After the success of the inaugural season of the national Match Poker league in 2022, the Polish national federation (Związek Pokera Sportowego) decided to create a new position in the structure of the association – Sport Director for the National Team.

This honour was bestowed upon Adam Pawlikiewicz, who has been an active member of the Souther Match Poker Conference.

Adam is an IT and internet marketing specialist with a deep passion for the digital sport of Match Poker and loves to play & compete on a level playing field while putting his skills on display.

Adam Pawlikiewicz

The main responsibilities of the Sports Director are primarily organisational management of the Polish national team, ensuring good & regular communication between the squad and the coach, planning activities related to the development of the team such as training & strategy discussions, and taking care of the image of the team.

Adam, thank you for your contribution to the sport and we wish you many successes with the Polish National Match Poker team!

Team Lithuania have had a bit of a roller coaster ride in IFMP events so far!

2019 European Nations Cup in Kyiv saw them miss out on the top 6 (which would have secured their Nations Cup spot) but they managed to do it the hard way by winning their place after a tough battle with the bottom 7 teams to win the Nations Plate and a spot in the finals.

2020 Nations Cup Finals, which had to be held virtually, was contested by 12 qualified nations from Asia and Europe. Lithuania battled hard and made sure they weren’t completely out of it at any point of the event. Finally they had an incredible session and managed to finish in 3rd place overall, winning bronze medals and certificates for their efforts!

They have stuck to the same team, with one addition in Paulius Vaitiekunas.

Paulius Vaitiekūnas

Paulius Vaitiekūnas – Professional poker player, 27 years old. Started playing at the age of 14 with friends and fell in love with the psychological aspect of the game, grinds High Stakes spin & go tournaments while studying in the UK. Sunday Million winner, WSOPC winner, 100s Spin & Go Jackpot Winner. Currently playing mid/high stakes MTTs and oversees Spin stable.


Skirmantas Tomkevičius – the president of National federation of Poker of Lithuania. I will be playing just in case its needed.


Erikas Zukas – He is the youngest member of our national team, eager to learn and understand other players – once Erikas has won tournament without even looking at his own cards!


Arūnas Valentavičius – he was born on 1975/09/25. Retired solder of Lithuanian army. Plays only in federation tournaments.


Dainius Ulkė – he was born in Biržai, but since early days lives in Vilnius, works in IT sector since 1994. One of the most stable players in federation.


Mantas Urbonas – poker professional from Panevėžys, now resides in Vilnius. Mantas also a football’s team Top Kicker’s owner and manager. He started to play poker 10 years ago, and his best achievement is 4th place of Battle of Malta winning 120000 EUR. Ranks 31st in Lithuania by live earnings. Mantas was born on 1987/06/22.


Laimutis Kalvelis – He was born on 1970/06/26. He is pretty successful in federation tournaments, has won two of them since 2012. Works as a CEO in company taking care of houses in the city. Was born and lives in Vilnius.


Diana Dvelienė – she was born on 1976/11/09 in Kaunas. She lives there and together with her husband, who is also a poker player in the federation, they run their own plants growing business. Does not play often in any live tournaments, but if she does, finishes ITM.


Edvinas Šulskis – non playing team member, he will be an analyst for the Lithuanian team.

The Hungarians have been an active participant in IFMP events since 2011! Participating in The Table, the 2012 European qualifiers in Vienna, the 2013 European Nations Cup in Cyprus, and most recently the 2019 European Championships in Ukraine.


The national team is raring to go and is ready for the 2021 Nations Cup qualifiers! The team is as follows:

Gabor Gortvay – Co-Founder of the first Hungarian sport poker club ‘Maverick’. He has played poker since the end of the 80’s. Draw and Hold’em cash game expert. Favourite card combination the famous Jackson Five.

Péter Gál – The first time he was introduced to Texas Holdem poker was in 2005. At the beginning he worked as poker dealer, then became a floorman and a professional leader. He had his own poker club, and has helped other clubs to improve. From 2010 to 2018 he was the floorman in the first poker club of Hungary. A recreational poker player who just treats poker as a hobby. In 2012 he played Match Poker for the first time in Vienna as a member of the Hungarian team, and then in Cyprus in 2013 when he was a member of the Hungarian team and again in Ukraine in 2019.

Laszló Bréda – The doyen of the Hungarian team. Fixed member of the Hungarian poker scene since 2006. Royale Master winner. Online and live poker player. He was with the team in Vienna and from the start has been an integral member of the Hungarian Match Poker team. Born tournament player. One of the best amateur score table. Strong skills and intuition.

Judit Zsoldos – An original member of the Hungarian Match Poker team. Played in The Table and in Cyprus. Hungarian Ladies Open winner. Cash game and Omaha 4 cards player. 

Gergely Tatár – The president of the Hungarian Poker Association since 2007. Founded poker clubs in Hungary and Slovakia. Played poker in USA, England, Cyprus, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Austria, Poland, France, Slovakia, Rumania.

Andras Sütő – Olympic candidate ex gymnast and active football referee. He keeps in touch with the sport. Poker and Darts are his hobby but Andras is a maximalist and playing this sports on high level too. One of the best and first Match Poker players of Hungary. He was the member of the first Match Poker European Championship in Vienna and Cyprus.

2019 has been a breakthrough year for Match Poker! It began with a slightly delayed 2018 Nations Cup held in Dublin, Ireland at the beautiful Boyne Hill House as the home nation were looking to defend their World Championship after being victorious at the 2017 Nations Cup in Oxford. Debutants Ukraine arrived with a large contingent and got their strategy spot on, beating the Irish and Germans who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively to clinch the Match Poker World Championship on their first attempt! This event also marked the first time Match Poker athletes were subject to WADA tests during competition – which has now become a norm at all IFMP events. Match Poker is a sport and we must function like any other sport, ensuring clean competition and adhering to global sporting rules & regulations set by the IOC & GAISF.

The excitement from the Dublin event lead to Kyiv, Ukraine securing the hosting of the 2019 European Nations Cup. This event would be the first in IFMP’s 2019 events calendar and would be followed by an Asian and America’s Nations Cup which would then culminate into the grand Nations Cup Finals. 13 European Nations came together in Kyiv to battle it out as the Irish defended their European Championships from the previous edition of this event held in Cyprus. All teams would play together in the group stages over the first 2 days after which they would break into a top 6 (Cup) and bottom 7 (Plate). With 7 European spots up for grabs, and scores being reset to 0 after the group stages, it was all to play for with every nation having a fighting chance at qualifying! Some debutants but many familiar faces lead to intense competition over 3 days and finally saw the Spaniards make an incredible comeback and lift the trophy! Ireland finished 2nd, Ukraine 3rd, Belarus 4th, Poland 5th and Germany 6th – all of whom secured qualification to the Nations Cup Finals. The last qualification spot was contested by Hungary, Serbia, UK, Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia and Italy with Lithuania stepping up to the occasion to be crowned winners of the ‘Plate’ and the last European nation to participate in the finals.

Next was the Asian Championships, held in Taoyuan, Taiwan after the Taiwanese also made their debut at the Dublin event. This event saw 9 Asian nations compete for continental glory as 5 qualification spots were up for grabs for the World Finals. Similar structure to the European event, all 9 teams play together in the group stages through 2 entire days after which they break into the top 4 (Cup) and bottom 5 (Plate). Top 4 automatically qualify but only the winner of the Plate joins them at the finals. Team India took an early lead and managed to ride some ups and downs to finish the group stages on top of the leaderboard with Australia and Singapore in 2nd and 3rd. The fight for 4th went right down to the wire and the home team Taiwan finally managed to get past the Israelis by just one point! A slight change in format saw the Cup play out 4-handed and the Plate 5-handed – with teams needing to adapt their playing styles and strategies constantly. A big push from the Indians secured the Asian Championship for them in the last 3 hands, away from the home team who lead for most of the final sessions! It was always two-horse race in the Plate as Israel and Korea kept putting the pressure on each other for the top spot with the Koreans breaking away and taking a lead in the last session of play to secure their qualification and win the Plate!

We then move to Mumbai, India for the 4th season of the world’s first pro Match Poker league – the MatchIPL (Indian Poker League). 9 franchises all representing different part of India were ready to dethrone the Pune Kings after their triumph in season 3. Group stages included all teams playing together for the first 6 sessions of play after which the bottom 3 teams would be eliminated and the top 6 would play 2 final sessions with 50% of their scores being carried over. The Mumbai All Stars (season 1 champions and season 3 runners-up) and Haryana Hawks (season 2 champions) established themselves as the teams to watch out for quite early on and maintained the top 2 spots through the group stages. A nail biting finish to the groups saw the Bangalore Royals make the top 6 by a single point over the Kolkata Diamonds! The final sessions saw the Haryana Hawks implement the perfect winning strategy by taking a lead in session 1 and consolidating it in session 2, leading to their 2nd National Championship in 3 seasons!

Unfortunate political and civil circumstances in Peru lead to the postponement of our Nations Cup Finals from December to the last week of February. We thank our participating nations for their support and understanding, and promise to deliver our most sensational Nations Cup event yet! 2020 will see Match Poker’s link with education and corporates strengthen as we launch University and City Leagues in various nations to complement our existing events calendar comprising of European, Asian and American Nations Cup events all culminating into our Grand Nations Cup Final at the end of the year. 2019 saw over 2,500 hands of Match Poker played by over 35 teams at IFMP events and 30 anti-doping tests successfully completed! We expect to have 50+ nations participating in these events and hope to bring Match Poker into many more territories as we continue to grow this exciting sport globally! We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Current Match Poker World Champions, Ukraine, played host to the 2019 European Nations Cup after their incredible debut performance in Dublin at the 2018 Nations Cup where they managed to dethrone the Irish on home soil to become gold medalists.

The European championships this year sees 13 nations come together to determine who will join Ukraine on the Road to Peru as European qualifiers at the Nations Cup Finals in December, and to see if Ireland can defend their continental crown!

Participating nations were Ukraine, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Spain and the UK. All apart from Belarus have participated in a Match Poker event previously, some more often than others. Day one started with an opening ceremony and dinner where president of the Ukraine Sports Poker Federation, Sergey Efimenko, thanked all participants for being there and welcomed everyone to Kyiv and Ukraine. IFMP president Patrick Nally then spoke about the events calendar for the rest of this year which includes continental championships in Asia and America’s to determine the qualifiers for the Nations Cup Final in Peru. These regional qualifiers leading up to a grand finale event will be an annual occurrence for Match Poker athletes going forward.

100 hands were played on day one and we saw a familiar sight in Ireland ending the day in the lead with Lithuania and Ukraine behind them. Only 20% of the group stages had been played and the bottom 3 of UK, Spain and Denmark could use the night to analyse their play and return the next morning with a new team strategy. Day two was scheduled to see 6 sessions of 50 hands each with the balance 2 sessions of 50 hands being played on the morning of day 3. The Estonians put in a strong performance in the morning and after 200 hands held the lead going into lunch with Ireland, Ukraine and Germany on their heels. The fan zone was buzzing as team analysts and strategists carefully observed their teams play, taking meticulous notes which were conveyed during the breaks in play. Along with the athletes having to fulfil their anti-doping obligations, the breaks between sessions were as important as the actual time spent playing!

The next 100 hands saw Spain and Italy climb up the leaderboard but not enough to topple Germany, Ireland and Ukraine in the top 3 with the Germans in the lead overall after 300 hands had been played. Day 2 ended with the first Match Poker world champions, Germany, in the lead! 400 hands had been played with another 100 to go before the top 6 and bottom 7 are separated for the finals. Fierce competition throughout with various teams outperforming the others in certain sessions but after a marathon 500 hands of highly competitive Match Poker we had our top 6 – Germany, Ireland, Spain, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland. The 3 most consistent teams in Germany, Ukraine and Ireland making the top 6 was no surprise. Big push from the Spaniards towards the end ensured they cemented their spot along with the Poles and Belorussians.

Ukraine finishing in the top 6 meant that the winner of the Plate Championship (bottom 7 teams) would also secure their spot to Peru and the Nations Cup Finals. All to play for now as the scores were reset to zero and the finals of the Cup (top 6) and Plate (bottom 7) kicked off after lunch on day 3. These would have 4 sessions of 60 hands each to take the total number of hands to be played to 740! The scoreboard was hidden after the halfway point so players would have to wait till the awards ceremony to know who won the championship and which nation was joining them in Peru.

Excitement and nervousness enveloped the room as thanks were offered by Sergey as Patrick was handed the microphone to make the final announcements. When Lithuania was announced as the winners of the Plate and the last team to qualify to the Finals in Peru, they erupted with joy as though they’d just been crowned World Champions! Skirmantas, team captain and president of the national federation, thanked the other teams and expressed his gratitude in being the last nation to qualify. To top if off, Dainius from Team Lithuania was awarded Player of the Tournament! Now it was time to announce the European Champions – Ireland were looking confident and the others quite nervous. Surprisingly Germany finished 6th, Belarus 5th, Poland 4th and Ukraine 3rd – these 3 teams had just 3.5 points between them!!! Then Ireland were announced as runners-up and the roar that emerged from the Spanish contingent was absolutely incredible! They all began jumping and screaming with joy, hugging each other and unable to contain their emotions! Congratulations Team Spain, on a very well deserved and hard fought Match Poker European Championship.