IFMP Welcomes Switzerland and Canada to the Match Poker Family

We are proud to announce two newly recognised member federations – Switzerland and Canada.

Switzerland will be represented by the Swiss Poker Sport Association which has been promoting poker as a sport in Switzerland for a number of years, running a successful national league and are eager to focus their efforts towards Match Poker.

Match Poker Canada will be IFMP’s Canadian NF, run by individuals who are well-versed with sport governance, management and administration, looking to introduce Match Poker to their nation.

IFMP has previously had members from both nations but due to non-adherence with IFMP’s national federation rules and obligations, the board and congress decided to rescind recognition of those organisations. We are proud to be associated with both these newly recognised national federations and are excited for the future of Match Poker in both Canada and Switzerland.

IFMP Mourns the Loss of our Founding Father, Gary Bowman

Remembering Gary Bowman (Roman Olynch), a legend:

Gary Bowman was the founding father of IFMP (International Federation of Match Poker). He was both a visionary and a pioneer. He saw the need for sporting enthusiasts, especially those American Football (NFL) supporters (based overseas), wanting to bet, and add to the excitement of following their team. This awareness was at a time prior to the digital revolution when communication was restricted to primarily postal, telephone and later fax contact. Having initially set up a postal system, and seeing the positive response, he developed a sophisticated telephone system, taking bets in real time by telephone. In essence Gary was the first to create what became known as “The Offshore Sports Book”, started by Gary and of course copied by many.

Gary Bowman with Dmitry Lesnoy at the 2013 Asian Nations Cup in Sanya, China

 

IFMP Vice-President Pedro Trengrouse with Gary at the 2017 Nations Cup in Oxford

Gary started in the UK, in Manchester, where he built an impressive structure which was later moved to Mauritius. His structure was a substantial 24 hour telephone call centre providing a betting service on a global scale.

As Gary was heavily committed to his telephone structure he did not switch to a digital structure as quick as his competitors. With more and more restrictions being placed on offshore gaming he decided to sell up and look for new horizons. Gary moved to his parents’ original homeland – Ukraine, settling in the City of Lviv. He fell in love with a building and gradually purchased every apartment in the centrally located apartment block. Once securing full ownership of the whole building he created The British Club where I became the second member following the first member, Lord Tom Pendry. Pendry and Gary formed a close relationship when Tom, a past Labour Shadow Sports Minister, helped Gary with licensing matters. http://britishclub.org

Gary with IFMP President Patrick Nally in Oxford

Gary once ensconced in Lviv started to invest in other projects, including a garlic farm as well as committing himself to many important local charities. His one burning ambition however was to make Poker a recognised sport and became both the founder and the patron of the original IFP (International Federation of Poker) which later became IFMP when his vision was realised and Match Poker became officially recognised as a sport in 2017.

Without Gary‘s vision and determination the International Federation would not exist, it was his perseverance that has enabled the project to move forward, it was his personal support, especially with the hosting of the first digital European Nations Cup event held in Cyprus in 2013, that enabled the sport to proceed. Gary was one of the founding directors of the sport, he will be sorely missed by the entire Match Poker family. To honour his memory and invaluable contribution to the sport of Match Poker, a Gary Bowman Cup will become a major international event within IFMP’s annual calendar.

RIP Gary we will miss you madly.

Written by Patrick Nally, close personal friend of Gary’s and president of IFMP.

IFP handed Match Poker boost with Chinese alliance

The International Federation of Poker’s (IFP) Match Poker form of the game has been handed a major boost in China through a new partnership between the Alibaba Sports division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and the Oceans Sports & Entertainment agency.

The strategic partnership brings together the two organisations with the aim of developing and marketing sports in China and has already identified Match Poker, the digital, non-gambling, team-based variant, as a “priority project”.

Match Poker is a new e-sport version of poker where competitors play for points instead of cash prizes. Cards are replaced by hands dealt to smartphones, while all gameplay is conducted digitally and both individual and team performances, as well as match and league information, is recorded and stored centrally.

The IFP has said that Match Poker will generate revenue through pay-per-play, subscriptions, sponsorship and media rights. The organisation expects to attract two million players within five years.

“The alliance between Oceans and Alibaba sport creates one of the most powerful forces in sports marketing anywhere in the world,” IFP president Patrick Nally said. “I am delighted that their energies, attention and resources will be focused on launching and promoting Match Poker and that they share my belief in its massive worldwide potential.”

Oceans is a long-term supporter of Match Poker and has worked with the IFP for some time on developing the technology to drive the sport.

Shoto Zhu, chief executive of Oceans, added:  “The strategic alliance with Alibaba Sports is a game-changer for Oceans Sports and Entertainment as it harnesses our specialist marketing skills and know-how with the media and e-commerce might of Alibaba Sports.

“It will enable us to promote sports opportunities effectively and decisively in China and beyond. Both Oceans and Alibaba are excited about its potential in the age of e-sport and it is a priority project for the alliance.”

http://www.sportbusiness.com/sport-news/ifp-handed-match-poker-boost-chinese-alliance

Can Alibaba punt on Match Poker pay off in China?

Match Poker is hoping to make major progress in the key Chinese market through a new strategic partnership between Oceans Sports & Entertainment, its marketing agency in the region, and Ali Sports, a subsidiary of online retail giant Alibaba Group.

shoto_zhu_oceans1

Oceans’ Shoto Zhu

The promotion of Match Poker, a non-gambling, mobile-based version of the game which is currently conducting a funding round as it seeks global expansion, has been announced as a priority project for the partnership between two of China’s biggest and most influential sports sector organisations.

Under the agreement, Oceans will manage the on-ground event logistics and traditional marketing of Match Poker and the other sporting events in its portfolio, while Ali Sports “will introduce a comprehensive new digital ecosystem to improve the experience and value for the projects’ participants, audience, sponsors and business partners”.

Oceans chief executive Shoto Zhu told TotallyGaming.com that the partnership with the media, marketing, data and financial services powerhouse will play a significant role in driving growth of the mind sport…

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