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

The Swiss are Ready to make their Match Poker Debut

Introducing, for the first time, the Swiss National Match Poker team that will participate in the IFMP Nations Cup Qualifiers from Europe.

The Swiss team has been created by the official Swiss member federation of IFMP, Swiss Poker Sport Association (SPSA).

Claudia Chinello

Claudia Chinello – 42, Entrepreneur and Business Poker Coach – Life is a game! We negotiate every day in business and in private, and my poker know-how definitely makes me more successful in everyday life.

Chantal Funk

Chantal Funk – 40, Trance Healing and Mother – As a mother of three children, I seek a balance from everyday family life in work, sport and poker.

Chris Reiser

Christoph Reiser – 43, Film Journalist – I am a film journalist, podcast operator and have been a passionate poker player for 20 years.

Kaspar Schmid

Kaspar Schmid – 64, Senior Consultant Finance – Poker is never boring, but it is challenging and makes demands on mathematical knowledge, the ability to concentrate, but also on intuition and feeling.

Oliver Lutz

Oliver Lutz – 46, Floorman – I have been playing poker for more than 20 years. Since then, I have been particularly enthusiastic about the competition that this game entails. I love to compete with players all over the world.  

Manuel Vögtlin

Manuel Vögtlin – 36, Team Leader Payment Branch – I have been playing poker for 17 years, and have also been playing in international tournaments for 11 years. I am fascinated by the many facets of the game and the fact that you have to constantly develop and adapt in order to play successfully.  

Bashkim Nexhipi

Bashkim Nexhipi – 36 – I have been playing poker since 2002. What I love about it is that you can read players and read their minds as the game goes on.

Arnold Schuler

Arnold Schuler – 49, Investment Advisor – Started playing poker with friends in 2010. He then became more and more involved with game variants and strategies. He especially likes the fact that poker is played globally by young and old.

Hubert Prachoing

Prachoinig Hubert – 44, Floor Layer – He came into contact with poker as a child and it has never let him go. During the last big poker boom, he became intensively involved with the game for the first time, and subsequently also internalised a lot online. What he finds fascinating about poker is that the rules are child’s play, yet the game remains challenging for life.

Iwan Tschubarow

Iwan Tschubarow – 36, Croupier – Started organising home games with buddies in 2005 and got to know the first moves. Since then I am an enthusiastic player and spend a lot of time at the Cash Game tables.