There has been another turbulent twist to the International Stadiums Poker Tour Event. Originally, Wembley Stadium was earmarked as the venue, however as recent events unfolded it was announced that instead the tour is going to be staged in the Wembley Conference Centre next door.
For nearly all, this news only added to disappointment. The structure of the ISPT event had already been downscaled when at first the ambitious plans to bring in 10,000 online poker players in the same room on the same network of computers took a full u-turn. Then there was the controversial decision by the ISPT to indicate there would be changes on prize pool guarantees. As if things weren’t bleak enough the tournament director announced the pre-estimate €10 million Ultimate Live Tournament first place prize is also likely to be shaved.
In any case, however things turn out, this idea is sure to make an interesting experiment.
Anyone who is anyone knows it is not easy setting up any size poker event and the French owners can be forgiven for having what is an excellent vision for the future of online poker. They may not have pulled off what they firstly announced, but at least the poker world can be sure of four things.
1. The event will be held in the Wembley Conference Centre
2. There will be less than 10,000 players
3. The first prize of €10 million for the Ultimate Live Tournament is not €10 million
4. The prize pools will not be what they were originally announced to be
All this has not been good for publicity. The buy-ins for the €3,000 live tournament is reported to have been slow whilst the $300 Satellites events are looking very quiet.
So far, nothing has been concrete and with changes as significant as they have been, the poker world can be unforgiving when they are touted prize pools with multi-million tags attached only to be informed that this may not be the case. This leaves the promoters at risk with the tournament starting as soon as May. As things stand, there probably isn’t enough time to save the ISPT’s reputation without a plan 2.
Fortunately, the poker world also has its fair share of risk takers. Plan 2 may be around the corner as according to some online speculators, allegedly there could be a joint investor. If this is the case, we can expect to hear about it sooner rather later considering the ISPT’s small window to re-establish its trust with the poker world in order to get this event on its feet.
It is said an anonymous party may inject €1 million into the live tournament as a silent partner. If the rumours are true there may be light at the end of the tunnel for the ISPT just yet. One thing we are sure of, they need to come out with something concrete soon as it comes at a time when the poker pros will be pre-planning their May tournament calendars and the ISPT could miss out on some ‘big whales’.