When Simon Trumper was handed his first assignment as the new International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISTP) Wembley Tournament Director, there was a fuse wire attached to it, it was lit and Ethan Hunt was making a charge for the famous stadium.
“When the DTD/ISPT agreement was reached, I was asked by the ISPT to conduct a review of their current format.” Trumper declared in a press release issued by DTD.
It’s refreshing to see people who not only understand poker, but care about the game and its players, to finally get a grip on what could have been an amazing thing for poker as a whole. But is it going to be a case of too-little-too-late? You see, I can now reveal the changes that Trumper has made to the Wembley structure and there aren’t any. Absolutely none!
Am I surprised? Hell no. When you organize a poker tournament, you can’t scream ‘shuffle up and deal’ and then decide to change the structure sometime later, especially when said tournament is offering €1 million to the lucky sap who finishes first. It’s the simple things that can make a man grab a spoon and shove it into someone’s eye. Just asking DTD to carry out a review just makes the poker world want to hate the ISPT even more, because is just shows more ineptitude on their part. If people don’t have faith in the people running a tournament then why will they come?
But it wasn’t a total white wash. Trumper was at least able to issue a statement affirming what the payouts will be now that the €1 million first prize has been confirmed. 50% of the players at Wembley will make the money with a min-cash of €540, and 85% of the total prize pool will be reserved for the top 10% of places. You can buy-in directly for Day 2 at the cost of €2,700 where there will be two starting flights, with Day 2A being a re-entry event, meaning anyone who busts can pay another €2,700 to try again on Day 2B.
From a structural point of view the event will follow the classic World Series of Poker (WSOP) structure. That means the second and third day will have 60-minute levels, days four and five will increase to 75-minutes and day six will be 90-minute levels. The pitch will contain 200-poker tables and they will be shielded from the famous British weather whilst retaining the ‘I am playing at Wembley vibe’ that is so important. The team have also hired all of the conference rooms at Wembley and they have been approved for poker play should they be needed.
The Day 1 format has already begun on a variety of online sites through Europe. Now that DTD are official partners they have revealed a whole host of live and online Day 1 events that are very attractive to the low rollers.
So there you have it. No changes to speak of, but a lot of information that can now be placed under the ‘confirmed and official’ umbrella. Now let’s sit back and see if this is going to be the biggest layover in the history of poker or a unbridled success.