Partypoker Championship Malta Starts Today as a Post-COVID Hybrid Event

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Live tournaments might be in full swing after two years’ worth of COVID restrictions, but changes made during the pandemic haven’t been lost on Partypoker.

ppc malta
Partypoker’s first hybrid tournament series gets underway online today, and will finish live in Malta on April 4. (Image: Partypoker)

The online operator’s new hybrid series, the Partypoker Championship (PPC) Malta, gets underway today with the first of 100+ tournaments.

What’s unique about PPC Malta is that it will take place online and on location. Partypoker will host a run of online MTTs from March 17 to 31 before taking the PPC to Malta’s Portomaso Casino from March 31 to April 4.

Partypoker evolving after COVID restrictions

The live-online hybrid was inspired by the industry’s response to COVID restrictions. Partypoker stepped into the breach in 2020 as live events around the world were canceled due to the pandemic.

The move allowed events such as the Irish Open and WPT Championship to play out in a digital setting while casinos were closed. Now, with players used to the luxury of playing major events from home, Partypoker is retaining this dynamic as it ramps up its live schedule.

As such, PPC Malta will take place across two mediums. The highlights of the online leg are a $200K guaranteed $55 Grand Prix KO, and the $320 Knockout Championship with a $400K guarantee. Once the PPC lands in Malta, eight more tournaments will take place at Portomaso Casino.

The live main event will cost €550 and have a €500,000 guarantee. Satellites starting at $0.01 are currently running on Partypoker. Players can also win a PPC Malta prize package by liking and sharing a video on social media.

The video will be posted on Partypoker’s social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook. One person who shares the content will be chosen at random to receive the following prize package:

  • Flights and accommodation at the Hilton Malta from March 29 to April 5
  • A seat in the €550 Main Event
  • Access to the PPC Malta players’ party
  • An experience day, which includes breakfast on a yacht, flyboarding, a tuk-tuk treasure hunt, lunch, and dinner

Live-online poker tournaments gaining popularity

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a live-online hybrid in poker. Grosvenor offers online alternatives for the opening flights of its GUKPT events, including the Goliath.

Dusk Till Dawn has used a similar system whereby players can play Day 1A online and, if they make it to Day 2, finish the tournament in a live setting. The WSOP has also used this system for online bracelet events that end with a live final table.

Therefore, Partypoker’s live-online hybrid isn’t a completely new idea. However, it is the first full tournament series to use this split dynamic. Given what’s happened over the last two years, it’s the ideal time to try merging two mediums and running a series online and live.

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