Originally it appeared the tournament would offer a guaranteed prize pool of €30 million, then that number dropped to €20 million. The word guarantee is no longer on the ISPT website.
Masquelier, who was on break from the WSOPE Main Event when we interviewed him, vehemently denies it was ever there in the first place.
“Have you seen the words guarantee on the website? Never!” he said. “I think players don’t need a guarantee, they come here to the WSOPE and pay €10,000 and they are happy to play. We will see.”
When pressed, Masquelier maintained the guarantee was more of an estimate.
“Basically, we have now estimated the prize pool, but we never said anywhere that there would be a guarantee,” said the ISPT Chief Executive. “And honestly, considering what happened at the Partouche Poker Tour, I doubt Mr. Tapie will feel like offering any guarantee.”
Masquelier was referring to the most recent Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, which fell short of its guaranteed prize pool of €5 million when only 573 players showed up for the event.
Although the Partouche Poker Tour initially denied there was a guarantee, they eventually decided to honor it and provided an overlay.
ISPT Will Happen Regardless of Field Size
There have also been reports the ISPT event at Wembley won’t take place if there are less than 15,000 participants.
Masquelier clarified the issue, saying that was never the case.
“No, that’s not true,” he said.
“If we do under 15,000 players I will be disappointed but we will still run the tournament. We already have over 3,000 players registered. I think we will have around 20,000. I’m very confident.”
Masquelier also took the time to explain how they will run the massive tournament, which begins with players in the stands at Wembley on their laptops.
“There’s a reason we chose Wembley for this event,” he said. “It’s latest generation of stadium and they are fully out-fitted with fiber optic cable. They have the power to run this kind of event.”
The inaugural ISPT event at Wembley represents one of the first major tournaments that will be played half online and half live under the same roof.
Only 10 Stadiums in the World Could Run ISPT Events
Masquelier went on to say there are only 10 stadiums in the world that could run ISPT events and only one in North America – the Cisco-powered Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
“We are also working with a huge telecom company and they have guaranteed us the Internet will work 100%,” he said.
In addition the stadium will give each player enough space so that special dividers will be put in place to keep players from peeking at each other’s screens.
Masquelier finished by saying there will be a press conference next week that will answer all questions about the ISPT.
The inaugural ISPT event at Wembley is scheduled to take place May 31-June 6, 2013, with two parts.
The initial €600 buy-in part of the tournament will take place online in the stadium stands with each player bringing their own laptop. The second €6,000 stage will be played live on the pitch.