International Stadiums Poker Tour

In 2013, the UEFA Champions League Final is not the only event coming to Wembley Stadium.

The inaugural International Stadiums Poker Tour event is foreseen to take place at Wembley during the month of May. The Format is extremely ambitious and sees a planned 30,000 players competing from stadium seats on laptops provided by the organisers and then the final rounds taking place on the hallowed turf.

Poker continues to try and find unique ways of attracting players and TV coverage and indeed the organisers have really pushed the boat out with this event, signing up high profile ambassadors like Sam Trickett and investing a lot of money into glossy advertising.

I have concerns that this event will take place as planned, if at all however. The number of players currently registered barely top three thousand, some twenty seven thousand short of target with only a few months left to go.

The concept whilst interesting does present challenges. First and foremost is the English weather, if it rains during the tournament it could be a complete washout. The issues of collusion is another concern. Usually in qualifying poker tournaments, players are competing from their home computer. With the ISPT there are going to be players sitting adjacent to each other which opens up the possibility of collusion on a grand scale. An additional problem is the comfort factor; Poker players are used to playing in comfortable surroundings, food and service on call at all times.- Transport this to an uncomfortable outdoor football stadium seat and its not going to be an enjoyable experience, aside from the quality of dining at Wembley compared to a top hotel casino in Las Vegas.

Having had experience of organising a major tournament that is new to the market (Backgammon Million) i know what it takes to ensure the event is constantly promoted. The ISPT website links to its Facebook site do not work and the last Twitter post was some four weeks ago. The hotel booking page is in French which will confuse may of the targeted US players when planning their trip.

A lot of work is still required to drum up a huge number of registrations.Players that have attached their name to the event will be also hoping the event is a success but at present i don't hold out much hope.