GGPoker has extended its proverbial hand to another tournament hit by global COVID-19 restrictions. Following its recent collaboration with the WSOP, the operator will host the Battle of Malta in November.
The annual low and mid-stakes festival has taken place on the island of Malta since 2012. This year, Casino Malta’s tournament team held out for as long as possible in the hopes of hosting the event as planned.
As a country, Malta has suffered 32 COVID-19 related deaths, but the number of daily infections has been increasing since Aug. 1. With travel restrictions and safety requirements in a constant state of flux, the decision was made to cancel the live event and partner with GGPoker.
Battle of Malta Continues Regardless
The Battle of Malta will now take place online between Nov. 1 and 22. A full schedule is currently being prepared, but both parties have already confirmed the festival will carry a $3 million guarantee.
Topping the bill will be a $550 main event which, for the first time, will be open to an international audience. Although players from around the world have traveled to Malta in recent years, GGPoker will offer easier access to the action.
In addition to its licenses in the UK and Europe, GGPoker is active in parts of Asia, Canada, and South America. At a time when live tournaments are suffering due to COVID-19 restrictions, the switch will keep the Battle of Malta alive for another year.
In 2019, the European festival attracted 4,657 entrants and paid out more than $2.3 million. With online poker festivals thriving right now, General Manager of Casino Malta, Slawomir Świtalski, believes this year’s series can be just as popular.
Even with new provisions in place, he’s already looking forward to a “very special Battle of Malta” in 2021.
GGPoker Creating Opportunities
For GGPoker, the latest link-up is another sign of progress.
High-profile sponsorship deals with Daniel Negreanu and Bryn Kenney complemented partnerships with another emerging force in the industry, Triton Poker.
At a time when parts of the poker industry have suffered, GGPoker has forged opportunities.
The operator’s Director of Live Events & Sponsorships, John Scanlon, believes the latest deal is another feather in GGPoker’s cap that will result in a “bigger and better” Battle of Malta.