PICKING THROUGH THE NATIONS CUP RESULTS

With the individual results from the Nations Cup now published on the IFP Blog, there’s been plenty of time to pore through the fine detail, inviting closer scrutiny of each team’s performance.

Duplicate poker offers a treasure trove of information for poker players, a breed already obsessed with detailed analysis of every possible hand played in every possible situation. It keeps the game strong and in a state of permanent evolution, and the duplicate form only adds to that, with further details of every hand played – every decision made – stored on computer for even deeper analysis.Konstantin BuecherlFor now the results show the dominance of the champions Team Germany. Of six preliminary tables and six during the final stages, Germany won five of them, scoring a maximum of six points per table. From that team Konstantin Buecherl (pictured in black) scored a perfect 12, winning both his heats to make him the highest scoring player in the Nations Cup.

Others scoring well included:

11 points: Leo Margets (Spain), Clement Thumy (France), Geoff Kinnune (Zynga), Raul Paez (Spain).

10 points: Rolf Slotboom (Netherlands), John Paul Pasqualini (France), Moritz Kranich (Germany), Roger Ellis (Zynga).

The effect of Team Zynga wasn’t underestimated, with several professional players suggesting that it affected the way they played. Did that make it easier for the amateurs of Zynga? Geoff Kinnune and Roger Ellis would disagree, both of whom won at least one contest.

Liv BoereeIf you were on one of the teams eliminated in the first stages there was some consolation in at least earning maximum points. Of the six teams that didn’t progress from the first stage three players won their seat to claim some pride: Liv Boeree (UK) (pictured, right), Vanessa Selbst (USA) and Jackie Glazier (Australia).

One last word on hypothetical performances combined from the first and final stages. Had that been the case France would be the Nations Cup champions with 52 points, one more than Germany on 51.

Just for fun.

MAKING IT OFFICIAL

When Raul Mestre tried to bite into the The Table trophy, he could have been forgiven for wondering if it was all real – the trophy, the money, the prestige of winning such an exclusive event. Well it was, and so was his title of “Official World Champion.”

“Official World Champion”?That “official” tag was something several players asked about during the four days of the IFP World Championship. Was it some arbitrary prefix that the International Federation of Poker had added for faux prestige? On the contrary, the IFP is the only organisations sanctioned to stage a World Championship of poker. At this point we ask you to properly brace yourself for the formal explanation why…It comes down to The European Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which has agreed to be the arbitrating authority for all matters relating to IFP and to arbitrate under the Swiss Civil Code.The IFP has secured observer status of the International Mind Sport Association and also has an outstanding application to join SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations), the global body responsible for recognising sports and sanctioning their governing bodies.

IFP hopes to secure full membership of both IMSA and SportAccord in May 2012 and with this recognition comes the global recognition required for IFP to be a full International Sports Federation and the authority to organise one official world championship.

ALL THE SCORES FROM THE NATIONS CUP

A week ago players from 12 National Teams were preparing to face each other in a unique event in London’s County Hall.

As outside tourists wandered along the banks of the River Thames inside some of the world’s best poker players engaged in duplicate poker, competing not against the players at their table, but the players at other team in the same seat.Now the official results have now been confirmed, showing who won seat-by-seat. Remember the results below are not divided by table, but by seat, with the players each receiving the same hand.

Let the discussion begin…

GROUP A

(Germany 27 points, Team Zynga 25, Spain 24, Denmark 17, Ireland 17, United States 16)

Seat 1
1st – Moritz Kranich (6 points)
2nd – Gus Hansen (5)
3rd – Donnacha O’Dea (4)
4th – Juan Maceiras (3)
5th – Ricky Greer (2)
6th – Isaac Haxton (1)

Seat 2
1st – Roger Ellis (6 points)
2nd – Tomeu Gomila (5)
3rd – Marty Smith (4)
4th – Tobias Reinkemeier (3)
5th – Simon Ravnsbaek (2)
6th – Jennifer Leigh (1)

Seat 3
1st – Vanessa Selbst (6 points)
2nd – Leo Margets (5)
3rd – Hans Martin Vogl (4)
4th – Eoghan O’Dea (3)
5th – Margaret Hailey (2)
6th – Mads Wissing (1)

Seat 4
1st – Konstantin Buecherl (6 points)
2nd – Brian Turnbull (5)
3rd – Lars Bonding (4)
4th – Raul Mestre (3)
5th – Cat O’Neill (2)
6th – Antonio Esfandiari (1)

Seat 5
1st – Raul Paez (6 points)
2nd – Geoffrey Kinnune (5)
3rd – Pernille Ravn (4)
4th – Matt Matross (3)
5th – Sebastian Ruthenberg (2)
6th – Andy Black (1)

Seat 6
1st – Sandra Naujoks (6 points)
2nd – Roei Shalev (5)
3rd – Barry Greenstein (4)
4th – Padraig Parkinson (3)
5th – Oscar Blanco (2)
6th – Mads Andersen (1)

GROUP B

(France 30 points, Netherlands 23, Brazil 22, Australia 21, United Kingdom 17, Japan 13)

Seat 1
1st – Rolf Slotboom (6 points)
2nd – Nicolas Levi (5)
3rd – Daniela Zapiello (4)
4th – Kiyomi Tagawa (3)
5th – Mike Guttmann (2)
6th – Jake Cody (1)

Seat 2
1st – Caio Pimenta (6 points)
2nd – Fabrice Soulier (5)
3rd – Marsha Waggoner (4)
4th – Takuo Serita (3)
5th – Fatima Moreira de Melo (2)
6th – JP Kelly (1)

Seat 3
1st – Jackie Glazier (6 points)
2nd – Jean Paul Pasqualini (5)
3rd – Alex Gomes (4)
4th – Rob Hollink (3)
5th – James Akenhead (2)
6th – Tsuneaki Takeda (1)

Seat 4
1st – Hugo Lemaire (6 points)
2nd – Mel Judah (5)
3rd – Sam Holden (4)
4th – Felipe Ramos (3)
5th – Noah Boeken (2)
6th – Gen Watanabe (1)

Seat 5
1st – Liv Boeree (6 points)
2nd – Marcel Luske (5)
3rd – Takuya Suzuki (4)
4th – Lucille Cailly (3)
5th – Tony G (2)
6th – Christian Kruel (1)

Seat 6
1st – Clement Thumy (6 points)
2nd – Jorryt van Hoof (5)
3rd – Andre Akkari (4)
4th – Sam Trickett (3)
5th – Leo Boxell (2)
6th – Kinichi Nakata (1)

FINAL STAGES

Seat 1
1st – Lucille Cailly (6 points)
2nd – Oscar Blanco (5)
3rd – Margaret Hailey (4)
4th – Noah Boeken (3)
5th – Andre Akkari (2)
6th – Hans Martin Vogl (1)

Seat 2
1st – Konstantin Buecherl (6 points)
2nd – Clement Thumy (5)
3rd – Daniela Zapiello (4)
4th – Brian Turnbull (3)
5th – Marcel Luske (2)
6th – Juan Maceiras (1)

Seat 3
1st – Geoff Kinnune (6 points)
2nd – Sebastian Ruthenberg (5)
3rd – Jorryt van Hoof (4)
4th – Caio Pimenta (3)
5th – Nicolas Levi (2)
6th – Tomeu Gomila (1)

Seat 4
1st – Leo Margets (6 points)
2nd – Alex Gomes (5)
3rd – Rolf Slotboom (4)
4th – Fabrice Soulier (3)
5th – Sandra Naujoks (2)
6th – Roei Shalev (1)

Seat 5
1st – Thiago Nashijima (6 points)
2nd – Jean Paul Pasqualini (5)
3rd – Moritz Kranich (4)
4th – Fatima Moreira de Melo (3)
5th – Ricky Greer (2)
6th – Raul Mestre (1)

Seat 6
1st – Tobias Reinkemeier (6 points)
2nd – Raul Paez (5)
3rd – Roger Ellis (4)
4th – Rob Hollink (3)
5th – Felipe Ramos (2)
6th – Hugo Lemaire (1)

FINAL RESULT

1st – Germany (24 points)
2nd – Brazil (22 points, 6,350 chips)
3rd – France (22 points, 4,620 chips)
4th – Zynga (20 points)
5th – Netherlands (19 points)
6th – Spain (19 points)

THE SOCIAL SIDE OF POKER

Poker Night 1We can’t all be imbued with natural poker talent, although some will spend a lifetime saying that they are. But one thing every player can count on at the table is some degree of social interaction, often the very thing that attracts people to the game in the first place.

For generations poker has been a social game. A look through the profiles of the Nations Cup players reveals men and women who learned the game as children, taught by a parent or a grandparent. Or, the familiar route through someone’s home game before the leap to a card room or casino.

Take Barny Boatman of the UK team, who learned to play at home before teaching his younger brother Ross. Frenchman David Benyamine learned to play as a boy of 12. Andy Black was taught to play by his mother; the 14-year-old Mel Judah was taught by his father. Juan Manuel Pastor goes a generation further, taught to play by his grandfather.

Home games are the popular alternative to formal casinos poker, often involving odd variations of the game to keep things interesting. One particular game reached legendary status; that of IFP President Anthony Holden, as detailed in his cult book Big Deal: One Year as a Professional Poker Player. In it Holden wrote eloquently about the various characters who joined his weekly game, not least his brother in arms Al Alvarez, and how a weekly Tuesday night game quickly became the highlight of the week.

Then away from the kitchen table, there are the stories of poker games in unlikely circumstances, between say, political meetings or even international sporting contests.

Jim McManus, author and poker player, writes in Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker, how US Presidents have for many years used poker as a way to unwind. Former Tennis ace turned poker player Boris Becker even played poker during rain delays at Wimbledon.

But as times change and the internet takes over our lives, will the home game soon become a thing of the past? Gone will be the days of chipping in to buy beer and dip? No weekly highlight with friends to break the monotony of the working week?

Not if the players of Zynga Poker have anything to say about it, who, since their details were published on the IFP Facebook page, have been inundated with good luck messages, from players they’ve met on Zynga.

They may not be the most experienced team, but they are perhaps the most social. After all, Margaret Hailey of the Zynga team met her husband while playing poker. You can’t get more social than that.

INTRODUCING THE NATIONS CUP

So what is the Nations Cup? We’re glad you asked…

The first thing to know about the Nations Cup is that it is a team event, played by 12 teams, made up of International Federation of Poker member nations, with each Federation President tasked with recruiting a team of six (with one reserve) to travel to London later this month.

London Eye MedThe second thing to know about the Nations Cup is that it will be played in the capsules of the EDF Energy London Eye, on the banks of the River Thames, with a backdrop of iconic sights such as The Houses of Parliament and St Pauls Cathedral.

The Third, and most important thing to know about the Nations Cup, is that it is played using Duplicate Poker.

Anyone familiar with Duplicate Bridge will understand the concept of Duplicate Poker which involves each table of players receiving the same hand as that dealt at every other table.

Duplicate poker therefore pitches players against each opponent dealt identical cards in several games played simultaneously. Players score points based on how they exploit their hand to win (or limit losses), and are then compared to opponents being dealt the same cards at other tables. It’s a perfect way to remove the vagaries of luck and instead assess how skilful a player really is.

As Duplicate Poker ambassador, and author, Jim McManus puts it:

“By draining as much luck from the game as possible, Duplicate Poker comes close to guaranteeing that the best players will win in the short run as well as the long run.”

The Nations Cup should prove how accurate that really is.