The result was a remarkable win for Raul Mestre, with a backdrop perfect for the crowing of a first world champion. But the story of The Table did not begin when players took their seat last month; it began with the creation of the actual table itself.

It was quite something to design and put together, something else entirely to deliver it and install it, as the images below testify…


For poker players it’s all about the money. Sure, some prestige is fine now and then, but the bottom line is the bottom line. You can’t spend a nice looking resume. Or at least that’s the impression many people have, that of cut throat individuals with only one thing on their mind.

English03But at least one player had someone else on their mind.Victoria Coren (right), a columnist and TV presenter as well as a poker player, finished runner-up to Raul Mestre at The Table last month, a feat worth $100,000. Now you can make that $90,000, with the rest going to Age UK, a British charity which aims to improve the living standards and protect the rights for older people.Philanthropy among poker players is not that unusual. Barry Greenstein, who captained the United States Team during the IFP Nations Cup, famously used to give his tournament winnings away to children’s charities, and many players, including Jennefer Gallenberger of Team Zynga, pledge 1 per cent of poker winnings to charity.Before taking her seat Coren had tweeted that her column in that Sunday’s edition of Observer was “in love with old folk”, before pledging ten per cent of any winnings to Age UK.

Shortly after her success at County Hall she tweeted:

“The 10% went to Age UK this morning, £6,360 with love, on behalf of all us poker players who have no idea what our own future will be.”

Well said.


When Raul Mestre tried to bite into the The Table trophy, he could have been forgiven for wondering if it was all real – the trophy, the money, the prestige of winning such an exclusive event. Well it was, and so was his title of “Official World Champion.”

“Official World Champion”?That “official” tag was something several players asked about during the four days of the IFP World Championship. Was it some arbitrary prefix that the International Federation of Poker had added for faux prestige? On the contrary, the IFP is the only organisations sanctioned to stage a World Championship of poker. At this point we ask you to properly brace yourself for the formal explanation why…It comes down to The European Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which has agreed to be the arbitrating authority for all matters relating to IFP and to arbitrate under the Swiss Civil Code.The IFP has secured observer status of the International Mind Sport Association and also has an outstanding application to join SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations), the global body responsible for recognising sports and sanctioning their governing bodies.

IFP hopes to secure full membership of both IMSA and SportAccord in May 2012 and with this recognition comes the global recognition required for IFP to be a full International Sports Federation and the authority to organise one official world championship.


In the third of this week’s exclusive video clips from the IFP World Championship, Raul Mestre seals the win, and the title, in an all-or-nothing finale against Victoria Coren, the two players concluding what had been a thrilling spectacle.

Either player would have proved worthy world champions but it was Mestre who was ultimately crowned winner…



The second exclusive video from the IFP’s World Championship features the heart breaking hand for Igor Trafane against Victoria Coren.

Trafane would finish in third place but as you’ll see in the clip it was Coren who seemed the more devastated at his departure…