IFP AND VIAAN INDUSTRIES LTD TO LAUNCH MATCH INDIAN POKER LEAGUE

LONDON AND MUMBAI: 1st June, 2017

The International Federation of Poker has signed a ground-breaking agreement with top Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and her entrepreneur husband Raj Kundra’s Viaan Industries Ltd to launch the Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL) which will see city-based teams compete in the world’s first professional match poker league.

The agreement is a significant breakthrough for the sport, which has been developed by the International Federation of Poker, under its president Patrick Nally, and has grown significantly worldwide since its launch in 2009. The IFP now has 60 member Federations worldwide and a long list of applicant nations.

The Match Indian Poker League, featuring teams owned by leading figures in Indian business and entertainment, will launch in September. Players will be selected for the teams based on their skill based ranking, where their performances have been assessed while playing against one of the world’s most advanced Poker ‘Bots using the Match Poker app which launches in August.

The first eight teams will represent the cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Kolkatta and Mumbai and the Match IPL will be played over a weekend to determine the most skillful Match Poker team along with the six players that will represent the Indian National team on a global stage.

Match Poker is the skill-based variant of the world’s most popular card game in which players compete for points (and not for stakes) in a team format. It combines the skills of an ultra-mind sport with current digital technology. Cards are dealt digitally and the game is played on smartphones and tablets, thereby eliminating the randomness of the cards and amplifying the skill.

The technology facilitates every element of the sport from game-play to administration of competitions and record keeping. Players win points for their team depending on the number of chips they win as they compete against opponents at their table and against their opposite numbers on other teams who have been dealt identical cards.

The International Federation of Poker (IFP) is the international governing body for the sport and was declared WADA compliant earlier this year. It is an observer member of the International Mind Sports Association and an applicant for membership of the Global Association of International Sports Federations.

IFP President Patrick Nally, widely recognised as the architect of modern sports marketing, sees the agreement with Viaan Industries as a transformational step for the sport.

“We are delighted to be working with Viaan Industries and with Shilpa and Raj who have had the vision to recognise the potential of Match Poker and the business instincts to create an exciting and entertaining, sporting framework which will attract massive interest among players, sponsors and commercial backers in one of the world’s fastest growing markets,” he said.

“The IFP has worked tirelessly for many years to develop the sport and the technology to support it and make it fit for purpose as a truly 21st century mind sport. It is a mind sport in an e-sport wrapper. Match Poker is inclusive and can be played by anybody with access to a smartphone and an Internet connection, anywhere and at any time.”

“We will be working closely with Viaan Industries to support the success of the Match Indian Poker League and are confident that it will create a model for the roll-out of other pro leagues elsewhere in the world.”

“The interest in India has been simply phenomenal and we can’t wait for the launch of the app and the build-up to the Match Indian Poker league later this year.”

Raj Kundra said:

“Viaan Industries Ltd is all about creating innovative technology and licensing deals and I am delighted to work with the International Federation of Poker on this tremendously exciting project.

Together we are going to create India’s only internationally recognized sports Match Poker league, which will create new opportunities to play, and unprecedented levels of excitement and engagement. Significantly the Match IPL will also be the platform for identifying and selecting the six players who will represent Team India at the IFP Nations Cup later this year.”

 

Sicilian Match Poker Championships 2017

The Sicilian Match Poker Championships took place in the four months between February and May

2017 comprising of a series of Match Poker qualification tournaments throughout the provinces of

Palermo, Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania and Messina. A total of more than 300 players from 50 towns took

part in the championships, which concluded with the semi-finals and final at the beach town of Capo

Mulini (Catania) on 20th May 2017. It was a tremendously successful series and IFP is very grateful for

the hard work and dedication shown by its Italian member FIGP for organising and hosting the events,

and its technical team working tirelessly from Hyderabad, India in support. The championships

proved to be an immensely valuable beta test of IFP’s new Match Poker app that will now be launched

in both Android and iOS versions later this summer.

Sicilian Match Poker Championships – Final Results:

The prize for the winning team from Syracuse is a Champions League Final Experience (flights from

Italy to the UK, accommodation, transportation + tickets to see Juventus vs Real Madrid in the

Champions League Final in Cardiff on 3 rd June 2017).

The winning team:

Benedetto Drago, Luca Cocola, Andrea Floresta, Piergiorgio Cocola , Giuseppe Zagami & Angelo Drago.

(Substitutes: Antonino Ognibene, Paolo Listro)

Sweden Becomes a Member of the IFP Family

The Swedish Poker Federation (Svepof) was founded in 2004. Svepof is a non profit organization working to improve the conditions for poker in Sweden. This is done mainly by promoting poker, work against prejudice of poker, work with legislator to get the best possible legislation around poker and by working with limiting the problems with problem playing. With numerous registered players in more than 50 poker clubs, IFP is very excited to welcome Sweden to the family by formally accepting their membership application.

Their online presence is as follows:

www.svenskapokerforbundet.se

https://www.facebook.com/svepof?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/svepof

Chairman – Ulf Engstrom

Secretary – Mickey Torstenssen

Treasury – Daniel Olsson

Austrian National Poker League Kicks-Off

This past weekend saw the first round of the official 2016 Austrian National Poker League take place in lower Austria.

The President of the Austrian PokerSport Association, Martin Sturc and the President of the National Poker League, Jakob Enders introduced the new and improved format to the eager crowd of twelve club teams who will battle for glory this season.

The winning team will also have the privilege to attend a three-day poker camp hosted by two of Austria’s top online poker players.

The Austrian Poker Sport Association also introduced the Austrian Poker Cup which will see nine teams play club vs. club in a heads-up format.

More Information can be found under apsa.co.at and pokerbundesliga.co.at

Lithuanian Sports Poker Federation Kick-Off 2016 Campaign

On 18-20 of March 2016, the Lithuanian Sports Poker Federation (LSPF) have started their new season with an opening tournament in Vilnius, at sports poker club ‘Du Karaliai’ (‘Two Kings’).

After the legislation changes toward gambling, including internet poker in Lithuania, for the first time in sports poker history the federation started the year without any major sponsorship – as previous sponsor UNIBET could not continue their activities in Lithuania. The responsibility to host this event was taken by the biggest sports poker club ‘Du Karaliai’, and it succeeded – the tournament was held just a week before Easter and it attracted 207 players from all over Lithuania!

After two days of fighting it out on the felt, 22 players advanced to the final day, and after four hours of intense poker play, 9 players formed the final table. During the final table two new records were set: its never happened since 2010 (the first federation tournament), that two women made it to the top 3. And the second one – the winner, Matas Levanas, a young player from Vilnius, has won his third LSPF tournament – in 2014 he became the Champion of Poker in Lithuania, the next year, he won the same event in Vilnius (he also won Player of The Year), and 2016 again – the walls of sports poker club Du Karaliai were nice to him. Matas once again proved – poker is a mind sport and a game of skill!

During the tournament, one of the country’s biggest Internet poker providers – OLYBET has announced their sponsorship intentions for next three years.