For months the poker world has heard rumblings of the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT), which is to hold the largest tournaments ever held and proposes one of the biggest prize pools guaranteed in the history of the world of poker — €20,000,000. Now, the first edition of the ISPT online and live tournament has been scheduled from May 31 to June 6th, 2013, at the legendary Wembley Stadium in London.
How will it work? First, 30,000 players from all over the world will win their way into the tournament online, earning a seat at Wembley Stadium, which has played host to a World Cup final and one Olympiad. Players will first play a round on laptops, and from there, the 3,000 best players will leave their laptops and get together around real poker tables set out on the lawn of Wembley for the final four days of tournament.
As the ISPT website describes it:
"The ISPT is a poker tournament that takes place in world-famous football stadiums. During the first stage, 30,000 poker players will settle down in the stadium stands and compete on the laptops they receive. The second stage brings together the 3,000 best poker players around real tables set up on the lawn of the stadium. A prize pool of €20m is guaranteed."
The ISPT is the brainchild of Laurent Tapie and Prosper Masquelier, the former president of Partouche Interactive, in addition to the financial support of French businessman, Bernard Tapie.“We hope that this event will be fondly remembered by the participants and that it breaks all records in the matter,” said Masqulier.
“We had to consider an exceptional set up, a location that can host 30 000 people. Wembley seemed like the perfect option," Laurent Tapie added. “This is a huge challenge, but we have strong partners and will to make our ambitions come true."
The inaugural ISPT event will take place on the lawn of Wembley, though in the case of bad weather, 12,000 square meters of covered rooms have been reserved inside the stadium. During the online game at the beginning of the tournament, levels will last 20 minutes. Players will start with €5,000 chips and blinds at 10/20. There will be a €600 buy-in with possibility of rebuy and a double add-on during the first day. Players can join the live tournament directly via a €6,000 buy-in. Those players who choose to directly buy in, for which 1,000 spots have been reserved, will begin the tournament with the average of chips of the online qualified poker players.
The live portion of the ISPT will be run by Groupe Partouche, which is responsible for running 55 casinos in France and abroad and which is the European leading poker online tournaments organizer. What’s more, the first edition of the ISPT will be broadcast in more than 50 countries, and organizers are already planning to schedule one ISPT world-class tournament in a different part of the world each year.
To learn more on the ISPT London and future events, be sure to visit www.ispt.com. You can also follow ISPT on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Finally, be sure to check out the following teaser trailer: