The Lithuanians want to improve on their Bronze medal finish in 2020!

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

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

Erikas

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!

Arunas

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

Dainius

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

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.

Laimis

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

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.

Presenting Team Hungary

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 European Nations Cup Round Up

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.

The Serbians are Aiming at Top 6 and Peruvian Dreams!

Being amongst IFMP’s stronger national federations, Team Serbia will be eager to make their performance in international competitions match their local structure and secure their spot in Peru.

Vladimir Bozinovic – 30 year old poker player from Serbia. Started playing poker back in 2006, turned pro a few years later. Mostly playing cash games, but had some tournament success as well, including winning a World Poker Tour main event in 2013. Loves travelling and exploring world restaurants, resides in Belgrade with his wife and son.

Danilo Velasevic – 31 year old poker player from Serbia. He’s been a professional poker player since 2013. He plays live high stakes cash games and online and live MTT’s.

Vlada Stojanović  – Tournament poker professional, 32 years old. Coach at pocar.com

Danka Todorovic – is a poker player from Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Born and raised in Belgrade, she graduated in 2009 at Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade. Today she owns and manages a family business, a bar known as Splav Knjaz in Belgrade on Sava river. She started playing poker with her father back in 2008 and is proud to be the daughter of one of the pioneers of Texas Hold’em poker players in Serbia, Žarko Stokanić.

Slobodan Ružičić – Serbian godfather of poker. One of few people responsible for bringing poker in Serbia in 2006. and developing it to higher levels. Owns a legal poker room in Grand casino Belgrade. Successful businessman and father of two, also competes in the highest stakes both cash games and tournaments. Known worldwide by his nickname “Ruza”.

Mladen Kratović – Born and raised in Belgrade, he started playing poker professionally after college in 2013. He has several notable results in online and live tournaments, but the one he’s most proud of is winning Battle of Malta high roller in 2015. Passionate about sports, traveling, and FPL.

Miloš Babović – Serbian poker professional since 2013, won several online tournament series, luckiest player in Eastern Europe, proud husband and father.

A Revamped UK Team Looking to Impress in Kyiv

Tony Dobbie – Seasoned international marketeer. Passionate about keeping fit and cooking. Determined to learn something new with every game of poker. Perfected ‘Poker face’ by telling his children about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Jon Theobald – Normally found in the photographers pit at rock concerts, Jon is also a licensed drone pilot for his own photo/video business. Mainly a live recreational player, when off the table he enjoys riding his motorcycle and tending to his bees.
Mike Tattersfield – Usually salt encrusted spending much time at sea as a professional yacht skipper. Honed my Texas Hold’em skills during a winter at a BAS scientific station in the Antarctic. I’m a skier/boarder, hang glider pilot and all round top bloke. Although, not as shinny as I used to be.  Hoping to be fully spruced up by the time cards are dealt.
Sue Smith – My hobbies include golf and walking my dog. Poker fame includes cashing twice in WSOP in Vegas.
Kevin Pike – Hobbies= Mountaineering. Interests=Survival of the aforementioned. Work Prowess=Making money when ever possible. Poker Prowess= ditto the above.
Andy Gallagher – Retired IT consultant and lecturer. Now an ’empty nester’ and free to try out a new career-whatever that maybe? Love all sport, now more as a spectator and have had an excellent track record in junior coaching. Hobbiest poker player