Interesting hands of the ANC – 4/5

Quads Baby, Yeah

You don’t hit quads often, and it seems that when you do, it is best to be playing against Mongolia. Ace-seven is a raggedy old hand to see a flop with, but it paid off big time for Japan and Singapore in this hand.Four teams also managed modest wins with the pocket deuces in seat 1. This hand is a prime example of why Match Poker is scored via a points system and not by total chip count. It does not seem right that teams should suffer huge consequences for making legitimate plays (i.e. the folding of A7 pre-flop here). The missed opportunity costs them a few points in this one hand only, instead of making the event one of the key moments of the tournament. It is consistency and the ability to maximise situations throughout all 240 hands that wins the day.


Kicker Trouble

Well into the tournament now, the varying team strategies are beginning to show. Trailing teams Japan and Mongolia are ‘going for broke’ and prepared to get it all-in fairly regularly.  Everyone else must adapt and pick their spots wisely. With a solid performance in Day One, Singapore are clearly playing far more cautiously to maintain their qualification spot. They escape with-out too much damage with their AQ in seat 1 yet are also the only team not to win with AK in seat 3. India are unlucky not to score more here (the only other team to correctly figuring out their kicker trouble in seat 1). Who would’ve thought that CPG could treble-up with their AK and China even double-up with the seemingly trouble holding of AQ?


Interesting hands of the ANC – 5/5

Larger than life and greater than mountains

In perhaps the ‘hand of the tournament’ we see how very differently teams play exactly the same cards. Garth Kay of Australia (here winning one of the biggest single pots of the event with his pocket rockets in seat 4) probably wasn’t too thrilled about having multiple opponents see a flop. However, when the flush draws and straight draws all miss, it is exactly what he wanted. India and Israel laying down their AA in this hand cost them dear, as did Mongolia getting in all-in in no less than four of the six positions around the table. Japan was all-in in five spots, winning two. China pulled off yet another miracle, winning both their all-ins in seats 4 and 6, and Singapore’s cautious strategy came good once again also, playing only the aces.


The final hand

Despite the all-in strategy not working well for last-placed teams Japan and Mongolia, the final hand saw fireworks from these two teams once again, and with mixed results. Each got it all-in in four spots, Japan only winning once, and Mongolia an incredible three times. Elsewhere Singapore and Israel’s flopped flush held up, both managing to get their seat 5 opponents to fold before the river. And so came to an end an incredible tournament in which China demonstrated both its fine qualities as host nation and superb poker ability as a team. The event was the most sporting poker competition this author has witnessed, played not for money but for true national pride. Congratulations to everybody that took part and see you at the Finals!


IFP officially announces the IFP Asian Nations Cup 2013

RZ_Asian-NationsCup-LogoIFP is proud to officially announce the first ever IFP Asian Nations Cup. The event will be held in the picturesque city of Sanya, China from 18-20 October 2013. 12 Asian nations will compete for 4 qualification spots to the IFP Nations Cup Final. The 12 participating nations are China, Australia, India, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines and Singapore.

To be hosted in the beautiful surroundings of ‘The Grand Fortune Bay Hotel’ in Sanya, the Asian Nations Cup will be the second official IFP tournament to be conducted without physical playing cards and dealers. The event will showcase a whole host of brand new IFP Match Poker technology. Not only will players receive their hole cards on individual smartphone devices, but every single action on all 12 tables will be logged and openly available for replay and analysis via the “IFP Player”.

Stay tuned on for updates and live coverage.


2013 Asian Nations Cup: Welcome

At the end of the sky and the ocean

The host city for the Asia Nations Cup is Sanya, a place with plenty of history and tradition. Relatively remote from the centers of administration in China it was sometimes referred to as Tianya Hiajiao or “the end of the sky and the ocean”, a small tropical paradise now grown into a very popular vacation spot for Chinese and foreign tourists alike.

anc-day1-hotelPlayers are still arriving to Sanya, but some have been here for days already – the organisers from China Poker Games and IFP have been setting up shop and preparing for this historic event to take place, making sure glitches are taken care of to secure a smooth start to today’s playing sessions.

The format and the points system will be like it was in Paphos, Cyprus for the European Nations Cup. Play will be 6-handed with everyone beginning each hand with an equal amount of chips. IFP’s Match Poker technology is in play utilising smartphones to deliver the hands and the computer software to track the entire hand history.

anc-day1-4858The Grand Fortune Bay Hotel is the proud sponsor and spectacular venue for this historic event. An impressive resort offering everything you could wish for in this beautiful tropical paradise in southern China. The hotel is sitting on the beach front alongside dozens of other mega resorts and luxury hotels stretching all the way to the main city Sanya on the southern end of the island.

The official reception has just taken place, presented by the always lovely Felicia Fields. The managing director of the Hainan Provincial Bureau of Culture and Sport, Mr. Liu Ping Jiu, gave everyone a warm welcome, followed up by marketing director David Sun of the Grand Fortune Bay Hotel while the opening event was rounded off by a presentation of the competing teams and a speech by IFP President Patrick Nally. The latter thanked all the sponsors of this historic event, adding an exciting piece of news – that IFP is now embracing more than 60 nations around the globe in its pursuit of a world-wide recognition of poker as a mind sport.

Here is the seat draw for the first session:


CPG is a team from China Poker Games competing for the Championship but not eligible to qualify.

Four national poker teams will qualify for the IFP Nations Cup Final. Plenty of fierce action and tight competition is expected to unfold over the weekend and we will do our utmost to keep you all in the loop with news, interviews, scoring updates and photos – welcome to IFP Asia Nations Cup in China!

Please stay tuned for updates on

2013 Asian Nations Cup: Day 1 underway

Check back to this page throughout the day for regular updates, the latest of which will appear at the top of the page.

In the Lion’s Den

It is unthinkable to begin play without first being sent off with a blessing from the host  – much to many players’ big surprise a loud “gong” sent two Chinese lions onto the floor in a wild dance for luck and good fortune, just as Tournament Director Robert Huxley started briefing the team captains on general rules and conditions of play.

anc-day1-152For each session players will be competing over 30 hands followed by a break and another session of 30 hands. During the breaks teams will get a chance to discuss and strategize making the competition a real team effort.

Day 1 consists of 4 sessions, two before lunch and two after lunch. Seating is changed between morning and afternoon sessions, so we will see four different seating configurations over these two days of play.

So, the question everybody as asking is which teams are likely to come out on top? One thing which is likely to happen is that our prediction will be wrong! Some teams are featuring very experienced and successful individuals while others are virtually blank sheets when it comes to international poker competitions and results.  However, if cashes in major poker tournaments are any indicator of success – or at least experience – Australia come out on top with live cashes of more than $1.5 million. Spearheaded by Julius Colman who jumped onto the world stage in 2007 with a deep finish in the Aussie Millions, the Aussies have brought in a very experienced team and they will have to accept the burden of being the favorites to take home the trophy.

Other teams are very keen on proving this prediction wrong. Israel, India as well as the hosts from China all have collective live cashes of more than $300,000, but also Singapore and Japan can display noteworthy results from mostly Asian poker tournaments. The only squad without a public track record is the team from Mongolia, and we are very excited to see if they can surprise and challenge the pre-game favorites.

Feel free to click through the gallery for a presentation of the teams participating.