Is the ISPT the Future of Poker?
British pro Sam Trickett announced on Tuesday he's become the latest ambassador for the International Stadiums Poker Tour.
Joining already signed Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, it's another big step in the ISPT creating some legitimacy in the eyes of the poker world.
With the first event scheduled to kick off at Wembley Stadium in London on May 31, 2012 and over 2,700 players already "registered," it does appear that at least the first event will go off.
So now it's time to speculate on the potential impact that the ISPT may have on the poker world.
The New Main Event?
The World Series of Poker Main Event is considered poker's equivalent of the lottery with thousands of players each year hoping to cash in their golden ticket to poker immortality.
While the buy-in for the ISPT is not as big as the Main Event, the fact that an event has the potential to bring in as many as 30,000 players will definitely make this the newest "lottery tournament" in poker.
If this event even draws half of the expected number, the stadium will be insane on the first two days and there will still be the equivalent of half the Main Event field (3,000) when the live portion begins.
If the event can achieve its lofty goals, future events could become lucrative enough to rival and maybe even surpass the WSOP Main Event, at least in prize money.
True All-Around Test of Texas Hold'em Ability
The ISPT will feature events that require a player to play both online and live poker in order to win a poker tournament.
A player that is successful in the online arena exclusively will not automatically have an edge in this event.
A player must be able to be able to play in both the live and online arena in order to have a legitimate shot.
It will be interesting to see how many online grinders blow their stack early on in Day 3 of this event as they have trouble adjusting.
If this tour is able to continue past the first event, these events will become a true test of a player's Texas Hold'em ability.
Trend for Other Poker Leagues?
Should the ISPT have a successful first event and not pull an Epic Poker failure long term, the result could force other poker tours to change.
The WPT, EPT, WSOP and others may be forced to evaluate whether they can incorporate some type of hybrid live/online event.
Some in the media have speculated whether the WSOP would ever hold a virtual bracelet event.
If the ISPT is able to achieve success, it would not be surprising to see them become the first league to try the hybrid event.