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  • Not Quite the Best Start for the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT)

    Thursday, February 14th, 2013 by Ryan

The International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) has some of the largest hype around it that we’ve seen from a poker tournament in a good while, and a reason for this is because of what the expectations and goals were of the tournament series. They are planning on not only having a massive tournament at Wembley Stadium, which is one of the most talked about venues in the world, but it is going to feature a combination of play that has both an online poker tournament, and then it would move to a live poker tournament from there. There were huge goals, but things didn’t start off the very best way to say the least. The news that came out was that the ISPT’s tournament organizers actually ended up having to cancel their first satellite due to a poor overall turnout.

As far as the layout of the tournament series, it was going to feature a massive poker tournament at Wembley. In total, the expectations were that there was going to be a total of 30,000 players getting into the €6,000 buy-in tournament, and when the tournament started it would feature players taking part in an online tournament on laptops from the seats of the stadium. When the action got down to the third day, we would see the remaining 3,000 players get to play in the live tournament part of the event, and this would happen on the actual field itself. On top of this, players are allowed to re-buy one time into the event, and can also do a double add-on to take down their part of the huge €20,000,000 prize pool. The downfall right now? The tournament started with a €30,000,000 guarantee, then moved to a €20,000,000 guarantee, and it is now being called an “expected” pool.

Now we’ve seen the format for the ISPT changing, and now Day 1 of the tournament is going to be held online at several of the internet poker rooms out there. The players who end up finishing in the top ten percent of the starting flights are going to move onto Day 2 at the stadium. You’ll use your same starting stack that you ended Day 1 with to start Day 2, and the Day 1 qualifiers are going to cost €300 to enter, and players get 5,000 chips to start the action off with.

Players will have the option to just skip Day 1 if they want to though, and they can buy-in to Day 2 for a €3,000 buy-in that will award you with 50,000 in chips. So the question now is, what is the issue that’s at hand here? We’ll start with the fact that Day 1A that was held on Lock Poker on Sunday saw almost no one show up to play. In total, there were only two players who registered for the event, so Lock decided to move the qualifier to February 17th as well. They called the situation something that happened due to “technical issues”. Lock is also going to offer a freeroll on Saturday that will award players 25 tickets into the ISPT Day 1A tournament.

Lock wasn’t the only site that got the action rolling, as Poker770 started their flights for the ISPT, and they couldn’t get much interest either. They cancelled quite a few satellites into the event, including a €2.20 re-buy tournament and an €11 freezeout event as well. The whopping number of players that have qualified for Day 2 of the ISPT at Wembley is now a grand total of 13, and the stacks are going to range anywhere from 107,162 to 13,525. The lower end of these will obviously be another issue, as players who choose to buy immediately into the tournament on Day 2 are going to have many more chips than quite a few of the players who qualified.

Things aren’t looking great for the ISPT right now, but we’ll have to see how the qualifiers go in the near future, but if things don’t turn quickly the tournament series could be in for a major downgrade or possibly some type of mass cancellation as well. These aren’t things that we want to see, but they could be things that are unavoidable.

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