2021 Review – A Year of Challenges and Progress

2021 saw IFMP make considerable progress after a rather quiet pandemic hit 2020. With the constantly changing situation caused by Covid, we didn’t want to be dependent on live events for Match Poker activity this year. We therefore decided to run virtual qualifiers for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals for our member nations in Asia and Europe. Being the world’s only recognised digital sport, Match Poker has the unique advantage of digital gameplay as compared to other conventional sports which are more physical in nature. We used this to our advantage and re-created the live Match Poker environment linking a video conference platform in with Match Poker gameplay, thus enabling the athletes to see and talk with each other just like they would at a live event, while playing Match Poker for their nation.
We ran a total of 10 qualifiers, which produced 5 Asian and 6 European qualifiers who will attempt to stop Ukraine from wining their 3rd World Championship in a row! 200 unique hands of Match Poker were played in each qualifier, giving us 2000 hands played by 25 participating nations. Over 200 athletes competed for their nations, testing themselves in this skill-based format with the aim of securing a spot at the finals. The qualified nations are India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Singapore from Asia, with Austria, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Macedonia and Switzerland from Europe. The virtual qualifiers allowed many nations, who have previously not been able to participate in live events, to play, compete and experience Match Poker. It has been fantastic to see our sport grow and reach so many new countries this year.
One prime example of this effect is the birth of the Mongolian National Match Poker League! 12 teams participated in the first season of the league, which took place on 11th and 12th December in Ulaanbaatar and saw 500 hands played across the 2 match days. Every team had atleast one male and one female member in their squad, across various age groups once again reinforcing that Match Poker is a fully inclusive sport. Team Pokerfriends were crowned Champions with 749.5 points, Team Shrup came 2nd with 723 points and Team Megamind was 3rd with 710 points. Trophies, medals and prize money was awarded to the top 3 finishing teams and top 3 individual players. The Mongolian NF will use this event and the content captured to approach their National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Sports Authority (NSA) for the formal recognition of Match Poker as a sport in Mongolia and for their national federation as a national governing body of sport, linked to IFMP as the global representative.
IFMP’s observer membership of GAISF was extended for another 2 years as we continue our fight for full recognition. One of the main aims of encouraging local Match Poker activity by way of national leagues was to be able to evidence to the NOC and NSA of your nation that we are a sport, recognised globally, played digitally, and are not anything like conventional gaming or gambling. Once the authorities see it in action, being played in teams, without the presence of physical cards or chips, they will better understand what we have been trying to explain to them for so long. We are hopeful that this all will work to our advantage and we can provide the GAISF membership council with plenty of new national recognition certificates in the coming year.
We are working hard towards a packed events calendar for 2022, with a Champions League style finale event for our many national league champions, a Global University Challenge involving student Match Poker teams from universities and colleges across the globe, and of course our Continental Championships (Asia, Europe, America’s) all culminating in a Nations Cup Final at the end of the year. There have been a few nations that have expressed their desire to host an event and we are evaluating our options, and would encourage other nations who are interested to let us know at the earliest.
Finally can we take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful holiday period. Stay safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones and let’s make 2022 the year where Match Poker really takes off! Happy Holidays and wish you a fantastic New Year!

Taiwan uses Poker as a Teaching Tool in Universities

President of Taiwan Formosa Poker Sports Association, David Tai, has brought poker to universities in Taiwan and has begun teaching as an assistant professor.

Students from the universities mentioned below have established social poker clubs, and CTP is serving as their official partner to assist on poker lectures and poker development.

National Tsing Hua University
National Chengchi University
National Dong Hwa University

Students have been very keen to setup social poker clubs in their university, and with the assistance from CTP, the school has approved their request subject to more than 40 students jointly signing up in each university.

‘Let poker step to the world, and let the world step into Taiwan’.

David is an assistant professor for Wanung Universtity, and has been invited to be their host lecturer together with ex-team Taiwan IFMP coach BONSAI YIN to assist to promote Poker as a game of strategy to the students.

Team Chinese Taipei are Going for Gold

A relatively inexperienced Match Poker nation, Chinese Taipei have quickly risen to the top of the rankings and established themselves as a serious contender! Making their Match Poker debut in Dublin in 2019, followed by a nail biting 2nd place finish on home turf at the Asian Championships, and most recently coming 5th in the 2020 Nations Cup Finals, this team is one to look out for!

Team Captain – David, Hsing Hsiung Tai

Profession – CTP Poker Club CEO and Assistant Professor for Vanug University

Bio – Never though that by not playing poker still make poker as my full time job, as I run poker business in Taiwan. The first time I know the game was at Macau, immediately I feel the game will be very popular in the future and decided to promote it in Taiwan, since then CTP Poker Club was born. I play poker for leisure but still put a lot of effort learning the strategy of the game, poker had brought me a lot of joy.

David Tai

 

Team Vice Captain – Ross, Wen Po Chun

Profession – Executive Tournament Director for CTP Poker Club

Bio – Knowing poker since 2015 and been in poker industry since then, I love playing poker as the excitement and poker strategy give me lots of fun. I’d been lucky to involve in the business together with David, and the work as Tournament Director give me another level of excitement, seeing players satisfaction is my daily enjoyment.

Ross Wen

 

Team Coach – Nevan, Chang Yu Chung

Profession – Professional Poker Pro

Bio – My first contact to Texas Hold’em was in 2016, never stopped playing poker since then. Starting from 2017, I’ve been playing poker professionally online for cash and tournament and study and learn strategy everyday for 8 hours, I am now a professional Poker Player and a Poker Coach.

Nevan

 

Team Consultant – CJ, CHI JEN CHEN

Profession – CEO, Software Company

Bio – Poker is all about balance. The quest for balance in the game is an endless struggle. If you are not feeling the pain. You are not fighting hard enough. The journey is tough. Yet, fulfilling. 

CJ Chen

 

Team Member – Fan Chih Wei

Profession – Professional Poker Player

Bio – I’ve been playing poker since 2017, in 2019 I began playing poker professionally, I like playing poker because it brings me excitement of matches and it is a mental sport, I really enjoy the game.

Fan Chi Wei

 

Team Member – Licen, Chao Ting Cheng

Profession – Professional Poker player

Bio – 2009 was my first time playing poker at GGC platform, then I turn to play at Pokerstars and play poker until today. Given that the growth of live tournament scene in Taiwan, I decided to resign my job after 4 years of working and turn myself as a professional poker player. Poker is very attractive and I like it a lot, I will keep learning the game and put all my effort in poker.

Licen

 

Team Member – Huang Chang Hau

Profession – Financial

Bio – I first came into contact with poker in the United States in 2000, since then I have fallen in love with this game. Poker’s competition and intelligence are what attracts me. The combination of travel and poker allows me to travel around the world with many friends to join in tournaments.

Huang

 

Team Member – Liu Shu Ting

Profession – Freelance

Bio – A friend brought me into the game, and it sparked my interest. It wasn’t until I came across CTP in the past year that I met many more friends who are into poker, and taught me all I know about tournament poker. My love of poker comes from the many connections I’ve made over the game. I hope to meet many more friends who are into poker, and improve together.

Liu Shu Ting

 

Team Member – Lin Hua Wei

Profession – Poker player

Bio – I’ve been playing poker since 2016 and am really passionate about poker until today. I am also live streamer in N8 and commentator for live tournaments in Taiwan. My partner and I also had FB and Youtube channel “WiNPokerCouple”, mainly focus in promote poker strategy and poker surrounding business.

Hua Wei Lin

 

Team Coach – Pete, Yan Han Chen

Profession – Poker Player

Bio – Hello I am Pete. I’ve played poker for many years and I am Natural8’s Team Hot now. I am very willing to share my poker tips and experiences.Welcome to subscribe my YouTube channel “Pete’s Poker World” and “Pete’s Poker Class”

Pete

Team Consultant: Raymond, Kun Kiet Wong
Profession: CEO of GPI Asia and professional in managing Poker Events
Bio: My first contact with poker was back in 2006 in New Zealand, it was introduced by my friend who works in a casino, and since then I’d been in love with the game because of the strategy, observation, challenge and patience when you play in a poker tournament. As I love the game so much, I’ve decided to put myself in the poker industry to help grow and promote Poker in Asia and it started in 2012. Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the best companies like WPT, and now partnering with GPI to promote GPI Asia in Taiwan.

Raymond Wong with Patrick Nally

Chinese Taipei starts 2021 Nations Cup Preparations

Chinese Taipei Team Gathering
It was the first official team gathering after the team selection since 2020 November last year, all team members attended last night’s dinner for the first time. , strategic discussions had been very excited and all looking forward to the upcoming IFMP Nations Cup.

Team Leader – David Tai giving welcome speech and introducing IFMP’s Match Poker structure to all team members

Team Leader – David Tai giving welcome speech and introducing IFMP’s Match Poker structure to all members

Team Leader – David Tai giving welcome speech and introducing IFMP’s Match Poker structure to all members

CJ Chen, sharing his previous Match Poker experience with his team members

Chinese Taipei’s Match Poker team 2021