2013 European Nations Cup: Day 2, final session

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

And now we wait

Yesterday IFP President Anthony Holden opened the 2013 European Nations Cup with the words “At last it happens”. After months of planning, two days of play and 287 hands, it finally comes to a close. This year’s ENC is now in the books. All that’s left is to announce its winner, a detail that will have to wait just a little longer, and the official awards ceremony later this evening.

stack_01There were no scores shown in the last session, ensuring a degree of tension in the closing stages. When we last saw numbers it was at the end of the third session. Back then the battle for the lead had been fraught, a close run thing between France and Ireland. France then edged it at the close, one and a half points ahead of Ireland and also Russia, who tired them tied for second. Estonia was just a point and a half behind them in fourth place.

Between Spain in fifth and Bosnia in ninth were fewer than 30 points in what was arguably the most significant section of the scoreboard with only six teams qualifying. But with so much that can go right, and wrong, it was impossible to rule out any team, even down to the Dutch in 14th place. Anything is possible. At least until it’s confirmed by the technical people ready to collate and confirm the details as I write.

For now we can only suggest you prepare to click refresh a few times while the players descend on the neighbouring bar for drinks, food and the presentations. As well as an overall winning team, which will receive a fine trophy, there will be silver and bronze medals for the teams in second and third place, as well as the award for Most Valuable Player, calculated by individual points won.

Needless to say once these results are announced to the players they will be published here on the Pokerfed.org website. What’s more you’ll be able to use the hand re-player to analyse any of the nearly 300 hands logged this weekend. For more details check back on the Pokerfed.org website.

It should be a thrilling way to end a great weekend of poker. Stay tuned.

No celebrating yet

The first tables finishing in the main tournament ballroom, which are in effect at least 90 minutes head of the world you may be watching on the live stream. Within a couple of hours all hands will be over, the smartphones will be switched off and the teams left to an agonizing wait for the scores.

They will be revealed at an award ceremony to take place later this evening when all the scores have been recorded, checked, double checked, agreed on and made ready for the master of ceremonies to address the crowd. Those same results will appear here when they’re ready to be made public, with the six teams advancing to the grand final likely to be celebrating most.

Darkness descends over the feature table

Analyzing the scores from the earlier session

With the scores close, and no updates scores available in the final session (the tension will be left until the awards ceremony later tonight), it’s a long wait until we will have definitive results. But you can at least see how the teams performed in the first session of the day in the colour-coded image below.


Click to enlarge

Last minutes tactics

7.10pm: The lobby of the Annabelle Hotel boasts a magnificent vista, the Mediterranean on full sparkling glory across the horizon. Few teams were paying it any attention at the break and were instead discussing tactics. Captains and players took time away from that to talk to Felicia Field, detailing their intentions going into the final session.

And we’re off

7pm: Live streaming is underway for the final session of the 2013 European Nations Cup. Click the links below to follow the action, with commentary by Jesse May.

The pressure begins to show (from the earlier session)

How the scoring works

6.25pm: The final session is now underway, although the live stream will not show it for a little longer yet, leaving us with a little more build up.

As a reminder all the action can be watched on our live stream, which you can find by clicking here (or on the logo below).

With so much at stake on each point it’s worth going through the scoring thing once more, or at least cut and paste it from the Pokerfed.org website.

view-live-stream“On each hand, a player will have a net change of chips – negative if they commit chips to the pot and do not win, zero if they fold without committing chips, and positive if they win the pot.  This is an individual player’s “chip-score” for that hand.  A team’s chip-score is simply the aggregate of all of its member’s individual chip-scores for that hand.  Team chip-scores are compared and points are awarded according to the table below.

“Where two or more teams have equal chip-scores, the associated points are shared between them.

“This point structure is applied after each and every hand, and the team with the greatest number of points at the end of the tournament wins, with overall team chip-scores used only to settle ties.”

One final note is that nobody, not we or the players will be privy to the results in order to maintain the suspense through to the final results declaration tonight.

Changes at the top, and bottom

6pm: We talked earlier about the green shoots of recovery for the Dutch team. The team, led by Rolf Slotboom, scored the most points in the first 20 hands of the day, and did the same in the next 20 hands. Then, well, the wheels fell off. In the final 50 hands of the session the Netherlands scored the lowest points tally of any team (293.5 points to Russia’s 396), sending them back into 14th place.

Russia on the other hand enjoyed an eight place boost, moving from 11th to joint second place, putting them a session away from a place in the grand final after what seemed like difficult times struggling at the wrong end of the points table. Maybe having some of the highest earning professional players in the game on your team does help.

Elsewhere the United Kingdom restored some order back into their campaign, up three places to seventh, while at the top Ireland restored themselves to first position ahead of permanent rivals France, who had led since the start of play today. But there’s only a point and a half between them, along with Russia. A further point and a half separates them from fourth placed Estonia.

Team conferences in full swing

Break time

5pm: Players are on a break at the midway stage of the final day. It means the live stream will be on air again a little later this afternoon.

In the meantime you can read all about the first session of the day by clicking here, including the rise, and subsequent fall of the Netherlands. A reminder of the points tally at the end of the previous session is below.

The standings going into the final session

7thUnited Kingdom1438

Live updates from the 2013 European Nations Cup, written by Stephen Bartley.

2013 European Nations Cup: Final results

Play ended a short while ago on the first European Nations Cup. After 287 hands the figures are now in.

Technical staff have secured the information (click “save as”) and have collated the figures for confirmation. That too has been done. All that’s left is to announce the results, which will appear below as they are made known. Click refresh to ensure you have all the latest results.

2013 European Nations Cup winners




Third place finisher


Also qualifying for the Grand Final

United Kingdom



Most Valuable Player


MVP by seat
  1. France
  2. Ireland
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Netherlands
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Cyprus


Final standings


To understand more about how points were awarded and winners declared, read the detailed information on the Pokerfed.org website.

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.”

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.”

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 128J9QT6699K7T5TOTALPoints

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 150Qd6d44ATA7Tc2cKKTOTALPoints

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
2Russia [Q]1993.5
3Spain [Q]1986.5
4UK [Q]1973.5
5Estonia [Q]1970

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 25954Q57284K286TOTALPoints

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.