Tuesday February 19,2013 : INTERNATIONAL STADIUMS POKER TOUR TO SWITCH VENUES (Update)
Now even poker playing in the stadium is out
In yet another indicator that all is not going well with the proposed series of top level live and online poker tournaments at top sports stadiums around the world, the International Stadiums Poker Tour has revealed that it is switching venues, and the inaugural event will not be taking place in Wembley Stadium…in fact now it's not taking place in a stadium at all, but will be presented at the neighbouring conference centre.
The latest announcement comes after controversies over repeated changes to originally guaranteed multi-million Euro prize pools; abandoned ambitions to have tens of thousands of players competing on laptops in the Wembley Stadium stands for a seat in a projected 3,000 strong live tournament on the arena floor, and lavish marketing vids setting the scene.
The originally vaunting ambitions of the French entrepreneurs behind the project have since been substantially scaled back to a few online satellite tournaments (which do not appear to have been a great success) designed to distil the registration lists down to a manageable number of live tournament competitors.
The lack of interest and enthusiasm from poker heads for the Euro 300 satellite qualifiers has been noticeable.
Whilst the number of punters prepared to lay down the Euro 3,000 buy-in to enter directly into the live tournament is not known, it has reportedly been equally unimpressive so far.
Tournament Director Stephen McLean clearly has a problem on his hands, and it is now highly unlikely that the ultimate live tournament winner will be taking home the Euro 10 million originally envisaged and hyped by the ISPT.
With time running out (the tournament is due to start in May) there is undoubtedly an element of pressure around the project.
However, rumours circulating in online poker media Monday suggest that a new, and as yet unidentified, partner may enable a guarantee of Euro 1 million to be offered on the live tournament.
The speculation was triggered by the Pokerireland website, which claimed that the Nottingham, UK-based land and online poker operator Dusk Til Dawn is the current likely partner for the ISPT and could put up the money.
Whether this will turn out to be true is uncertain, given the unpredictable and frequently changing history of the ISPT venture so far. Perhaps more clarity will be achieved later this week, when posters on the poker forum twoplustwo appear to think an official announcement will be made.