This year’s IFMP Nations Cup World Championships of Match Poker was contested in most extraordinary circumstances, given the inability for all teams, players, analysts and officiators to convene at the same physical location. It was therefore understood that the integrity and sporting aspects of Match Poker could only be upheld by a total commitment from all teams and all participants to play according to the strict guidelines sent to all nations. The tremendous efforts and preparations made by all IFMP National Federation members ahead of the event was truly remarkable, with the shared mission of persevering against adversity and presenting our sport to the world via coordinated mobile gameplay software and video- conferencing.
All nations took part in test sessions prior to the championships and were informed of the rules of competition. Particular notice was given to all players regarding the temptation to gain an unfair advantage by accessing data on hands in advance.
IFMP is proud of the fact that Match Poker is so transparent. Given the digital nature of the sport, all action is recorded and time-stamped. Additionally, at the World Championships, gameplay was observed in real-time throughout, as well as live-streamed with all cards up (on a 30-minute delayed basis). IFMP was extremely grateful for the self-policing of the competition guidelines and for all the specific hand information teams shared for review. Throughout the entire first 6 sessions of the Nations Cup World Championship there was only one such review that escalated to a player being interviewed and cautioned.
Ahead of the final, all team captains were again assembled and notified about IFMP’s invigilation processes and warned of the potential penalties for infractions. Following the first 75 hands of the final, IFMP received multiple requests for review and the competition was therefore delayed while an official investigation took place. The player who had been previously cautioned was again called in for an interview. Sadly, the outcome of the investigation into hand histories and video concluded that Team Singapore had contravened the rules of Match Poker and gained an unfair advantage in the final. The severity of this and implication for the other finalists left IFMP no option but to exclude the entire team and restart the final with the remaining 5 nations. IFMP has now made all hand histories from the event publicly available here: http://mipl.pokerplaza.com/mp_leaderboard/
Despite this regrettable incident, IFMP is extremely grateful to all other participating nations for their conduct, understanding and patience throughout the weekend, which enabled a remarkable contest to take place.