January 10, 2013 : ISPT DROPS LAPTOP POKER IDEA
 
Getting thirty thousand players to participate on laptops in a stadium-based tournament was perhaps too ambitious
 
Laurent Tapie and Prosper Masquelier captured the poker world's attention 18 months ago with their ambitious concept of gathering thirty thousand laptop-toting poker players together in a football stadium to compete in an online tournament, then whittling them down to 3,000 survivors battling it out in a live tournament in the arena, with a massive guaranteed Euro 30 million prize pool as the incentive.
 
They hyped the event with a stunning and professional video presentation that achieved wide publicity dubbing it the International Stadium Poker Tournament, and talking up a series of such massive events at famous stadia around the world, with the first outing scheduled for Wembley in the UK.
 
Since then there has been a clear scaling back of ambitions, starting with the Euro 30 million prize pool, which is no longer guaranteed, and was this week reduced to an "estimated Euro 10 million".
 
The organisers have now backed off on the plan to have 30,000 players hammering away on their laptops whilst seated in the stands at Wembley, too. Instead, they have opted for a more practical and standard online qualifying series with half a dozen starting days staggered around several regions in order to persuade players to participate in the Euro 300 buy-in event.
 
For their buy-in players get to compete with thousands of others in the hope of surviving long enough to be one of the estimated 3,000 finalists who will gather physically at Wembley between June 1 and 5 this year to battle it out for the lion's share of that estimated Euro 10 million prize pool.
 
Alternatively, for a Euro 3,000 buy-in, players can skip the online qualifiers altogether and buy straight into the live session at Wembley.
 
Tapie and Masquelier appear to have lined up the collaboration of a number of operators, with the online section of the project being handled by various sites such as Poker770.com, Partouche.fr, MyPok.fr, Lock Poker.eu and Poker770.es, depending on geographical location.
 
The full details of this latest iteration of the ISPT plan can be viewed here: http://www.ispt.com/en/what-is-ispt/concept/