With most countries facing lockdown due to the COVID-19, the live poker business has come to a standstill. While several major poker brands have cancelled or postponed their scheduled events, some other brands like WSOP, WPT, and Irish Poker Open have chosen the digital route and have already moved their events online. The latest to join this growing list is the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) as the brand will be hosting their Nations Cup Final (May 30 and 31) online.
Citing the reason for moving Nation Cup Final online, IFMP president Patrick Nally said “All international sports federations are facing enormous challenges due to the pandemic but we are fortunate that, with our gameplay software, we are able to play a ‘live’ event but in individual home locations,”
“The social relationships developed through the hosting of our Match Poker events are important to us and we’re looking forward to getting back to live events as soon as practical. But we will continue to support our international competition schedule in this manner until such times as our ‘sporting family’ can be reunited”,he further added.
The Nation Cup Final will have 14 participating countries competing through IFMP’s digital host platform. The 14 teams include defending World Champions Ukraine, European Champions Spain, Asian Champions India, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Ireland, Poland, Germany, Belarus, Lithuania along with invitational ‘Digital Nation’ team and a pick by IFMP President Patrick Nally.
Players will be able to compete from their homes via a gameplay software that will enable each team member to see and communicate with all of their table mates while sessions are on. Players will also be able to speak with their team mates, captains, and managers during breaks. Some contestants will experience early morning play, while others will be participating during the evening or night.
The IFMP has hosted several competitions including the Asian Nations Cup that took place in Taiwan and was eventually taken down by Team India comprising of the very talented Gaurav Gala as its captain, Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal, Tanmay Bagga, Rishab Jain, Prateek Mishra, Krina Gala, and Taran Mundkar. The upcoming Nations Cup will crown the World Match Poker Champion for 2020.