Did you know…?

IFP’s new ‘Match Poker’ technology allowed for the first time ever to collect data from four 3-hour+ sessions of play containing 51, 65, 71, and 72 hands respectively (259 hands in total).

Here are some interesting and amazing findings we’d like to share.

Go the UK

The UK’s most common points score was a maximum 14 (achieved 25 times).  They were the only team to perform above average in all 4 sessions and the only team to win two ‘Player of the Seat’ Awards (Seat 3 – Barny Boatman, Seat 5 – shared by Daiva Barauskaite and Karl Mahrenholz).

The charge of the Russians

The Russian team admitted that they hadn’t done their homework and arrived with no clue as to how the scoring was being calculated.  After session one, however, the penny dropped, and this proved to be their only below-average session.  They subsequently went from last place and over 90 points behind the leaders, to 2nd overall and just 13.5 points from being crowned the first ever European Champions.

The last 10 hands

Denmark made a valiant last stand scoring a whopping 110 points in the last ten hands alone (9 of those a 10+ score).  On the flipside, France who had enjoyed the lead for most of the weekend, and who were still 4th going into the last ten hands, suffered their worst spell at the worst possible time – netting just 43 points from the last 10 hands (a 23-point swing and 31-point swing against the eventual 5th and 6th placed finishers Estonia and Cyprus, respectively).

Mixed results for the maniacs

Denmark and Spain were the only teams to win over 300 pots from just 259 hands (329 and 324 respectively).  Bosnia managed only 169.

How’s the cricket in Holland?

Champions Ireland earned 0.63 points per hand more than last place Netherlands (an average strike rate of 7.79 vs 7.13)

Win big, lose big

Lithuania achieved the largest average pot won (1984 chips), the lowest being Serbia (1304 chips), but also featured highly in the average pot lost category too (-398 chips), the best being Bosnia (-190 chips) and worst being Denmark (-535 chips).

Name and shame

The best and worst performing teams per session were as follows:

Best Worst
Q1 France Russia
Q2 Bosnia Netherlands
Q3 Russia Hungary
Q4 Cyprus Bosnia


European Nations Cup Analysis

MatchPoker_typo+imagelogo+subline_4cIn Paphos, Cyprus on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2013, 14 national teams battled at Match Poker for the inaugural IFP European Nations Cup.

The four 3-hour+ sessions of play contained 51, 65, 71, and 72 hands respectively (259 hands in total).

As in all Match Poker events, the same order of cards was used at all 14 tables, dealt electronically to players’ smartphones and the tables’ community devices. The “seat draw” dictated that teammates played on different tables with one specific player from each team sat in each of the different seat positions, and that all teams were split evenly across the tournament tables. Over the course of a hand, therefore, each team received each set of hole cards in the same positions. A team’s collective skill in playing these hands and consistently outperforming the other teams determined their finishing position. In no way did the quality of the cards a player or team received influence their chance of winning the tournament.

Team chip-scores were compared each hand with a linear 14-1 points structure applied. After 259 hands scored this way, the top 6 teams qualified through to the IFP Nations Cup Finals at the end of November 2013.

The final scoreboard was as follows:


Additional individual prizes (Player of each Seat) were also awarded. In essence there were 6 mini-contests going on between the sets of 14 players in each seat position (based on total tournament chip-count). And finally, the “Player of the Tournament” award was given to Ireland’s Michael Graydon – the Seat Winner whose total chips minus the average for their seat position was greatest.

Here are the complete individual standings:

Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3
1 France
(Hicham Chelot)
(Michael Graydon)
United Kingdom
(Barny Boatman)
2 Spain Spain Denmark
3 UK Poland Ireland
4 Ireland Russia Russia
5 Netherlands Serbia Estonia
6 Hungary Netherlands Spain
7 Lithuania Cyprus Lithuania
8 Serbia Denmark Bosnia
9 Cyprus Bosnia Poland
10 Russia France France
11 Bosnia UK Cyprus
12 Estonia Estonia Hungary
13 Poland Hungary Serbia
14 Denmark Lithuania Netherlands
Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 Netherlands
(Jorryt van Hoof)
United Kingdom
(Xaris Zittis)
2 Russia Poland Spain
3 Hungary Spain Lithuania
4 France Ireland Bosnia
5 Estonia Netherlands Poland
6 UK Russia Denmark
7 Bosnia Hungary Estonia
8 Lithuania Serbia France
9 Serbia Bosnia Hungary
10 Poland France UK
11 Ireland Denmark Ireland
12 Spain Estonia Serbia
13 Cyprus Lithuania Russia
14 Denmark Cyprus Netherlands


Interesting hands of IFP’s European Nations Cup

IFP’s new ‘Match Poker’ technology allowed for the first time ever to collect data from four 3-hour+ sessions of play containing 51, 65, 71, and 72 hands respectively (259 hands in total). Here are some interesting hands we’d like to share with you.

Read between the lines

Here’s the frequency of how many times each team scored above average (blue) and how many times they scored below average (red). Perhaps this is the clearest visual representation of why Ireland became champions!

Frequency Team Score

The Quad 6 Hand

Hand 128 J9 QT 66 99 K7 T5 TOTAL Points
Netherlands -25 10300 10075 -250 0 0 20100 14
France -25 -50 5175 -1000 0 0 4100 13
Russia -50 -50 5400 -2200 0 0 3100 12
Hungary -25 -150 4700 -1925 0 0 2600 11
Poland -25 -50 1150 -475 0 0 600 10
Cyprus -150 -150 350 200 0 0 250 9
Estonia -25 -50 10075 -10000 0 0 0 8
Ireland -125 -50 1075 -1075 0 0 -175 7
UK -25 -50 2175 -2675 0 0 -575 6
Serbia -25 -125 2275 -5000 0 0 -2875 5
Lithuania -150 -50 -125 -4625 0 0 -4950 4
Bosnia -25 -50 -150 -5225 0 0 -5450 3
Spain -25 -50 2750 -10000 0 0 -7325 2
Denmark -25 -50 675 -10000 0 0 -9400 1

The Netherlands destroyed the field in this hand, achieving two separate double-ups against the 99 (no other team got beyond the flop with the QT in Seat 2). One double-up would’ve been enough, however, since they also minimized the damage when they held the 99 in Seat 4. Cyprus was the only team to win with the 99 (re-raising pre-flop to take a small pot) but slow-played their quad 6s to death! Estonia’s uber-aggressive play in both spots evened itself out, and it was Denmark and Spain who lost out most with the 99s without managing to compensate with their 6s. Two other interesting points to note from this hand – Cyprus might have gained a point over Poland if they hadn’t got involved in the blinds (half the other teams simply folded both spots). The UK (Ross Boatman) also gained a point over Serbia by folding a 3k river-bet and making the correct laydown.

The KK v AT Hand

Hand 150 Qd6d 44 AT A7 Tc2c KK TOTAL Points
Lithuania -650 10075 825 -50 0 1650 11850 14
Russia 0 11200 -700 -50 0 1075 11525 13
Hungary 0 10075 -975 -50 -250 900 9700 12
Estonia 0 7350 -25 -50 0 -175 7100 11
UK 0 3275 -1500 -250 0 -150 1375 10
Ireland 0 -1400 -25 -50 0 900 -575 9
Netherlands -150 -2000 -700 -150 0 2250 -750 8
Spain 0 -150 -250 -50 0 -800 -800 7
Serbia 0 -700 -25 -50 0 -925 -925 6
Cyprus 0 -150 -2400 -125 0 1050 -1625 5
Bosnia 0 -350 -25 -50 0 -3200 -3625 4
France -10000 -250 -25 -50 0 2725 -7600 3
Denmark -175 2700 -1950 -50 0 -10000 -9475 2
Poland -50 -150 -725 -5250 0 -10000 -16175 1

With an A23 flop (2 diamonds), Th on the turn and 5h on the river you might expect this hand to go to the KK half the time (pre-flop) and half the time to the AT (post-flop). NOT TRUE!!! Lithuania were the only team to win with the AT here – amazing stuff!

The Final Hand of the Tournament

After 258 hands
1 Ireland[C] 2011
2 Russia [Q] 1993.5
3 Spain [Q] 1986.5
4 UK [Q] 1973.5
5 Estonia [Q] 1970
6 Cyprus 1949.5
7 Denmark 1947.5
8 Poland 1946.5
9 France 1944
10 Serbia 1907.5
11 Bosnia 1879.5
12 Lithuania 1871
13 Hungary 1868.5
14 Netherlands 1841.5

Of course the teams didn’t know if it was close or a forgone conclusion at this point – they only knew how things stood at the beginning of the session. And with just the last hand to be dealt 5 of the teams were safely through, plus the European Championship decided. However, that final qualifying spot for the IFP Nations Cup Finals was still up for grabs with just 5.5 points separating 6th-9th place. If ever there is a lesson to be learned in sport, to keep fighting to the end, this is it!

Hand 259 54 Q5 72 84 K2 86 TOTAL Points
Cyprus -50 175 0 0 450 675 1250 14
Poland -50 0 0 0 0 150 100 13
Spain -50 0 0 0 0 125 75 12
Russia 25 0 0 0 0 -25 0 10
Denmark -50 0 0 75 0 -25 0 10
Netherlands 25 0 0 0 0 -25 0 10
UK -150 75 0 0 75 -25 -25 8
Ireland -50 0 0 0 0 -25 -75 6
Estonia -50 0 0 0 0 -25 -75 6
France -50 0 0 0 0 -25 -75 6
Bosnia -150 0 0 0 0 -25 -175 4
Serbia -125 -125 0 0 0 50 -200 3
Hungary -150 75 0 200 -625 150 -350 2
Lithuania -50 0 0 -375 0 -25 -450 1

Exhausted and fatigued from close to 15 hours play over the two days, all six French players folded their final hand. Poland and Denmark also only contested the hand in just one spot each (achieving a 2nd and 5th respectively), but Cyprus kept their heads down and won this “nothing hand” in three spots (with Q5, K2 and 86). The hosts kept their 6th place and haven’t stopped partying since.

Cyprus plays host to 13 nations for the first IFP European Nations Cup in Match Poker

From 12th April 2013, top players from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain and UK arrived in Cyprus eager to challenge the Cypriot team for the honour of being crowned IFP European Nations Cup champion.

This event, which used IFP’s new Match Poker technology developed by XpressHD, was something of a coup for Cyprus as it was the first time anyone anywhere has seen playing cards being delivered to players via their individual smartphones.

winner_irelandSuch was the interest in the event that many countries beyond the 14 competing nations broadcasted the live event stream to follow the action in the wonderful surroundings of the Annabelle Hotel in Paphos. Ireland ended up winning and became the first ever IFP European Nations Cup champion.  Russia, Spain, UK, Estonia and the home nation, Cyprus, all qualified for the IFP Nations Cup 2013 final which will be held in November/December this year. Germany is the defending Nations Cup champion from the inaugural event, which was held in London in 2011.

“Organising an international competition is always a challenge for the host and recent events in Cyprus have made it even more so.” said IFP Board and founder member Patrick Nally. “The fact that we are here today is testament to all the hard work and support of our friends in Cyprus and I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of IFP, to express our sincere gratitude to the Mayor of Paphos and the Cyprus Poker Association. We are proud to work alongside you to present the first IFP European Nations Cup in Match Poker and to promote poker as a mind sport and game of strategic skill.”

Mayor of Paphos has said “We are delighted to welcome the IFP, the players, the world’s media and the many supporters to Paphos for such a wonderful event. We are also grateful to the Cyprus Poker Association for securing the event for Cyprus.”

Antonis Theophanides of the Cyprus Poker Association has said “We are delighted to be able to host this historical event on behalf of the IFP and bring this radical and innovative approach to the poker playing public. Cyprus has been through a very difficult time recently and this shows the strength of character that we have here to bounce back immediately and host such a prestigious event.”

Anthony Holden steps down as IFP President

After a board meeting at the end of its highly successful European Nations Cup in Paphos, Cyprus, IFP announced that its founder President Anthony Holden was stepping down after four years distinguished service in the role. The Board also announced that it had elected as his successor Mr Patrick Nally.

Anthony Holden

Anthony Holden

Elected IFP’s first President at its founding congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, in April 2009, Mr Holden said that it had been a great honour to hold that office during IFP’s formative years which had seen it grow from the original seven founder members to almost 50, with 75 in prospect by the end of this year. The first four years also saw the development of IFP’s patent form of duplicate poker, Match Poker, and the hugely successful events at County Hall in London, in November 2011, which saw Germany crowned first winners of the Nations Cup and Raul Mestre of Spain triumph in the first individual IFP World Championship.

On stepping down as President, Holden, a distinguished journalist and author prior to taking up his IFP duties, expressed his thanks to all he had worked with over the four years and cited a desire to return to other literary projects, including memoirs.

Among Mr Holden’s 35 books are two cult classics in the poker world, Big Deal (1990) and Bigger Deal (2007), as well as an expert and widely acclaimed manual Holden on Hold’em (2008). A former PokerStars sponsored player, he won television’s first celebrity Late Night Poker in 2000 and he represented England in the 2006 World Cup of Poker.

While Holden is standing down as President he will not be leaving the IFP entirely, having been asked by the board to take up new Ambassadorial role, an appointment Holden is greatly looking forward to.

Patrick Nally

Patrick Nally

Newly elected President of the IFP Patrick Nally paid tribute to Holden.

“On behalf of the entire IFP Board I want to thank Anthony Holden and pay tribute to his four distinguished years as IFP’s founder President. Without his reputation in the poker world and his wide range of contacts we would never have been able to get IFP off to such a terrific start. We will miss him very much, but as his successor, I am delighted that Anthony will remain very much part of the IFP family as IFP’s Ambassador in the poker world at large.”

Often referred to as the “founding father of sports marketing”, Nally himself was instrumental in revolutionising major sporting events around the world, such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. He still plays a central role in numerous projects both inside and outside the sporting world, experience that he believes will ensure an exciting future for poker and the IFP as it moves into an exciting new phase.

“I’m very pleased that the board has given me the honour of serving as President of IFP. We have many exciting challenges ahead, following on from our success at the European Nations Cup in Paphos, and our revolutionary use of smartphone technology. Such innovations take poker into a new era and I look forward to even greater success in the future as we build on the achievements of the past four years.”