After Partouche fiasco ISPT guarantee uncertain

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 09, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The story in the poker world the past week was the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event where event organizers claimed there was never a €5 million guarantee associated with the tournament, despite numerous mentions of it on their own website and across the internet. After a scathing speech that ended with the announcement that the Partouche Poker Tour would be ending after the Main Event, Patrick Partouche and the PPT eventually decided to do the right thing and honor the guarantee, but the damage had already been done.

Now that the PPT crisis has been averted, the poker community has started to refocus its attention on the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) which is set to kick-off in May, 2013. The ISPT is going through a similar Guarantees Prize-Pool identity crisis, first stating a €30 million guarantee, then a €20 million guarantee, and now all mention of a guarantee is being eliminated from the website.

Driving the gossip are the affiliations the ISPT has with the Partouche Poker Tour; a connection I first mentioned in an article yesterday. Along with Laurent Tapie (who brings his own baggage in the aftermath of the failed Groupe Bernard Tapie takeover of Full Tilt Poker) the main man at the ISPT is Prosper Masquelier, the former head of Partouche Interactive, and related to the Partouche family through his mother. Prosper’s father also runs two casinos for the Partouche Group. Because of these associations players are beginning to worry that the ISPT may also renege on their guarantee, which is starting to look like a possibility as the website is scourged of all mentions of a guarantee.

In June Laurent Tapie held a press conference where he said: “The guaranteed prize pool is €20 million, the biggest prize pool ever guaranteed in poker history,” and this was corroborated by tournament director Stephen McClean. McClean posted on 2+2 this weekend that he was shocked the site was removing the mention of a guarantee.

Making matters worse was the cancellation of a press conference on September 3rd that was supposed to discuss the guarantee as well as confirm the escrow of the €20 million. On 2+2 Stephen McClean posted the following regarding the current controversy:

It gets pointed out yesterday that I haven’t posted since 31st July, I make one post in reply saying that I have no other news to supply and because of that I’m constantly mentioning a guarantee???? wtf loik!

Anyway, I was as shocked as anyone when the word “guarantee” came down off the ISPT website (I know you’re a genuine poster on here Matt, so I’m not trying to be smart when I point out that I have to actually mention that word “guarantee” in this sentence).

I haven’t had a huge amount of information from the ISPT team since then, but I’m assuming that’s because there is a huge amount of work going into this project (and by the way I believe it will go ahead, there’s simply been too much time, effort and money invested by too many people for it not to run and once whatever adjustments are being made are 100% confirmed I hope we can move on)


I hope there will be as many positive comments as there were negative, now that Partouche have actually honoured a €750k overlay (will even one poster [or more importantly any player that took part in the event] give them some credit, I hope so)…..As information comes through (and believe me I want all the facts cleared up as soon as possible) about the ISPT I hope everyone will keep an open mind (as it is a brand new concept of course) and remember that this overlay was honoured.



So, even though the ISPT is starting to look like a reality, with announced satellites, and the signing of four well-known poker players in Mike Mizrachi, Sam Trickett, Patrik Antonius, and Liz Lieu, the poker community is more concerned with the prize-pool, and if the ISPT wants to become a credible tour this is an issue they had best straighten out as soon as possible.


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