Day 1b is over at Casino Malta, and top of the chip count pops is young Brit Jonathan Bowers on 278,500. Seventy-five players survived today’s cardroom carnage, and tomorrow they will merge with the 28 Day 1a survivors to produce a 103-strong Day 2 field – plus anyone daring enough to buy in before registration officially closes at the start of play tomorrow.
Today’s Day 1b field for the €500 + €50 MPNPT Malta Main Event was expected to be larger than Day 1a’s, but with 265 registrations in total, it exceeded even the most wildly optimistic predictions. The Casino Malta card rooms were so packed with Main Event players (many of them nursing hangovers from last night’s epic player party) that the €100 + €10 Turbo side event had to be pushed back to 9pm owing to a lack of tables, and the €150,000 guarantee was well and truly smashed well before the dinner break was even in sight. With registration still open until the start of play tomorrow, we are looking at a final total of around 364 entries and a prize pool in excess of €175,000. We’ll have the final numbers shortly after play begins tomorrow at 1pm.
The field was studded with an impressive number of familiar faces, including Irish poker legends Dara O’Kearney and Daragh Davey, EPT Malta runner up Mats Karlsson, MPNPT Vienna runner up Ben Middleton, Finnish wunderkind Mika Paasonen, and recent Irish Open finalist Sameer Singh.
Chip leader at the end of the day, and overall chip leader going into Day 2, is young British circuit player Jonathan Bowers on 278,500; just behind him on 265,000 is Italian player Valerio Marino. Other players of note progressing to Day 2 include Mats Karlsson (179,000), Ben Middleton (145,400) and Dara O’Kearney (122,700)
As we head into the business end of the tournament, the MPNPT Last Longer King promotion will become of increasing interest. All players who qualified online through Betsson, Betsafe, NordicBet, Triobet or Bets10 are eligible (so long as they are wearing the distinctive yellow lanyards – get yours now from your site representative!). The last man (or woman) standing among them will win a €1,500 package to MPNPT Manchester, taking place July 20-23.
Side events continue apace, with tomorrow’s highlights including the €135 + €15 Casino Malta Poker Cup taking place at 3pm, and the €135 + €15 MPNPT Omaha Cup at 6pm. If you’re unable to join us here at Casino Malta, you too can take a shot at MPNPT glory – registration is now open for the online”MPNPT Manchester Freeroll” to win a package to the MPNPT’s next outing in July. Just play 10 raked hands at any of the participating brands, and you’ll be able to register using the password “MPNPTKING”.
Play resumes tomorrow at 1pm (please note the later start time – anyone who has experienced the local nightlife will no doubt appreciate the extra hour in bed). We’ll be here from the start of play to bring you all the action from the tournament floor as we continue our journey towards crowning a new MPNPT champion. Until then – to the bar!