Ireland Look To Defend Match Poker Nations Cup On Home Soil

Ireland Look To Defend Match Poker Nations Cup On Home Soil

The International Federation of Match Poker’s Nations Cup takes place in Boyne Hill House in County Meath, Ireland, this week.

The last Nations Cup was staged in Oxford, England, in 2017 when Team Ireland won the event.

Their winning team of Fintan Gavin (captain), Andy Black, Karen Muir, Patrick Clarke, Chris Dowling and Tomas Geleziunas remains unchanged for their home defence of the crown.

What Is Match Poker?

Match Poker differs from traditional poker as there are no ‘buy ins’ or gambling involved in the game as the IFMP’s mission statement promises to promote poker as a ‘skill sport’.

Their poker variant conforms to the Global Association of International Sports Federations definition of a sport as “not relying on any element of luck specifically integrated into the sport”.

IFMP’s member nations now number more than 60 world-wide from six continents.

The competition format sees teams split on to different tables with one player from

each team in each of the different seat positions (seat 1 on table 1, seat 2 on table 2 etc).

How Hands Are Dealt

All players start each hand with an equal amount of chips and receive their cards via a mobile device on which the game is played. The same cards are dealt to all tables.

Once a hand is complete, each team’s combined chip stacks are compared and points allocated accordingly before players’ chip stacks are reset and the next hand begins.

All action is recorded electronically which can allow real-time automated scoring, animated replays and detailed analysis.

Ultimately the event runs on a league system with the team acquiring the most points topping the league and winning the title.

There is also an ‘overall best player award’ and, at the last rendition of the competition, it was Andy Black, who is best known for his fifth place in the 2005 World Series of Poker main event, who claimed the accolade.

Talking about his team’s defence, Fintan Gavin, Ireland’s team captain who collected €792,000 when finishing second in a 2008 Barcelona EPT event, explained: “Nothing matches the drama and buzz of tournament poker.

“Couple that with playing as a team and representing your country and hands down the Nations Cup offers an incomparable experience, I simply cannot wait.”

Bellagio Poker Cage Targeted Again

In other poker news, the Bellagio Casino’s poker room – a particular crime black spot in Las Vegas – was the subject of an attempted robbery again this week.

An armed robber was killed by police moments after he reportedly stole $35,000 from the poker cage within the famous casino’s card room. The dead man was later named as Michael Charles Cohen.

This is the latest in a long list of robberies at the Bellagio and we are not talking scenes from Oceans 11. In November of 2017 an armed man successfully robbed the same cash cage making off with an unspecified amount of cash.

In March of the same year the Rolex jewellery store within the Bellagio was attacked by three masked and armed men using sledge hammers.

But the most famous heist of all was the December 2010 ‘Bike Bandit’ robbery when a criminal, wearing a helmet and escaping via a motorbike, took $1.5 million in chips from a craps table at the casino by gunpoint.

The perpetrator, Tony Carleo, the son of a Las Vegas judge, was later caught, after attempting to cash-in $200,000 of the chips in the casino and also trying to sell some via the Internet. He is currently serving a nine-year sentence.

The Bellagio poker cage was also hit in 2000 when two men wearing body armour jumped over the cashier cage counter and stole c$160,000 in cash and chips.

And in 2004 Greg Raymer, who had recently been crowned the World Series of Poker main event winner, fought off two men (at least one armed) when attacked in the passageway outside his hotel room.