Events NationscupQualification for the European Nations Cup 2013 will begin in Austria next month, ahead of the finals which will take place in London in the spring of 2013.

The qualifying event, which will be staged in Montesino, Vienna from 7 to 9 December, will feature 18 national teams in a Match Poker format, with the top nations will progress to ENC 2013. So far 12 teams from National Federations have enlisted, leaving six spots open in the run up to next month.

That means there is still time for IFP member federations to book their place for what is expected to be a grueling few days of Match poker, a variant first used at the Nations Cup in London last year, which will be used throughout the contest.

Match Poker (formerly duplicate poker) was pioneered by IFP and provides the truest test of poker as a Mind Sport.

In Match Poker the same order of cards is used at all tables. Every player in a given seat position receives exactly the same cards as his fellow competitors in that seat position on other tables, meaning their skill in playing these hands determines their finishing position. It’s an innovative way of reducing random chance, where the quality of the cards a player receives does not influence their chance to win the tournament.

Last year it made for a thrilling spectacle, as the Nations Cup played out in the pods of the EDF Energy London Eye and in London’s County Hall, a tournament that was eventually won by Team Germany.

The road to the next finals is now about to begin. Check back on the IFP website for more details of the event in the coming weeks.