NESSON PREDICTS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR POKER

And with the bringing down of the gavel, IFP President Anthony Holden (now re-elected for a second term of five years no less) brought the keynote speaker to the microphone – Charlie Nesson.

Nesson is to various people various things. To students of Harvard Law he is their professor; to students in the 1970s he’s the man who successfully defended Daniel Ellsberg (Google “Pentagon Papers”); while to poker players he is the man on a mission to elevate poker to the status of a Mind Sport, and as such he fits in brilliantly with the IFP.As an amateur poker player, Nesson was used to playing poker in bed, while his wife did the crossword. But, as he put it: “Black Friday got me out of bed”, energising Nesson who saw the events of this year as an assault on his liberty to use the internet.Nesson then decided to use the internet to his advantage, and as part of the Mind Sports Research Network, he now aims to create a worldwide research project to pinpoint the very nature of skill in poker, with the help of players, universities and organisations like the IFP. The results, when they are one day reach, should be worth waiting for.

Following Nesson, members of the media were presented with the key figures involved in tonight’s proceedings, including two team captains, Rolf Slotboom (Holland) and Barny Boatman (United Kingdom).

For players of their calibre, the Nations Cup stands as a new challenge, a new title to pursue and a new trophy for the mantel piece. There was no doubting the levels of national pride involved too, with Boatman and Slotboom each eyeing the Nations Cup trophy, in all its golden glory, perched on the table next to them. One things for sure, whoever wins will need a big mantel piece.

With play due to begin at 8pm we’re now a little more than an hour away from the start of the first ever Nations Cup. Players are currently being briefed on what to expect when they enter the pods, as well as the format of duplicate poker. Then it will be a short walk outside where the London Eye waits idle, one big wheel of fortune ready for the players to give it a spin.