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.

Lithuania vs Armenia

The Lithuanian national team faced the Armenian national team in two day clash in Lithuania to see who would win at Match Poker.

The Armenian team comprised of: Hakob Vardanyan (president), Sargis Antonyan, Armen Petrosyan, Suren Hunanyan, Manana Melkonyan. The Lithuanian team comprised of: Vytautas Milbutas (captain), Andrius Bielskis, Paulius Venčkauskas, Rasa Šalčiuvienė, Vaidas Bielskis, Andrej Afonin. The Lithuanian team was created from national federation’s best players (Vaidas Bielskis, Rasa Šalčiuvienė, Andrej Afonin) and well known professionals such as Vytautas Milbutas, Andrius Bielskis and Paulius Venčkauskas.

Match poker was played by both for 50 hands after the completed SNG tournaments. The organizers did not have access of IFP’s bespoke Match Poker technology and had to physically deal and replicate all the 50 hands randomly, using 50 card decks for those 50 deals. Teams we seated in the following order: table 1 – three Armenians and two Lithuanians, table 2 – vice versa. Blinds were 50-100, and every player could use 100 BB for each hand. After the first session (e.g. 25 deals) Lithuanians were leading by 40BB (4000 in chips). However, after the break the Armenian team began to use very aggressive team tactics, which were very successful at SNG tournament – team format was not so favorable for this and at the end, after the calculation of the results, it became clear, that Lithuania won by 400 BB, most of which was added by Andrius Bielskis, the winner of 7th Sunday Million at Poker Stars. He increased its original chip stack by 280 BB.

After the events ended, teams agreed that such an event is very useful for the players and for the popularity and development of poker itself.

Interesting hands of IFP’s European Nations Cup

IFP’s new ‘Match Poker’ technology allowed for the first time ever to collect data from four 3-hour+ sessions of play containing 51, 65, 71, and 72 hands respectively (259 hands in total). Here are some interesting hands we’d like to share with you.

Read between the lines

Here’s the frequency of how many times each team scored above average (blue) and how many times they scored below average (red). Perhaps this is the clearest visual representation of why Ireland became champions!

Frequency Team Score

The Quad 6 Hand

Hand 128J9QT6699K7T5TOTALPoints

The Netherlands destroyed the field in this hand, achieving two separate double-ups against the 99 (no other team got beyond the flop with the QT in Seat 2). One double-up would’ve been enough, however, since they also minimized the damage when they held the 99 in Seat 4. Cyprus was the only team to win with the 99 (re-raising pre-flop to take a small pot) but slow-played their quad 6s to death! Estonia’s uber-aggressive play in both spots evened itself out, and it was Denmark and Spain who lost out most with the 99s without managing to compensate with their 6s. Two other interesting points to note from this hand – Cyprus might have gained a point over Poland if they hadn’t got involved in the blinds (half the other teams simply folded both spots). The UK (Ross Boatman) also gained a point over Serbia by folding a 3k river-bet and making the correct laydown.

The KK v AT Hand

Hand 150Qd6d44ATA7Tc2cKKTOTALPoints

With an A23 flop (2 diamonds), Th on the turn and 5h on the river you might expect this hand to go to the KK half the time (pre-flop) and half the time to the AT (post-flop). NOT TRUE!!! Lithuania were the only team to win with the AT here – amazing stuff!

The Final Hand of the Tournament

After 258 hands
2Russia [Q]1993.5
3Spain [Q]1986.5
4UK [Q]1973.5
5Estonia [Q]1970

Of course the teams didn’t know if it was close or a forgone conclusion at this point – they only knew how things stood at the beginning of the session. And with just the last hand to be dealt 5 of the teams were safely through, plus the European Championship decided. However, that final qualifying spot for the IFP Nations Cup Finals was still up for grabs with just 5.5 points separating 6th-9th place. If ever there is a lesson to be learned in sport, to keep fighting to the end, this is it!

Hand 25954Q57284K286TOTALPoints

Exhausted and fatigued from close to 15 hours play over the two days, all six French players folded their final hand. Poland and Denmark also only contested the hand in just one spot each (achieving a 2nd and 5th respectively), but Cyprus kept their heads down and won this “nothing hand” in three spots (with Q5, K2 and 86). The hosts kept their 6th place and haven’t stopped partying since.

Did you know…?

IFP’s new ‘Match Poker’ technology allowed for the first time ever to collect data from four 3-hour+ sessions of play containing 51, 65, 71, and 72 hands respectively (259 hands in total).

Here are some interesting and amazing findings we’d like to share.

Go the UK

The UK’s most common points score was a maximum 14 (achieved 25 times).  They were the only team to perform above average in all 4 sessions and the only team to win two ‘Player of the Seat’ Awards (Seat 3 – Barny Boatman, Seat 5 – shared by Daiva Barauskaite and Karl Mahrenholz).

The charge of the Russians

The Russian team admitted that they hadn’t done their homework and arrived with no clue as to how the scoring was being calculated.  After session one, however, the penny dropped, and this proved to be their only below-average session.  They subsequently went from last place and over 90 points behind the leaders, to 2nd overall and just 13.5 points from being crowned the first ever European Champions.

The last 10 hands

Denmark made a valiant last stand scoring a whopping 110 points in the last ten hands alone (9 of those a 10+ score).  On the flipside, France who had enjoyed the lead for most of the weekend, and who were still 4th going into the last ten hands, suffered their worst spell at the worst possible time – netting just 43 points from the last 10 hands (a 23-point swing and 31-point swing against the eventual 5th and 6th placed finishers Estonia and Cyprus, respectively).

Mixed results for the maniacs

Denmark and Spain were the only teams to win over 300 pots from just 259 hands (329 and 324 respectively).  Bosnia managed only 169.

How’s the cricket in Holland?

Champions Ireland earned 0.63 points per hand more than last place Netherlands (an average strike rate of 7.79 vs 7.13)

Win big, lose big

Lithuania achieved the largest average pot won (1984 chips), the lowest being Serbia (1304 chips), but also featured highly in the average pot lost category too (-398 chips), the best being Bosnia (-190 chips) and worst being Denmark (-535 chips).

Name and shame

The best and worst performing teams per session were as follows: