Last weekend in Malta took place the Malta Team Poker Tournament, organized by the Casino Di Venezia in Vittoriosa.
We found the concept quite original: 42 teams of 3 players in the same tournament. Every team distinguished by their outfits (t-shirts, hats, glasses, etc…) and identified by a team name (some of them were, trust me, pretty cool).
45,000 chips per team, shared the way they wanted between team members, and 20 minutes levels, for a pretty fast structure, but only a €35 buy in per member.
What differenciates this tournament from a normal one, is that at every break, you were allowed one chip dump per team, along with one seat change. The chip leader was allowed to give up to 25% to his stack to one team mate, and two players from the same team could swap seats at the break, making this a pretty exciting experience.
By now you must now that at Chilipoker, we are passionate about this game, and it was with a non dissimulated excitement that we were looking forward to this event.
3 members of our staff decided to make a team, and that’s how Alexandre (live event manager), Feliciana (CFO), and myself were on our way to the Malta Team Poker Tournament.
team name: F.B.I (because at Chilipoker, we also have a sense of humor, we decided to not be called Chilipoker – although we had stickers on our shirts – but instead decided to have a wink at the Black Friday ;o)
Along with a few friends on the island, we were on our way to the Three Cities, on the other side of Valetta. It didn’t take long before we all talked about a side bet in the van… You might think that we have been working too hard on Chiliconnect lately, and you might be right! Here it was, we chose the Last Longer, just like you can do on Chiliconnect. The team that will finish before the other one will be the winner. it’s as simple as that! The stakes? the losing team will take the other one for diner into the restaurant of the choice of the winning team. It’s on!
Malta Team Poker Tournament at the Casino De Venezia
Shuffle up and deal!
After the casino took a picture of every team and after calling them one by one, the tournament finally started. We could tell all the players were excited and were really ready to play.
One rule though: until the final table, team mates were not allowed to be called during a tough decision at the table.
We decided to start with equivalent stacks, as there was no reason to start with more chips than anybody in the tournament, since we thought the majority of the teams would do the same.
After a few hands, we all had a good idea of who was at our tables, and everyone got involved in several hands, starting with Alex, who quickly built a decent stack.
Feliciana, at her table, and after only a few levels, got stuck in a bad set up with a tricky player limping with a pair of jacks. Our CFO raised with A6 in position, and they both saw a flop A 6 J rainbow. All the chips went in and the FBI had to report one agent down.
On the other side, our friends from the pink panther team were doing quite good with two of their players gathering chips, and dumping to one of their short stack during the break. On our side, we decided to not dump anything when i was up to 22k and Alex around 18k. Both around average, it wouldn’t have changed anything. Also, we both kept our seats. I think it is an advantage to stay at the same table when you start building an image, and when you think you might have an edge on the table. If nobody is bullying you, then, stay as long as you can at the same table!
With 20 minutes levels, the average stack was quickly around the 20 big blinds (20k)… After being up to 30k alex started to lose some chips and finally on a last end, when he was down to the 15k mark, he lost the whole lot trying a “move” … Second agent down
It was all on me now to try and go the furthest to : A/ try to win this thing, and : B/ to win the last longer.
- Alexandre, Fabien, and Feliciana
Not long after the bad news, one of the weakest players at my table, short stacked, moved all in for a third of my stack. I decided to isolate him by pushing all in, with pocket 8, as i didn’t want to give good odds to anybody after me (especially the blinds). Once again, bad news when i saw the small blind calling with two Kings …
It was up to destiny now, and everybody has to know that i hate that!
8c 8s vs Kh Kd vs Ah 3h
Flop: 9c Th Jc
I guess you need to get lucky once in a while. My stack went up 2,5 times and i could now play more aggressively. With only a few levels to play and blinds really high, the other team lost their two biggest stack, and were only left with Sylvie, short stacked. On my side, i kept stealing blinds until the last hand of the day. With already 7,000 in the middle with blinds and antes, plus 2 limpers, i decided to defend my big blind by a nice all in shove. Nobody wants to bust on the last end of the day, so I had quite a nice fear equity, and i was also holding Th Js, a hand that will most likely have a decent equity if i get called by a small pair (around 48%), or a weak ace (around 40%). Everybody folded and i ended up the with 60k, the tenth stack out of 64 players.
Day2 at the Malta Team Poker Tournament
With 20 minutes levels and blinds going up not so smoothly, this game pretty much became a lottery. Just had to wait for cards, and push at the right time to steal the blinds and antes once in a while.
Sylvie, the last opponent in our last longer bet “Chiliconnect style” arrived at my table. I could already smell the nice dinner we were going to get. She was down to 1 big blind only after a bad set up on the other table! But fate is what it is. She tripled up, then doubled up, and in no time she was back in the game. She even managed to double up once more holding 88 vs 88, making a flush on the river!!!
Talking about cards, i finally saw my first pair of aces of the weekend. I was under the gun, and had to disguise a smile on my face when one player called my raise, and the chip leader of the tournament re raised for 3/4 of my stack… I just had to go all in, leaving him no choice but calling, with a pair of Kings. The aces held and i was now seating behind 100k, one of the biggest stacks.
But shortly after that, i was moved to a new table, and after a failed attempt at stealing , and the blinds going up so quickly, it was not long before i realized that i had was now holding 4,5BB … UTG+1, i moved all in with 55 to be called by AK and saw a board that left no expectations … AQT K 4
Last agent down, in 16th position.
Our team finished the tournament in 13th position out of 42 teams.
Needless to say that after coming back from nowhere, our friend Sylvie then took the chip lead and finished 3rd in the tournament! Good Game to her! We will be happy to all go for a nice diner, on our expenses …
Most of all, we all agreed on the fact that this tournament was such in a good atmosphere, that it makes us want to play that kind of event even more. We can’t wait for the next one, and you can make sure that this time, we will bring more than one team!!!