Musing With Masquelier; Turning Dreams Into Reality

TAGs: audio interview, International Stadium, ISPT 2013, ISPT Wembley, Lee Davy, Prosper Masquelier, wembley stadium

Musing With Masquelier; Turning Dreams Into Reality Audio

When you watch Prosper Masquelier walking around Wembley Stadium he looks like the cat that has just ate the cream – the Cheshire cat – grinning from ear to ear. He may be small in stature but you can tell he has the determination, stubbornness and will to succeed of a giant.

Musing With Masquelier; Turning Dreams Into Reality

How many British kids lie in their bed each night dreaming that one day they would score the winning goal in Wembley Stadium? We all have dreams…but very few of us have the balls to turn them into something tangible. Masquelier has balls. His dream was to host a poker tournament in Wembley Stadium – it’s no longer a dream, it’s a reality.

“Everyone told me for the last 12-months that this event would never happen and it did. It’s a victory.” Said Masquelier.

Whilst large portions of the poker circus were hurling scorn at the failings of the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT), Masquelier and his team were learning. The bombs were not being deflected. They were being consumed. Each one of them will be discussed and dissected in order to make sure that the next ISPT will be even bigger and even better.

But will there be another ISPT?

“Do you like it? All the players are happy, the customers are happy…everyone is happy. So why wouldn’t we do a second one?”

The mind can’t help but race immediately towards the word ‘money’. Events cost money. Booking Wembley Stadium is not the same as booking the dance hall in the local nightclub.

“Money is an easy thing to find.” Said Masquelier.

When Masquelier said that statement, I looked into his eyes and could tell that this was a man who was deadly serious. If the eyes don’t tell the truth then just look at what he has done with ISPT Wembley. When the tournament was seemingly falling short on numbers, Rob Yong walked forward and guaranteed €1 million for the winner. That decision put hundreds more people onto the playing list. That decision has left Yong with a €589,000 hole in his pocket. But I can’t help thinking that he won’t be left to carry the burden on his lonesome. If anyone questions Masquelier’s belief that money is an easy thing to find. Then consider that he managed to attract a €1 million guarantee for his inaugural tournament. Someone will walk away with a million and who cares where it came from. The winners CV won’t say DTD Wembley champion…it will say ISPT Wembley Champion.

Which leads me to another thought. Is this the end of a beautiful partnership or just the beginning? Are DTD and ISPT going to stop having sex and just settle down for a boring marriage, or have they just had a one-night stand?

If the ISPT have learned anything from this dream, it’s the importance of attracting players and operating a solid tournament, and DTD have done a great job of that. I think it would be a crying shame if different collaborators were brought in to manage each tournament. It would fragment, and we would lose something of the potential greatness that the first green roots of this tournament are showing.

“Who knows? Nobody knows? Just look at that {Points to the Wembley pitch} the players are happy, the dealers are happy, everyone is happy. Everyone is smiling.”

A question carefully evaded, but you can understand why. The rumors are spreading that the O2 Arena in Prague will host ISPT Part 2, but Masquelier is keen to just bask in the glory of his first event.

“In our first event we have 761-players…the first one. What do you think we can accomplish?

“We need to check all the good and bad things about this event first. I want to go on a holiday with my wife for a few days and then think about the future of the ISPT.”

Masquelier and his team have been criticized for their inability to create a marketing master plan. That won’t happen again. This tournament is the only form of marketing they need. When the players talk, when the pictures fly and when the videos zoom, the story will be told and people will be sold. The question of where were you when you missed the biggest value tournament in the world has a nice ring to it.

“I don’t have regrets. The ISPT is my baby. When your baby grows up sometimes it does good things and sometimes it does bad things. This is just the beginning for the ISPT.

“I want to sit back and watch my baby grow up.”


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