Team Ireland Win the IFP European Nations Cup


Team Ireland win the IFP European Nations Cup in Paphos, Cyprus. Russia, Spain, U.K, Estonia and Cyprus also qualify for the Grand Final.


The words ‘Pinocchio, nose and long,’ spring to mind when The International Federation of Poker (IFP) promotes itself as the governing body of poker. It’s bold and brass with its statements that it ‘organizes major international tournaments, and compiles international rankings,’ especially when hardly anyone in the poker world have even heard of them.

In 2011, the IFP launched its first poker tournament, when it held the IFP Nations Cup from within the capsules of the London Eye. The 12 competing nations were the USA, Denmark, Japan, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, France, Ireland, Australia, Germany, U.K and that relatively new country Zynga?!

It wasn’t just the tournament that was innovative, or the decision to play the games from within the London Eye capsules; the format was also new, with the introduction of Duplicate Poker. A form of poker where a seat draw is made by country and then all the players from those respective countries take the same seat number, but at a different table. Each player, from each country, is then dealt exactly the same hand via a smartphone system. The format is played out hand-for-hand with points accrued for each hand rather than the knock out style system that is used in conventional multi-table tournament poker. The Germans took the title (as they do in every sport they compete in) and everyone forgot about the concept of Duplicate Poker.

But the IFP are back, and so is Duplicate Poker…albeit now called Match Poker. The IFP European Nations Cup has just reached its conclusion underneath the sunshine of Paphos in Cyprus, and for once the Germans didn’t win. Well to be fair, they weren’t even involved!

The title went to an Irish team consisting of Cat Taylor, Dara O’Kearney, Dermot Blain, Eoghan O’Dea, John O’Shea, Mick Graydon and Padraig Parkinson. Russia were the runners-up and the other nations that have qualified for the Grand Final were Spain, U.K, Estonia and Cyprus. Interestingly, the IFP website doesn’t exactly say what the Grand Final is, where it’s going to be held, when and who will be participating? The rumor mill has it that the Grand Final will be held in Rio de Janeiro, which is great news as it could have been held in Zynga?!