Isle of Man will once again host the UKIPT stop in October, this time coinciding with a chess tournament.
PokerStars will combine chess and live poker tournaments for a truly “mind-blowing” festival in October 2014. The world’s premier poker operator, which runs online poker sites in Ireland and worldwide, has revealed that the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) will be making a comeback to the Isle of Man in October this year.
The much-anticipated live poker tournament will be held at the Villa Marina in Douglas, Isle of Man, from October 2nd to October 6th. The biggest attraction of the poker festival will be the Main Event as usual, this time around with a GBP 350,000 guaranteed prize pool and a GBP 770 buy-in ticket price.
Why Isle of Man?
PokerStars, operating in full compliance with Irish gambling laws, have brought the festival to the Isle of Man last October in an effort to attract more visitors from the UK, Ireland, and the rest of Europe. The five-day live poker event has gathered hundreds of poker professionals and amateurs competing in a series of tournaments and cash games.
PokerStars to combine UKIPT and chess tourney on the Isle of Man
• Operators of online poker sites in Ireland will bring the UKIPT tour to the island again
• 2013 event was a success for many local businesses
• Chess and poker tourneys combined to show similarities between the games
There were 379 participants in the Main Event last year and Duncan McLellan took the honors along with the GBP 94,090 first prize.
Local authorities were happy with extra hotel and hospitality profits. Here’s what Irish gambling news have quoted Chief Minister Allan Bell saying: “The 2013 event brought the Isle of Man to the attention of a brand new audience and generated well over 1,000 bed nights for our local hotels.”
He went on to add: “This announcement also helps to reinforce further the Isle of Man’s position as a centre of excellence for the e-Gaming industry and I’m confident that this year’s event will prove to be just as successful.”
Is everyone happy UKIPT makes a stop on Isle of Man?
Chief Executive Officer at the Rational Group, the owners of PokerStars, Mark Scheinberg, had the following comments about UKIPT on the Isle of Man: “I’m proud to say that the first UKIPT event on the Isle of Man was a big success in 2013. The atmosphere was very social and it was obvious that the players were really enjoying themselves.”
While the Main Event in 2013 was held on the Villa Marina, PokerStars have held a number of other events on the island. There were organized tours of the PokerStars offices in Onchan and tours of the Manx Telecom facility at Douglas.
Additionally, PokerStars organized a charity poker event supporting a variety of local charitable organizations. There was also a breakfast presentation organized for the Junior Chamber of Commerce at the Palace Hotel.
According to PokerStars management, the operators of the Palace Hotel and Casino, Sefton Group, were only one of a wide range of businesses, which benefited from the poker festival being moved to the Isle of Man.
Across all Sefton Group hotel properties, there has been a huge increase in room occupancy during the festival. Note that the month of October is usually a very quiet season when it comes to hotel accommodation and tourism. Besides the occupancy, the Sefton Group enjoyed a spike in food and beverage consumption at their restaurants and leisure centers during the poker event.
Poker and chess
Why is this particular tournament special? Well, it will coincide with teh PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess tournament. Naturally, the organizers were quick to call the whole thing “a mind-sports festival”.
The PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament is scheduled to run on the island from October 4 to 12. According to the poker operator, they have been supporting chess on the Isle of Man for a long period of time.
Additionally, PokerStars have a long-standing history of supporting chess tournaments globally. This is one of the ways the operators are stressing the similarities in mental skills and strategic thinking between poker players and chess pros. Naturally, this once again proves that poker is a game of skill, rather than luck.
PokerStars spokesman commented on the coinciding poker and chess tournaments: “Synergies between chess and poker will be on display in October as the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament will overlap with the poker festival.”
He concluded by saying: “Chess tournament organisers Alan Ormsby and Brian Woodard anticipate the Isle of Man International to be one of the biggest open chess tournaments to be held in the United Kingdom or Ireland this year.”