Three reasons why the ISPT failed
The inaugural ISPT tournament is now in the books and by all accounts the tournament was a failure. Not the unmitigated disaster it appeared to be just a couple months ago, but even the most optimistic company-man would have trouble selling 761 entries, and some €600,000 in overlays as a success on some level. So with that in mind I’ll now layout the three main reasons (in my opinion) why the ISPT failed.
Lack of Confidence
It all started with Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, and then we had Full Tilt Poker, the Partouche Poker Tour, and the Epic Poker League. Now the poker community has turned its attention to “outing” shady businesses before they happen –Lock Poker being the perfect example of a company that has found itself in the community’s crosshairs. Basically, in the past five years or so the poker world has grown skeptical and cynical even if you haven’t technically screwed them over and the ISPT fell right into that category with its constantly changing “guarantees” and even structure and formatting.
By the time Dusk Till Dawn threw their hat in the ISPT ring it was probably already too late, akin to a huge endorsement coming an hour before the polls close on election night.
I’m not sure whose idea it was to host a poker tournament by an upstart poker tour opposite the opening week of the World Series of Poker was probably the same person who talked the Fertittas into naming their online poker room “Ultimate” Poker.
Not only was the ISPT competing directly with the WSOP, but they are doing so with a tournament in the same price-point (the ISPT featured a $3,000 direct buy-in) halfway across the globe; which made travelling to the ISPT logistically tough for players at the WSOP.
The ISPT did an extremely poor job of communicating with the poker community from the outset. The specifics of the tournament were never hammered out, and once they were they were hard to find and understand. Players didn’t understand where the opening round (online) tournaments were being played or how players would move on to the live portion of the tournament, but even simple matters like WHERE the tournament would be played was convoluted –would it be outdoors on the Wembley pitch or in a conference room?
I actually don’t think the ISPT was a bad idea, or that the tour cannot be salvaged (whether DTD and the ISPT want to attempt another event will be a difficult decision) as the issues are easily solved: Better communication, better timing, and living up to your promises.
That being said, it will be hard to sell a second ISPT when the first lost so much money –when everything is taken into consideration this had to be a seven-figure loss.
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