The International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) at London’s Wembley Stadium is set to go live on May 31 and the inaugural event continues to attract more players.
With just over one week to go, 178 players who either bought in directly for €2700 + €300 or gained entry via satellites are set to compete in Day Twos. Those who chose to bypass Day One by buying in and receiving the average starting chip total when Day 2A commences include Dave “Devilfish” Ulliot, Erich Kollman, and the Hendon Mob’s Barney and Ross Boatman. They will join ISPT ambassadors Sam Trickett and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi with 53,384 in chips.
The chip leader at the moment is Barrie Price with 183,800. Right on his tail is fellow countryman Adebavo Odetovinbo at 170,275. Team Ivey is represented in third place by Nicolas Cardyn and his chip stack of 136,593. Last in the current 178-player field is Stanislas Chevallier, who has his work cut out for him with a starting stack of 9,034.
Entry to the live event via Day One satellites is still available for a €300 buy-in online at Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) from May 26-31 and live at the DTD poker room in Nottingham from May 25-27.
The controversial ISPT has changed directions a number of times since first being announced by founders Laurent Tapie and Prosper Masquelier. The tour was conceived on the assumption that Group Tapie would purchase Full Tilt and promote the event via that website. When a workable deal could not be reached with the U.S. DoJ to purchase the shuttered site, new strategies had to be employed.
Those strategies included discarding the original idea of gathering 30,000 players to compete via laptop at Wembley Stadium until a select number concluded the event live on the Wembley field. Instead, a number of online poker sites hosted satellites to the tournament, with DTD aligning forces as the main sponsor.
DTD also guaranteed €1,000,000 to the winner of the event following the scrapping of an overall prize pool guarantee of €20,000,000 when it became obvious that player participation would likely fall far short of that number. However, sponsorship deals with DTD, the Hendon Mob, Red Bull and players such as Trickett, Mizrachi, David Benyamine and Liz Lieu have given the event a respectable amount of credibility.