The Mongolians are Looking to Establish Themselves Among the World’s Best

Nearly a decade ago, in 2013, was when the Mongolian national team made their previous and only appearance in a Nations Cup event – participating in the 2013 Asian Nations Cup held in Sanya, China!

The last year has seen the national federation become very active with their national team doing superbly well to qualify for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals and using the momentum to launch their own national league! 12 teams participated in the inaugural season of the Match Poker league with the event being held over a weekend in December 2021 and the national champions will now participate in the IFMP Champions League Finale in the UK later this year!

Apart from working on a bigger, longer and better second season of the league, the national team is determined to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with as they make their first live Match Poker event appearance in Macedonia in May.

Here are the individuals representing Mongolia, aiming for glory:

Name: Lkhunrev Dorjbal

Age: 31

Profession: Engineer

Bio: The sport of poker always gives me energy and the opportunity to think freely. I’m interested in developing it in the future, and I hope this competition opens up a lot of opportunities for me.

Name: Baldan Lkhagva

Age: 31

Professional: Political analyst

Bio: I have been interested in this sport for many years and it is very important for me to be successful in this tournament where I can get a special feeling while playing Match Poker for my country.

Name: Nyamdari Khatanbold

Age: 33

Profession: Manager of a construction company

Bio: I am studying for my master degree as business administration at University of Finance and Economy, Mongolia. I have played online poker since 2015 and have only a few followers from my country. I give some training and coaching for people who are interested in it. I aim to contribute to the development of poker in Mongolia through my coaching, live streams and private advice based on my experience.

Name: Chinbaatar Maamuu

Age: 35

Profession: Tourism Management

Bio: Started playing poker in 2006, what I love most about it is that it’s a sport that anyone can play irrespective of age or gender.

Name: Enkhrel Ganzorig

Age: 33

Profession: Degree in advertising

Bio: I first learned about poker in 2007 and have been playing online poker since 2016. Poker is a great sport for me, both mentally and emotionally. I want to develop my interest and I want to be a professional poker player in the future.

Name: Khulan Munkhbaatar

Age: 27

Profession: Financial management

Bio: The reason I’m attracted to poker is because psychologically its so interesting as a sport. That’s why I really want to know more about poker.

Name: Bat-Erdene Erdene-Bayar

Age: 32

Profession: TV Director

Bio: Started playing poker in 2010, I have been participating in sports competitions for 5 years. I like to play with human psychology and read cards. I’m playing to improve my skills now.

Name: Battulga Janag

Age: 33

Profession: Accountant

Bio: I’ve started playing poker since 2012. Also, I’ve been running a poker course since 2017. My most interesting subjects are astronomy and philosophy. It’s like I could discuss those subjects 24/7 with anyone.

Name: Buyanjargal Bold

Age: 39

Profession: Germanistik

Bio: I started playing poker in 2005. From 2006 to 2010, I worked as a dealer in a casino. I re-started playing poker in 2013 and won the 2014 Asia-Pacific Red Dragon main event in Macao, beating 995 players. For me, poker is an intellectual sport that requires psychological combat, endurance and self-control. Having competed in many competitions and experienced joys and sorrows, I will love this sport and play it to the death.


Macedonia to Host the Nations Cup Finals in May


IFMP’s first live event since the Asian Nations Cup held in Taipei, Taiwan in November 2019 and we could not be more excited to bring our qualified nations together and competing for the Match Poker World Championship!

We hosted a series of virtual qualifiers throughout 2021, where Asian and European national teams participated from a central venue to secure their qualification for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals.

Over 25 national teams participated in 11 individual qualifying events over 4 months, leading to the following list of qualified teams:

  • India
  • Mongolia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Singapore
  • Israel
  • Iceland
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Macedonia
  • Italy

These nations will be joined by the current Nations Cup Champions, for 2019 and 2020, Team Ukraine who will be looking to defend their title for the second time after successfully doing so for the first time in the 2020 Virtual Nations Cup.



The beautiful town of Gevgelija will be our host city in Macedonia with the Apollonia Hotel being our venue.

The 2021 Nations Cup will kick off on 23rd May and run till the 27th, incorporating an exciting elimination structure playing down to a final 6 teams for the final session of play.

3 full days of play will ensure both physical and mental stamina are tested along with Match Poker skill and strategy, producing a truly deserving World Champion.

The IFMP team will be visiting Gevgelija on 18 & 19 April for a pre-event press conference with the Mayor of the town and a site visit with the local organising committee.

It has been very encouraging to see the growth of Match Poker in Macedonia, with the first season of the national league being run very successfully and producing a national champion, the Vardar Sharks, to go on to represent the league in the Global Champions League later this year.

Match Poker’s formal sporting recognition by GAISF has been extremely important in helping its national acceptance as a mind sport and game of skill within our member nations.

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!

Team Mongolia look to channel their inner Genghis Khan and make their mark in Match Poker!

Introducing the Mongolian national Match Poker team, representing The Mongolian Free Poker Federation:

Mongolian national team members

Buyanjargal Bold

Name: Buyanjargal Bold

Age: 38

Profession: Germanistik

Bio: He started playing poker in 2005. From 2006 to 2010, he worked as a dealer in a casino. He re-started playing poker in 2013 and won the 2014 Asia-Pacific Red Dragon main event in Macao, beating 995 players. ‘For me, poker is an intellectual sport that requires psychological combat, endurance and self-control. Having competed in many competitions and experienced joys and sorrows, I will love this sport and play it to the death.’


Tsognaadorj. T

Full Name: Tsognaadorj Tegshjargal

Age: 33

Profession: Human Resources Manager

Bio: When I first started playing poker, my goal was to become a good athlete who made a name for Mongolia and the world.

Hobby: Playing chess, checkers, billiards, basketball.


Gantugs. N

Full Name: Gantugs Namsrai

Age: 23

Profession: Mechanical Engineer

Bio: In 2018, I became interested in poker. I first learned to play at a cash table on a Mongolian site. In addition, poker, which is associated with chess, was considered an intellectual sport and was practiced in the future. In his spare time, he enjoys playing poker.


Battulga J

Full Name: Battulga Janag

Age: 32

Profession: Accountant

Bio: I’ve been playing poker since 2012. Also i’ve had running poker course since 2017. My most interesting subjects are astronomy and philosophy. It’s like I could discuss those subjects 24/7 with anyone.


Ankhzaya Ch

Full Name: Ankhzaya Chindegsuren

Age: 35

Profession: Journalist

Bio: I have been interested in playing poker for more than ten years. I’m a mother of two and like to play all kinds of online games. I’m also interested in growing and caring for plants.


Anujin. Kh

Full Name: Anujin Khadkhuu

Age: 21

Profession: Student of the National University of Mongolia

Bio: I have been watching professional players since I was 17 then I started playing poker myself at the age of 19. I am very dedicated to this sport and looking forward to make my team the best of all.


Erdene B

Full Name: Erdene-Bayar Boldbaatar

Age: 44

Profession: DRIVER

Bio: I’ve been interested in poker for over 5 years, and I started playing poker because I was interested in playing cards. In my free time, I usually play online poker.

Hobby: Shooting sports and volleyball


Chinbaatar. M

Full Name: Chinbaatar Maamuu

Age: 34

Profession: Tourism Management

Bio: Been playing poker since 2006, what I love about it is that it is a mind sport and can be played by anyone irrespective of age and gender.


Bat-erdene. E

Full Name: Bat-Erdene Erdene-Bayar

Age: 31

Profession: TV Director

Bio: Began playing poker in 2010, I have been participating in sports competitions for 5 years. I like to play with human psychology and read cards. I’m playing to improve my skills now.


Enkhmaa. M

Full name: Enkhmaa Myangat

Age: 28

Profession: Journalist

Bio: Poker has been one part of my life for a few years. But I have huge goals and dreams. So the championship would be a big chance to improve myself and my poker career.

Mongolia joins IFMP

On 23rd March 2021 the IFMP Board voted in favour of a membership application received from ‘The Mongolian Free Poker Federation’. We are excited to see the Match Poker family growing and proud to welcome Mongolia as our latest member federation.

The Mongolian Poker Union was founded in 2009 with the main aim of developing poker as a sport in Mongolia. They are the only official organisation of poker sport in Mongolia and recognised by the Mongolian Sports Committee. Since launch, they have successfully organised the very first national championship and been organising it every year.

The federation wishes to become a member of IFMP, develop poker and Match Poker as a sport in Mongolia, train professional players and participate in international competitions.

The association adheres to IFMP’s rules and declares that it accepts, respects and implements all decisions made by the bodies of the IFMP, including the Congress, Board, Continental Councils, Sport Department, Commissions and Working Groups, Anti-Doping, Disciplinary and Appeals Commissions, Athletes Commission, Medical Commission, Para Match Poker Commission and Ethics Commission.