ISPT Wembley Attracts Just 761 Players, Instead Of Hoped For 30,000

ISPT Wembley Attracts Just 761 Players, Instead Of Hoped For 30,000When Laurent Tapie announced his brainchild the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) last year, he had high hopes for the innovative tournament, which he predicted would be the world’s biggest ever poker event with a potential 30,000 players joining in from all over the world.
However, after the two starting days were complete at the €3,000 Main Event a relatively meager field of just 761 players had been attracted to the Wembley Stadium venue. As well as disappointment for the event organizer, the drastically reduced numbers represented a €589,060 overlay for ISPT and its partner Dusk Til Dawn, who had to pony up the difference to ensure the guaranteed €1 million first prize.
The problem for the ISPT doesn’t seem to have stemmed from the UK’s participation in the event, which was ably supported, or by France which also fielded a good turnout. However, participation from around the world was sadly lacking, with even nearby Ireland not adding significantly to the numbers.
As well as severely underestimating the potential popularity of a tournament organized inside a sporting stadium, the organizers appear to have made the payout structure of the €3,000 buy-in event less enticing, too, with a player having to have made it through to at least an 81st place finish before he got his money back. Furthermore, a top heavy €1m payout for 1st place meant 2nd place would only receive a distant €285,000, while a 9th place finisher at the final table would only collect a paltry  €26,520.
Needless to say, the International Stadiums Poker Tour will have plenty to consider if they are to ensure any future for the ambitious poker project. As far as the actual tournament is concerned, today will see the start of Day 5, where the remaining 20 hopefuls are expected to play down to a final table. The biggest names still in contention include David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Julian Gardner and Praz Bansi.
Here are the top 10 chip counts going into today’s action:
1. Alban Juen – 5,265,000
2. Nick Hicks – 4,785,000
3. Pette Linton – 4,515,000
4. Jakub Michalak – 3,475,000
5. Xavier el Fassy – 2,770,000
6. Gwendoline Janot – 2,470,000
7. Leigh Wiltshire – 2,310,000
8. Florian Hoeller – 2,030,000
9. Jean Miguel Lacerda – 1,735,000
10. Dave Ulliott – 1,700,000

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