The 11th Sports Poker Championship of Lithuania

As the world deals with everything that has been thrown at it this year it’s nice to see IFMP’s Lithuanian national federation host it’s 11th Sports Poker Championship!
This event is taking place at Du Karaliai (Two Kings) – the first and biggest sports poker club in Lithuania, located in Vilnius.
The championship will last 4 days – from Thursday to Sunday, containing 3 starting days 1A, 1B, 1C, 2nd day and final day.
The 4 day event will consist of the main event in No-Limit Texas Holdem and side events in Pot-Limit Omaha.
The main event is a very deep freeze-out (levels up from 40 to 60 minutes, 30000 starting stack).
The main partner of LSPF (Lithuanian Sports Poker Federation) is Olybet, which, of course, gives the main prize – buy-in to the biggest poker tournament in Baltics – The Kings of Tallinn main event (1100EUR buy-in).
Every player also collects rating points towards top 10 of the year within the federation structure.

Chinese Taipei Leading the Way with National Team Selections for 2021

It’s official! The 2021 Chinese Taipei National Match Poker Team‘s player selection and coach charter opening ceremony kicked off at the CTP Poker Club, Taipei, Chinese Taipei on 7th October, 2020.

There were a total of 25 players who participated in this event and 5 of them will win their opportunity to become member’s of Chinese Taipei’s national team. On day one, the participants of the first round of  trial sessions 1 & 2 played over 5 hours of Match Poker and 200 hands, not only would they be ranked by the Match Poker system but they would also be given a score by Chinese Taipei’s team coaches after carefully watching them play! Day two of the selections, trial sessions 3 and 4 were also live streamed on Twitch – @CTPclub!

Congratulations to newly appointed Mr. Nevan-Yu Chung Chang and Mr. Pete-Yen Han Chen on becoming official coaches for the national team, they will be assisting the team and provide training to players while also playing in future IFMP events.

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee has authorised the use of it’s logo and for the national team to participate in Match Poker events.

JOINT STATEMENT – TEAM SINGAPORE DISQUALIFICATION

17th June 2020 – The IFMP and Singapore Poker Federation have both undertaken detailed reviews of the 2020 Nations Cup World Championships and the decision taken to disqualify Singapore from the final sessions.

The decision was taken mainly due to a technical breach by the team captain’s non-compliance with the event’s Webex rules and regulations.

We appreciate that there were challenges faced in hosting such an event on a video conferencing platform, without the live attendance of tournament officials, and that this caused difficulties for all concerned.

That said, we have agreed on a closure on this incident.

We share the same view that, from the subsequent reviews including the detailed analysis of tournament hand histories, it is inconclusive that Team Singapore had gained an unfair advantage.

Despite the disqualification, we are encouraged by Team Singapore’s display of sportsmanship in acceptance of the decision. We look forward to jointly collaborating on future events, and to continue promoting the sport of Match Poker!

2019 Year End Review

2019 has been a breakthrough year for Match Poker! It began with a slightly delayed 2018 Nations Cup held in Dublin, Ireland at the beautiful Boyne Hill House as the home nation were looking to defend their World Championship after being victorious at the 2017 Nations Cup in Oxford. Debutants Ukraine arrived with a large contingent and got their strategy spot on, beating the Irish and Germans who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively to clinch the Match Poker World Championship on their first attempt! This event also marked the first time Match Poker athletes were subject to WADA tests during competition – which has now become a norm at all IFMP events. Match Poker is a sport and we must function like any other sport, ensuring clean competition and adhering to global sporting rules & regulations set by the IOC & GAISF.

The excitement from the Dublin event lead to Kyiv, Ukraine securing the hosting of the 2019 European Nations Cup. This event would be the first in IFMP’s 2019 events calendar and would be followed by an Asian and America’s Nations Cup which would then culminate into the grand Nations Cup Finals. 13 European Nations came together in Kyiv to battle it out as the Irish defended their European Championships from the previous edition of this event held in Cyprus. All teams would play together in the group stages over the first 2 days after which they would break into a top 6 (Cup) and bottom 7 (Plate). With 7 European spots up for grabs, and scores being reset to 0 after the group stages, it was all to play for with every nation having a fighting chance at qualifying! Some debutants but many familiar faces lead to intense competition over 3 days and finally saw the Spaniards make an incredible comeback and lift the trophy! Ireland finished 2nd, Ukraine 3rd, Belarus 4th, Poland 5th and Germany 6th – all of whom secured qualification to the Nations Cup Finals. The last qualification spot was contested by Hungary, Serbia, UK, Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia and Italy with Lithuania stepping up to the occasion to be crowned winners of the ‘Plate’ and the last European nation to participate in the finals.

Next was the Asian Championships, held in Taoyuan, Taiwan after the Taiwanese also made their debut at the Dublin event. This event saw 9 Asian nations compete for continental glory as 5 qualification spots were up for grabs for the World Finals. Similar structure to the European event, all 9 teams play together in the group stages through 2 entire days after which they break into the top 4 (Cup) and bottom 5 (Plate). Top 4 automatically qualify but only the winner of the Plate joins them at the finals. Team India took an early lead and managed to ride some ups and downs to finish the group stages on top of the leaderboard with Australia and Singapore in 2nd and 3rd. The fight for 4th went right down to the wire and the home team Taiwan finally managed to get past the Israelis by just one point! A slight change in format saw the Cup play out 4-handed and the Plate 5-handed – with teams needing to adapt their playing styles and strategies constantly. A big push from the Indians secured the Asian Championship for them in the last 3 hands, away from the home team who lead for most of the final sessions! It was always two-horse race in the Plate as Israel and Korea kept putting the pressure on each other for the top spot with the Koreans breaking away and taking a lead in the last session of play to secure their qualification and win the Plate!

We then move to Mumbai, India for the 4th season of the world’s first pro Match Poker league – the MatchIPL (Indian Poker League). 9 franchises all representing different part of India were ready to dethrone the Pune Kings after their triumph in season 3. Group stages included all teams playing together for the first 6 sessions of play after which the bottom 3 teams would be eliminated and the top 6 would play 2 final sessions with 50% of their scores being carried over. The Mumbai All Stars (season 1 champions and season 3 runners-up) and Haryana Hawks (season 2 champions) established themselves as the teams to watch out for quite early on and maintained the top 2 spots through the group stages. A nail biting finish to the groups saw the Bangalore Royals make the top 6 by a single point over the Kolkata Diamonds! The final sessions saw the Haryana Hawks implement the perfect winning strategy by taking a lead in session 1 and consolidating it in session 2, leading to their 2nd National Championship in 3 seasons!

Unfortunate political and civil circumstances in Peru lead to the postponement of our Nations Cup Finals from December to the last week of February. We thank our participating nations for their support and understanding, and promise to deliver our most sensational Nations Cup event yet! 2020 will see Match Poker’s link with education and corporates strengthen as we launch University and City Leagues in various nations to complement our existing events calendar comprising of European, Asian and American Nations Cup events all culminating into our Grand Nations Cup Final at the end of the year. 2019 saw over 2,500 hands of Match Poker played by over 35 teams at IFMP events and 30 anti-doping tests successfully completed! We expect to have 50+ nations participating in these events and hope to bring Match Poker into many more territories as we continue to grow this exciting sport globally! We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Serbians are Aiming at Top 6 and Peruvian Dreams!

Being amongst IFMP’s stronger national federations, Team Serbia will be eager to make their performance in international competitions match their local structure and secure their spot in Peru.

Vladimir Bozinovic – 30 year old poker player from Serbia. Started playing poker back in 2006, turned pro a few years later. Mostly playing cash games, but had some tournament success as well, including winning a World Poker Tour main event in 2013. Loves travelling and exploring world restaurants, resides in Belgrade with his wife and son.

Danilo Velasevic – 31 year old poker player from Serbia. He’s been a professional poker player since 2013. He plays live high stakes cash games and online and live MTT’s.

Vlada Stojanović  – Tournament poker professional, 32 years old. Coach at pocar.com

Danka Todorovic – is a poker player from Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Born and raised in Belgrade, she graduated in 2009 at Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade. Today she owns and manages a family business, a bar known as Splav Knjaz in Belgrade on Sava river. She started playing poker with her father back in 2008 and is proud to be the daughter of one of the pioneers of Texas Hold’em poker players in Serbia, Žarko Stokanić.

Slobodan Ružičić – Serbian godfather of poker. One of few people responsible for bringing poker in Serbia in 2006. and developing it to higher levels. Owns a legal poker room in Grand casino Belgrade. Successful businessman and father of two, also competes in the highest stakes both cash games and tournaments. Known worldwide by his nickname “Ruza”.

Mladen Kratović – Born and raised in Belgrade, he started playing poker professionally after college in 2013. He has several notable results in online and live tournaments, but the one he’s most proud of is winning Battle of Malta high roller in 2015. Passionate about sports, traveling, and FPL.

Miloš Babović – Serbian poker professional since 2013, won several online tournament series, luckiest player in Eastern Europe, proud husband and father.