Poker world remains skeptical of the ISPT

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 06, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The groundwork for one of the most monumental undertakings in the history of poker has begun, but even with a number of announcements that point towards the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) becoming a reality in May 2013, the poker world is far from sold on the idea, and the ability of Laurent Tapie and former iGaming exec Prosper Masquelier to pull off the undertaking.

In this article I’ll take a look at some of the concerns that have been raised as well as some of the positive signs that Tapie and Masquelier have taken.

Player Concerns

* GBT’s “Smoke and Mirror” show during the Full Tilt deal

The poker world still has a very bad taste in its mouth after the Groupe Bernard Tapie attempted takeover of Full Tilt Poker fell flat, and it was later revealed that under the GBT plan some players wouldn’t see the bulk of their balance for several years.

The idea that Laurent Tapie is suddenly being transparent, or that his “word” that the ISPT is a “done deal” is going to be met with a lot of jeers from the poker community.

* The Logistics of the whole thing

Forget the fact that the ISPT has to attract 30,000 players to London for a £700 tournament without an online poker site acting as a “feeder”; the real logistical concerns will be at the tournament itself, inside Wembley Stadium.

The ISPT will have to rustle up 30,000 tablet computers to play the online portion of the event, as well as find a way to get secure internet access to all of these players inside Wembley. They will also have to figure out a way to keep players at the same table from sitting near one another, which is a nightmare in and of itself, considering the number of seat changes and broken tables that will occur in a 30,000 player event!

* Delays and parsing of words

The ISPT has already seen several delays (remind anyone of GBT’s attempts to purchase Full Tilt Poker) as well as the word “guarantee” being removed from the tournament at the ISPT website. Neither of these things is instilling confidence in the ISPT.

Positive Signs

* Satellite tournament in Morocco

On the other side of the ledger, the ISPT has announced the first satellite tournaments to the ISPT event scheduled for May 31 – June 6, 2013. The satellite event will be held in Morocco at the Tangiers Casino from August 22-26, 2013.

* Mike Mizrachi’s ISPT sponsorship deal

The ISPT has also signed Mike Mizrachi as the official ambassador of the ISPT, with the poker pro relaying the news via his Twitter account: “I just want to announce I will be @ISPT_poker official ambassador. Will be one of the biggest tournaments ever held!”

* Wembley Stadium booked

According to reports, Wembley Stadium has indeed been booked from May 31 – June 6, 2013. Even though this likely only requires a deposit of some sort, and we are still nearly a year away from the tournament, the fact that the ISPT is scheduling events and hiring an “ambassador is a good sign for the tournament.


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