Play Chess & Poker at the UKIPT Isle of Man; First Million Dollar Chess Tournament is Born in Las Vegas

TAGs: Amy Lee, chess, Isle of Man, jeff sarwer, Jennifer Shahade, Lee Davy, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, UKIPT, Ylon Schwartz

The United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour are planning to spice up their Isle of Man tour stop by integrating chess and poker in a multi-game event; and an entrepreneur is willing to take a loss to set up the first million dollar chess tournament in Las Vegas.

Play Chess & Poker at the UKIPT Isle of Man; First Million Dollar Chess Tournament is Born in Las VegasWhat do Almira Skripchenko, Ylon Schwartz, Jennifer Shahade and Jeff Sarwer have in common?

Give up?

They are all pretty brutal when it comes to a game of Chess.

A lot of chess players find their way to the poker tables, as do the backgammon players, Magic The Gathering players, and professional video gamers; and the United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) have taken advantage of this link to create the first Chess and Poker hybrid tournament.

The event will carry a £220 buy-in and will take place Oct 4-12 at the UKIPT stop on the Isle of Man. Some of the names already penciled in to play include the UK’s top Grandmaster Michael Adams, World #9 Maxime Vachier Lagrave and Grandmaster Laurent Fressient.

It’s unknown whether the presence of so many Grandmasters may lead to surprise appearances from Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Melle Mel?

Representing the poker world will be Almira Skripchenko (wife of Fressient), and Supernova Elite players Radoslaw “radoom” Jedynak and Simon Ansall.

The format will include five rounds of ‘blitz chess’ (each player gets seven minutes to checkmate or run the other player out of time). And for each win, the players will receive 1,000 additional poker chips to add to an initial starting stack of 8,000 chips. The players will then participate in a turbo poker tournament to determine the eventual winner.

Millionaire Chess to hit Planet Hollywood

Professional chess players must look at professional poker players and salivate.

The differences between the prize money is gargantuan, but there are a few people trying to do something about that.

Amy Lee, 43, is an entrepreneur from Vancouver, Canada, who has a penchant for kings, queens, and rooks, and she has decided to unveil a multi-year plan to inject some heavyweight money into the prize pools of chess tournaments.

Her first event – a definite loss leader – will take place in October, at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, and it will carry a guarantee of $1m in prize money.

More than 500 chess players, from 39 different countries, are expected to pay $1,000 for the opportunity to win the largest prize ever distributed in the games 1,500-year history.

Now that’s what I call a juicy overlay.

“If we only lose $200,000 we’ll be dancing in the streets,” Lee told the NY Times.

Lee is marrying up with business partner, and chess Grandmaster, Maurice Ashley, the man who was responsible for pushing the numbers the last time a record prize pool was established for a chess tournament.

In 2005, Ashley helped promote the HB Global Challenge tournament, in Minneapolis, and the prize pool was $500,000. That tournament remains a record to this date.

So what’s the plan?

How are they going to turn an overlay into a profitable venture?

The pair believe it’s all about attracting corporate sponsorships.

“In order to bring sponsors in, you have to make chess exciting, you have to make it fun. “ Lee told the NY Times.

Sound familiar?


views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of