As more details emerge ISPT becoming a reality

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 25, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

If you were to ask the poker world earlier in 2012 which was more likely to happen, Groupe Bernard Tapie purchasing and bailing out Full Tilt Poker, or the Laurent Tapie led International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) ever holding an event, my guess is that most of the money would have landed on the former and not the latter. Well as it turns out, it looks like the ISPT was the smart bet as GBT ended up pulling out of the Full Tilt deal in April, which left the door open for PokerStars to swoop in and save the day in the eyes of the poker community.

But the ISPT is becoming a reality, as the official launch date draws nearer (May 31, 2013), despite most people feeling the tour was dead on arrival without Full Tilt Poker (or some other online entity) supplying the players. About a month ago we learned that the ISP had in fact booked Wembley Stadium for the dates of the tournament, had hired Mike “The Grinder” Mizrachi as an ambassador for the ISPT, and announced a satellite tournament that will take place in Morocco.

Now there is even more signals that the ISPT is for real; this week we learned that the ISPT has partnered with the Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) in the UK in an effort to increase the brand of the ISPT, and get the word out to poker players, specifically in the UK. “All the poker fans are welcome, from amateurs to professionals. Therefore, partnering APAT was completely natural for us,” said Prosper Masquelier, CEO of ISPT, adding that the Player of the Series at this weekend’s APAT tournament at the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club in Nottingham will receive the first seat to the inaugural ISPT event at Wembley Stadium.

The ISPT will also have a presence at the following APAT tournaments:

* October 13 & 14 – Scottish Amateur Poker Championship – Alea, Glasgow

* January 26 & 27 – United Kingdom Team Championship – G Casino, Luton

* March 28 to April 1 – World Championship of Amateur Poker – Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham

The ISPT has also released additional buy-in details according to Bluff Europe, which stated that players can buy-in for €600 “but organisers are also offering a €1,200 option with a rebuy or add on and a €6,000 option for players wanting to buy directly into the live element of the contest.” Which seems to point to the ISPT fearing they may not be able to attract the 30,000 players needed to cover the €20,000,000 guarantee and may be looking to re-buys and direct buy-ins as a way to solve the problem.

Doing the math, the €6,000 direct buy-in is only 10x the amount of the initial buy-in, and the field portion of the tournament was supposed to begin when 90% of the field was eliminated. So either the ISPT is reworking how the second stage (the live tournament play) will work, or they are offering up a mammoth savings to players with larger bankrolls.

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