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

Can Ukraine make it 3 World Championships in a row?

After their debut performance and victory at the 2019 Nations Cup in Dublin, the Ukrainian national team finished 3rd in the European Championships in Kyiv only to successfully defend their World Championship and win it once again at the 2020 Nations Cup – making them the first nation to win it twice, and that too in back to back years!!!

 

Ukraine National Team

Olga Iermolcheva, 33 years old, professional poker player

The most successful female poker player of Ukraine. Olga proved herself great during the Nations Cup 2019, scoring the most points for our team and showing the best result throughout the tournament! Iermolcheva is always ready for new challenges and fights till the end!

 

Hanna Mazno, 31 years old, professional poker player

Hanna made her debut in the Ukrainian national team in 2020. And before that, she managed to become the winner of the selection event to the team, organized by PokerMatch. This player from Kharkiv managed to get ahead of almost 100 competitors and win a place in the main team of the country. Well done!

 

Mykhailo Kedrovskyi (captain), 49 years old, professional poker player

The most experienced player on our team, Mykhailo has already lifted the Nations Cup above his head twice, and is always ready to show his best game or help his teammates with advice and support. This Kyiv-based player has won many trophies on live series in Ukraine and feels confident in the online game as well. A true captain!

 

Andrii Momot – 33 years old, IT-specialist, amateur poker player

The Ukrainian sports poker champion and a two-time world match poker champion, Andriy has played important hands at both the Dublin tournament and the online cup. This Kharkiv-based player always analyzes the game meticulously and helps his team prepare for the competition as good as possible.

 

Mykhailo Kobylinskyi – 31 years old, professional poker player

Misha started playing poker when he was a student. Over the years, he has truly matured and is now considered one of the most persistent poker players in Ukraine. This player has proved himself in tournaments with the national team and now has a gold medal of the world champion in his collection of trophies. Way to go!

 

Artem Kobylynskyi – 30 years old, professional poker player

A very dangerous opponent for any player who comes to the table with him. Artyom has made it to the EPT Super Final Main Event, and he has dozens of great results in online tournaments. Artyom always tries to show his best game in the Ukrainian team and does it excellently.

 

Renat Bohdanov – 23 years old, professional poker player

Renat quickly got into the list of the leading poker players in Ukraine. He has already won the WSOP Europe bracelet! In May 2020, Bohdanov played for the Ukrainian team for the first time and became the World Champion along with his partners. What an incredible start of the career!

Volodymyr Drokin – 31 years old, professional poker player

Volodymyr also has two “golds” of the Nations Cup on match poker. In addition, he has won the Ukrainian sports poker championship and has repeatedly been noted for his successful performances at the World Poker series. That includes the WSOP in Las Vegas. Drokin is a real fighter!

 

Andriy Lyubovetskiy – 30 years old, professional poker player

Another two-time world champion as a member of the Ukrainian team. Andriy has been successfully competing at large live tournaments and online series for a long time, and his opponents at the tables fear him for a reason. Andriy tries to get the most out of any hand and does it perfectly!

 

Mykhailo Gutyi – 31 years old, professional poker player

The titled Ukrainian player and owner of the WSOP Europe bracelet. Mykhailo has played two tournaments for the national team — in Kyiv, where he won bronze at the European Nations Cup in 2019, and gold at the World Championship in 2020. In addition to that, he got the MVP of the Nations Cup 2020 prize. Misha is a rocket!

 

Ivanna Soya (Yatsiuk) – 32 years old, professional poker player

Ivanna is a debutant of the Ukrainian national team. She has earned her place in the main team thanks to her excellent results. Lately Ivanna has won many big online tournaments and has proved her worth in the live series. Now it’s time to help the team win new trophies!