner break, only having around six or seven big blinds, and as the antes ate away at his stack, his chips quickly diminished. 

He did have a brief moment of hope when he double up with Jx Jx against Ax 7x, however, his stack had dwindled down to 3.5bbs by this point so his double up put him back to where he was when he came back from break.

And then not long later, he hit the rail. Unfortunate that he couldn't get anything going today. Unlucky Espen!

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Brief update28301429958_424a57194c_o.thumb.jpg.d0994605af870d7274aae6469a41f4de.jpgWe are currently midway through level 8 where the blinds are 600/1200 with a 200 ante. When this level ends the players will take a short 15 minute break.

As late registration is now closed, it is confirmed that on Day 1A we got 88 entrants with 49 still remaining hoping to make it through to Day 2.

The remaining players still include Unibet Open London 2017 winner Gerret Van Lancker, Unibet esporters Djarii and syrinxx, and unibet community player @triceraatopp. Updated stacks on these players and others including the chip leader will be coming up soon.

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Final break update

The players have just gone on their final break of the day for 15 minutes, and when they come back, two more levels will be played and then play will end.


41454292884_83f565c508_o.thumb.jpg.9534762a20c36cf0f229bf374ecdbbdf.jpgCurrently, the chipleader is Frenchman Charly Grenet with over 200,000. Unibet esporter Phil 'syrinxx' Schonebaum is around the top stacks too with around 148,000.

All 40 remaining players will be hoping they can last the rest of the day and make it through to Day 2. Here is a list of notable name stacks:

Charly Grenet - 197,000

Karl Stark - 170,000

Tomasz Kozub - 155,000

Phil Schonebaum (Unibet esporter) - 150,000

Jan Eckert - 135,000

@triceraatopp - 85,000

Guilbert Johan - 72,000

Gerret Van Lancker - 65,000

Raiko Prii - 57,000

Dehlia De Jong - 35,000

Djarii (Unibet esporter) - 28,000

When we return, the blinds will be 800/1600 with a 200 ante as we enter the final phase of Day 1A here in Malta.


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Brutal river for Djarii28301427698_4aac7ce3ab_o.thumb.jpg.da3b1ea60dfa19dfb51000d46fce6819.jpg


We have lost Unibet esporter Sophia White aka 'Djarii' in the penultimate level of the day here in Malta. 

After being short for a while, Sophia found her spot to go all-in with Ax 8x, only to get called by Tx Tx.

However, the flop was ace high which pushed Djarii toward a very likely double up. A brick on the turn changed nothing, and Sophia just needed to dodge one of the two remaining tens in the deck. But she couldn't.

One of those tens did hit, and sent Sophia to the rail.

Sick river, unlucky Sophia.

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Final level!

We have just entered the final level of Day 1A here in Malta. Blinds are 1000/2000 with a 300 ante and 34 remain trying to make it through to Day 2.

Any big changes in the last hour will be reported on, as well as chip counts when play has finished.


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Van Lancker on a late charge40362493360_6cec934591_o.thumb.jpg.4de48faad1109d957362e8eea4f7ce8f.jpgJust over 40 minutes to go of the final level here, and a previous Unibet Open winner is trying to add to his stack as much as he can before the end of the day.

Ludovic Breau opened the button off a short stack, only to get 3-bet to 11,000 by Van Lancker in the small blind. Breau flatted and we went post-flop.

Flop:  T:Diamonds: 4:Spades: 9:Hearts:

Van Lancker c-bet for 12,000 and Breau called with not much left behind.

Turn: 7:Clubs:

Van Lancker put Breau all in for his last 20,000 and thought for a moment and the announced "I call."

Van Lancker: A:Hearts: T:Hearts:    Breau T:Clubs: 8:Clubs: 

River: A:Clubs:    Board: T:Diamonds: 4:Spades: 9:Hearts: 7:Clubs: A:Clubs:

So Gerret Van Lancker's AT of hearts holds and he knocks our Ludovic Breau and now manages a stack of over 135,000.

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Day 1A Round up & final chip counts40359373590_ee06b0a2ae_o.thumb.jpg.4f104bec093be620d4bfa28b412a8083.jpg

Day 1A has come to an end here at Unibet Open Malta hosted by Casino Malta.

28 players have made it through to Day 2 on Saturday out of a total 88 entrants. Among those are Unibet Open Cannes 2015 runner up Karl Stark, Unibet esporter Phil 'syrinxx' Schonebaum and Unibet community member @triceraatopp!

Chip leader is from Day 1A going into Day 2 is Charly Grenet with almost 200,000 in chips.

Here is the rest of the players chip counts who made it through to Day 2:

Charly Grenet - 197,400

Jenny Israel - 168,500

Ilkka Heikkila -154,300

Tomasz Kozub - 135,500

Jan Eckert - 133,000

Gerret Van Lancker - 131,400

Daniel Aaberg - 117,800

Emelie Svenningsson (@triceraatopp) - 116,300

Luigi Knoppers - 112,800

Karl Stark - 107,800

Morten Lyngbo - 107,000

Koen Roos - 103,700

Julien Stropoli - 95,900

Goerge McDonald - 95,900

Ari Kumpumaki - 93,900

Frederic Philippe - 93,400

Zbigniew Pakleza - 92,300

Johan Guilbert - 71,200

Kenneth Froland - 70,500

Martin Wrulich - 67,000

Raiko Prii - 66,200

Phil Schonebaum (Unibet esporter) - 57,300

Anders Thorsen - 49,700

Kristian Aksnes - 47,700

Jussi Heikela - 40,300

Erwann Pecheux - 34,900

Tomi Jumpponen - 33,300

Matteo Mutti - 32,000

Day 1B commences tomorrow at 12pm local time and the blog will start again around then so make sure you tune in for another interesting day of poker.


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