(Reuters) – The International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) Nations Cup final on May 30 and 31 will be hosted online with most of the 14 participating countries still facing lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the governing body said on Thursday.
Players will participate from their homes and a gameplay software will enable each member of every team to see and communicate with all of their table competitors while sessions are on.
They will also be allowed to speak with their team mates, captains, managers and analysts during breaks in play, although some contestants will experience early morning play while others will be participating during the evening or night.
“All international sports federations are facing enormous challenges due to the pandemic but we are fortunate that, with our gameplay software, we are able to play a ‘live’ event but in individual home locations,” IFMP president Patrick Nally said in a statement.
“The social relationships developed through the hosting of our Match Poker events are important to us and we’re looking forward to getting back to live events as soon as practical.
“But we will continue to support our international competition schedule in this manner until such times as our ‘sporting family’ can be reunited.”
Teams include world champions Ukraine, European champions Spain and Asian champions India among others while an invitational ‘Digital Nation’ team and a president’s pick will also be part of the tournament.
Match Poker was devised matchpokerfed.org/match-poker as a team sport by the IFMP to reduce the element of luck that exists in conventional forms of poker, making it a contest based on skill.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar