The inaugural event of the ambitious International Stadiums Poker Tour managed to attract great publicity with their 30,000 player project, mostly based on the guaranteed prize pool of 20 million Euros.
Meanwhile the story started circulating that the prize pool is not going to be guaranteed as promised. It has been noted that organisers Laurent Tapie and Prosper Masquelier removed the key word ‘guarantee’ from the ISPT website’s blurb on the planned first outing at Wembley Stadium in London next year.
A company press statement does not mention any guarantee either but rather refers to the previously clearly quantified prize pool as ‘approximately Euro 20 million’.
The ISPT’s UK spokesman Stephen McClean previously assured players that the guarantee was guaranteed, but then had to fudge the issue by explaining that Masquelier had assured him the cash would be held in escrow at online payment processor Skrill (formerly Moneybookers). He also said that the organisers would release details at a press conference planned for September 3.
Therefore, players and industry people started speculating on the problems involved such as finances and profitability, regulatory approvals, and logistical concerns.
The ISPT project concept is organising the first combined online and live poker tournament with up to 30,000 players initially buying in for around Euro 600 each to play on “tactile tablets” in internationally famous stadia stands, playing down to around 3,000 finalists who will then compete at live tables on the floor of the stadium.