The fall months have arrived, and contrary to the temperatures of autumn, the poker season heats up. Players are done with vacations and holidays, and they’re trying to plan their post-summer schedules. As usual and par for the course for many players, the schedule will include the 2023 autumn Malta Poker Festival (MPF).
Unibet is the primary sponsor of the MPF, specifically the Unibet DeepStack Open. The long-running UDSO (14 seasons and counting) sponsored the spring festival in Malta as well, and that one delivered 1,226 entries and a €586,760 prize pool, well beyond the €300K guarantee.
This autumn edition will offer a massive €500K guarantee on the MPF Grand Main Event powered by UDSO. Other tournaments have buy-ins that are in the €100 to €200 range, making it ideal for mid-stakes players.
MPF Founder and Event Director Ivonne Montealegre told Cardplayer Lifestyle, “The tournaments have great variety, fantastic structures, and, whenever possible, very lengthy blind levels. It’s luxurious poker at a low price point. Every tournament is important and beautiful in the house of poker in Malta, Portomaso Casino.”
Montealegre will be running the tournaments, alongside Ylva Thorsrud hosting the Ladies First women-only tournament on October 28 and Paul Rinty Monaghan hosting the seniors-only event on October 29. And poker pro Jon Kyle will be in attendance representing Betsafe.
Malta Poker Festival Dates and Schedule
The official tournament series will run October 24 through October 30, but the opening satellite kicks off on the evening of Monday, October 23. It will be a comfortable €60 buy-in qualifier for the Malta Poker Festival Main Event, the first flight for which takes place the next day.
For those up late winning those seats, there is no rush to enter the MPF Grand Event, as it will offer seven starting flights through October 29. And those who may miss the opening satellite on the 24th can participate in other satties running through the 27th.
There are numerous events on the schedule besides the MPF Grand, and those offerings are as follows:
- Tues, Oct 24: €200 Crazy Pineapple
- Tues, Oct 24: €150 MPF Texas Special
- Wed, Oct 25: €200 HORSE
- Wed, Oct 25: €130 Betsson One Bullet
- Thurs, Oct 26: €200 Bounty Hunter Days Malta
- Fri-Sat, Oct 27-28: €200 Mystery Bounty
- Fri, Oct 27: €230 Friday Shark Deepstack
- Fri, Oct 27: €220 PLO Knight Crusaders
- Sat, Oct 28: €130 Ladies First!
- Sat-Sun, Oct 28-29: €100 APAT Maltese Championship
- Sun-Mon, Oct 29-30: €220 The Hendon Mob Championship
- Sun, Oct 29: €200 MPF Seniors Event
- Sun-Mon, Oct 29-30: €1K MPF Highroller
- Sun, Oct 29: €220 MPF Side Event
- Mon, Oct 30: €100 Bounty Hunter Days Progressive Closer
- Mon, Oct 30: €200 MPF Last Chance
The Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT) hosts its Maltese Championship amidst the MPF with the lowest event buy-in of the series. And the Hendon Mob Championship is also a part of series.
Note that there is also a satellite to the WPT Prime Championship tournament at Wynn Las Vegas. The World Poker Tour series will take place in December, but players can compete in a satellite on Oct 26, during the Malta Poker Festival, in a €110 buy-in satellite to win a prize package.
A downloadable schedule is available on the MPF website, complete with information about reentries, fees, start times, and structures.
Malta Poker Festival Location
The home for the Malta Poker Festival, exclusively, is Portomaso Casino, just off St. Julian’s Bay. The modern casino is open to non-Maltese citizens 18 and older, while Maltese citizens must be at least 25 years old to play.
There are regular cash games, as well as daily tournaments with guarantees on the prize pools.
Why Play at the Malta Poker Festival?
The Malta Poker Festival is often a bucket list item for poker players, not only because of its reputation as one of the best-run tournament series on the poker calendar but because of its location. It’s Malta… after the official tournament season but still offering beautiful weather.
Poker pros will be there, trekking in from around the world. Are you going to be one of them?