Soner Vanelderen Wins First Trophy in Sviten Special

The €230 Sviten Special was the first side event to award a trophy with Belgium’s Soner Vanelderen and American Andrew Studley agreeing to a heads-up deal awarding both players €2,780 before Vanelderen cruised on to win the first title of the 2024 Malta Poker Festival Spring Edition.

Vanelderen shared this morning that the heads-up battle was unique as both players had just three big blinds before Vanelderen went on to hoist the trophy.

Sviten Special was a game invented in Sweden that combines both five-card draw and five-card Omaha in the same pot-limit game. Players start with five cards before a round of betting takes place. Like Omaha, a flop is dealt followed by another round of betting.

This is where it starts to get tricky with players having the option to exchange cards or stand pat. If they select to exchange just one card it is face up for the entire table to see. That player can choose whether to keep this card or get a fresh one face down. Cards are dealt face down in all other exchange situations.

A turn is dealt followed by a third round of betting followed by a river and the final round of betting. Half the pot is awarded to the best five-card draw hand a player has completed with the other half awarded to the player with the best five-card Omaha hand.

Vanelderen took some pride in beating the Swedish at their own game with Maltese local Mikael Viggander’s third-place run for €1,330 being the best the Swedish players could manage.

“The Swedish are getting too weak in their own game,” shared Vanelderen. “The best they could do was third. The Belgians are taking over – watch out for us.”

As a long-time Maltese resident, Vanelderen is hoping for deep runs and trophies for the Maltese poker community.

“I stood my ground keeping the first trophy in Malta I expect the others to do the same,” Vanelderen shared.

The €230 Sviten Special attracted 43 entries to create a €8,256 prize pool with the top five players earning at least a €556 min-cash. Check out the payouts below:

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Soner VanelderenBelgium€2,780*
2Andrew StudleyUnited States€2,780*
3Mikael VigganderSweden€1,330
4Marilyn DimechMalta€810
5Jacob MossUnited Kingdom€556

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