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!

GLOBAL MATCH POKER LAUNCH

GLOBAL MATCH POKER LAUNCH
TUESDAY 27TH JULY 2021

Match Poker is a revolutionary team eSport based on the principles of Texas Hold ‘Em, designed to maximise skill and
remove the elements of luck and gambling. The governing body, the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP), is a non-profit organisation whose stated purpose is to “serve as the global governing body for Match Poker”. IFMP consists of National Federations from around the world and currently has more than 65 members across six continents.
The global launch of the IFMP and the UK Federation will take place ‘on the river’ on Tuesday 27th July at the Hidden
Garden in Henley-on-Thames, England.

IFMP President and sports marketing visionary Patrick Nally (of West Nally) is the powerhouse driving the sport, having
previously brokered some of the most influential marketing deals in the history of sports and demonstrated a propensity for technology-driven innovations that challenge the status quo.

The launch is the culmination of 7 years of match play and testing around the world. The sport has reached the highest
standards of recognition with Observer status granted by GAISF and growing community of National federations. Patrick said, “The IFMP team is delighted that after all the years of hard work to establish Match Poker as a genuine sport we can now start building global community for this exciting mind sport”.

Six teams will unite next Tuesday in a stunning riverside venue in Henley-on-Thames to compete in a friendly tournament to celebrate the launch. Teams from Hong Kong, Switzerland, Taiwan, Poland and current World Champions, Ukraine, will join the UK team.
You can watch the launch event online at www.matchpoker.tv from 12:30pm BST to 14:00pm BST.

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Additional information:
The International Federation of Match Poker highlights:
• Formally recognised as a sport
• WADA compliant
• Observer Member of GAISF
• Mind sport in an E-Sports wrapper
• Played digitally with full transparency

 

Launch event sponsors
Global Sport Technologies: www.globalsporttechnology.com
The Hidden Garden Henley: www.findthehiddengarden.com
Peter Ungar Jewellery: www.peterungarjewellry.com

Please direct any media or press enquiries to Niamh Blackett: niamhy@matchpoker.sport

Social Media:
Instagram – @ifmatchpoker
Twitter – @ifpoker
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/international.federation.match.poker

Hong Kong’s High Profile Celebrity Match Poker Team is Ready to Compete!

Team Hong Kong, being represented by the Match Poker Hong Kong Sports Federation (Operated by Hong Kong Game Club, HKGC), to participate the 2021 Nations Cup Qualifiers from Asia, will be comprised of:

 

Ricky Wai Ki Cheung (Team Captain) – also known as the God Father of Poker in Hong Kong by TV media. Ricky is pioneer of poker in Hong Kong and the founder of Hong Kong Game Club (HKGC) which has been promoting poker and hosting poker tournaments in HK for 14 years since 2007. He is also the owner of the biggest poker club (5,000 sqf) in HK: Heart Spade Diamond Club for 12 years. Ricky also owns a poker society in Hong Kong Open University. HKGC partnered with the biggest organisation in Japan named All Japan Poker Championship (AJPC) since 2018. Ricky signed with Asia Poker League (APL) as their Ambassador since 2019. HKGC signed with Hong Kong TV Station (TVB) to produce 2 Seasons of “Celebrities Poker Show”. HKGC is the only legal Poker Organisation in HK approved by the Communication Authority of HK. A poker YouTuber since 2019. A cash game player for 18 years. Started to play live tournaments around Asia since 2018, have won 5 trophies and 30 ITMs finishes.

 

Kathy Yang Kam Tong – is the President of Hong Kong Women’s Poker Association. She has 4 years experience in live poker tournaments in Asia, she played in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. She is also a cash game player in Hong Kong for 4 years and Ambassador of Celebrities Poker Show of TVB. She was the champion of AJPC Incheon 2018 No Limit Hold’em and has 16 ITM finishes in 2018.

 

Eric Wailey Kwok – 47 years old, he is a famous music producer & artist. Co-captain of Match Poker Hong Kong Team. Producer and host of the first Cantonese celebrities poker show on YouTube: “Round Table Poker”. Started playing poker in 2004. Love the excitement of bluffing and hero calling. Love the observation of players while playing poker on the table.

 

Wilfred Lau Ho Lung – 44 years old, he is a famous movie artist and singer. Co-captain of Match Poker Hong Kong Team. Producer and host of the first Cantonese celebrities poker show on YouTube: “Round Table Poker”. Experienced poker player for 16 years. Learn the game of poker in 2004 while playing with some friends at home.

 

JW, Wong Ho Yee – She is a famous singer & movie actress, learnt playing poker with her friends during secondary school, then started playing regularly with friends just for fun!

 

Gary Chun Hei Lai – 23 years old, Team Pro of HKGC. He has came across poker in 2019. His first time playing poker was at the University Poker League held by HKGC at Open University of Hong Kong.

 

Ray Kin Wing Ng – He is a Esports manager, grew up learning to play competitive games with his friends. Ray has been working in the esports industry for the last 6 years and started playing poker in 2018.