“We started the first year with €2 million guaranteed, the second with €3 million, then €4 million and now we are in the 5th year with €5 million guaranteed,” said Ichai.
“We guarantee the €5 million and more importantly, €1 million guaranteed for first each year.”
The PPT Season 5 main event boasted a buy-in of €8,500 but when registration closed only 580 players had entered, leaving the prize pool €700,000 short of the advertised guarantee.
Rather than make up the difference Partouche looks to be covering up, closing down and packing up shop.
PPT Problems Cast Doubt on ISPT Guarantee
The Partouche Poker Tour’s failure to reach its guarantee and the apparent cover-up that followed have done nothing to salve ongoing concerns surrounding the International Stadiums Poker Tour, a venture in which Patrick Partouche is also reportedly involved.
But the connections between the PPT and ISPT don't stop there.
ISPT co-founder Prosper Masquelier is a member of the Partouche family, the son of Marlène Partouche-Masquelier.His father Jean heads the French casinos Palavas-les-Flots and La Grande-Motte for the Partouche Group and Prosper himself was with the company from 2006 to 2010.
Prosper’s partner in the ISPT deal is Laurent Tapie of Groupe Bernard Tapie, the French company that was attempting to acquire Full Tilt Poker before PokerStars stepped in.
The ISPT’s inaugural event, set to go in May of 2013, originally boasted a €30 million prize pool but that number has since been changed to €20 million. Casting more uncertainty on the event is the apparent removal of the word “guarantee” in all mentions of the prize pool on the ISPT website.
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