The Malta Poker Festival is due to take place between October 29 and November 4. The festival is full of fun and spectacular guarantees combined with buy-ins. Event Director Ivonne Montealegre stated that everyone will have a good time.
“2019 will see its second edition, however we have been running poker events this same date in the same venue for nine years,” said Montealegre, “Next year will mark a decade of my partnership with Portomaso casino, the best location for a poker event of this magnitude in Malta.”
Montealegre has plenty of experience running festivals. One of the aspects which Montealegre did well in 2018 was make sure that there are a varied series of events alongside the main event which is strong.
“During over 20 years in the poker industry, it has always amazed me that in an industry that is supposed to be innovative, industry leaders stick to what the dominant brand does. We are selling entertainment, a game, a poker holiday. It’s like the dominant brand writes the “rules” and then everyone follows like dominoes.”
Montealegre is proud of the changes which she has been part of.
“Eight years ago, my team came up with the €550 buy-in, now it is the low tournament buy-in. I refuse to play by the rules and I also like to have some fun with my own creative process, so I like changes. Poker is a game of convention and if players agree and like new formats, why not?”
Montealegre said that all events are considered as main in nature.
“Malta and Portomaso area are amongst the best locations worldwide I’ve been to. There is a lot to do. There are dozens of restaurants within a very small area, as well as cafés, pubs, cigar bars, karaoke and nightclubs. There is a bit of everything for everyone and the first week of November is the perfect time. We have social events at the casino sportsbar, Tiffany’s champagne cigar bar and the classic All-In Player Party at Club Level 22.”
One can improve that the number of women in attendance improves.
“I have seen a decrease [in female tournament attendance] and that particular topic makes me a bit sad and makes me want to work hard into bringing female players to the felt. We are at a historically low 4% worldwide.”
Montealegre also wishes to make poker a more equal environment.
“I want to change that. Prior to the MPF, we have been hosting training sessions that also work as a satellite for the Ladies Event. Last year, without aiming for it, we hosted the second-largest Ladies Event in Europe, I would love to beat that. I personally feel the game has given me so much. Aside of the tremendous enjoyment, you get to meet people from all walks of life and network in a very competitive, positive environment.”
Yet to make sure you’ve booked your flights to Malta? You can contact Event Director Ivonne Montealegre on +00 356 9969 8490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.