All You Need to Know About The Battle of Malta (BOM)
The Battle of Malta (BOM) is a live poker tournament held annually in Malta and designed for low-to-mid-stakes poker players.
Since its launch in 2012, the event has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most popular stand-alone events in Europe. The Battle of Malta also won the 2014 European Poker Awards “Event of the Year” title in the category for buy-ins up to €2,000.
The Battle of Malta Main Event is held over an entire week and typically has a total prize pool of at least €1 million. Side events include super satellites, high roller events, ladies-only events, and several events sponsored by major sporting groups or other organisations.
A Brief History of The Battle of Malta (BOM)
This section will cover Battle of Malta’s early years, as well as highlight how it has grown to become one of Europe’s most exciting live poker festivals.
Battle of Malta (BOM) Spirit of Poker Awards
The annual Spirit of Poker Awards started in 2013, and aimed to recognize poker players who contributed much more to the game than just tournament victories.
Over five years, awards were handed out in three different categories, namely:
- Living Legend
- Rising Star
- Most Inspiring Player
Notable Battle of Malta Winners
As the most prestigious poker event in Malta, Battle of Malta (BOM) has attracted some noteworthy winners over the years.
Bulgarian player Antoan Katsarov was the Main Event winner of Battle of Malta 2014.
In an unusual turn of events Katsarov actually won the tournament without busting his opponent, as action was expected to run into the casino’s hard cutoff time of 5 a.m. and players were given the option of stopping and returning the following day or continuing play. Play ended up reaching the hard stop with just two players left, and Katsarov was declared the winner with final prize money allocated according to chip counts.
Katsarov also had the rare opportunity of choosing the winning hand of the tournament. He picked the Jack-Ten of hearts to display for the winner photos.
Israeli farmer Nadav Lipszyc won the Main Event in 2017 and collected €200,000 for first place. It was Lipsyzc’s first live tournament other than the satellite he played in Israel to win his seat in the BOM Main Event.
Anastasakis became Battle of Malta’s first-ever Greek champion with a total prize of €285,900. Before the event’s conclusion, he made a three-way banking deal with runner-ups Toivo Rinne and Brit Will Jarman, with an additional €100,000 going to Anastasakis when he was declared the winner.
Battle of Malta (BOM) Fun Facts
Let’s round off our guide to the Battle of Malta with some fun facts that you probably weren’t aware of!
#1 - Years of €550 Buy-In
In 2012, the Battle of Malta Main Event featured a €550 buy-in - a price point that remained the same up until a decade later. The current buy-in sits at €555.
#2 - First Ever Battle of Malta Winner
The first person to take home a Battle of Malta title, trophy and €35,000 first prize was retired Italian doctor Nicodemo Piccolo.
#3 - Battle of Malta Online
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, live versions of the 2020 and 2021 Battle of Malta moved online instead to Natural8 on the GGPoker Network.
#4 - Two Best Friends and a Tattoo Bet
In 2016, two best friends from Sweden battled it out at the final table. Robert Berglund and Rasmus Eriksson finished 1st and 3rd respectively. As part of a bet they made before the tournament, Eriksson had to get a tattoo of a Swedish horse for busting first.
#5 - Road to Malta Satellites for Natural8 Players
Road to Malta allows Natural8 players to win seats to the Battle of Malta live events. Both seats and 5-star accommodation are usually up for grabs throughout the series.