UKIPT Nottingham Begins, Automated Card Recognition System In for Webcast

Liv Boeree
Liv Boeree is expected to play UKIPT Nottingham on Day 1b Thursday.

The PokerStars UK & Ireland Poker Tour descended upon Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn poker club Wednesday for Day 1a of its £100,000 guaranteed main event.

A total of 256 players filled the UK's largest poker room at the start of play, but only 119 would survive through eight levels of play with Aman Atwal, a 24-year old company director from Birmingham, leading the pack.

Team PokerStars Ireland Pro Jude Ainsworth bust during Level 4 when ran the nut flush into a straight flush in one of the day's most notable hands.

As many as 284 players have already registered for Thursday's second start day, including EPT San Remo winner Liv Boeree, Team PokerStars UK Pros Vicky Coren, JP Kelly, and Julian Thew, playing on his home turf.

The £500+£60 event will run through May 17.

In the meantime, PokerStars will be testing out an automated card recognition system during the live webcast of a side event final table May 16.

The technology has every card encrypted with an infrared barcode on its back that is invisible to the human eye, but can be decrypted by machine algorithm.

This allows the broadcaster to read face-down cards as they are dealt and pass the information along to the viewer without the need for hole-card cameras.

This is the first time the technology has been used during a live broadcast and it will be subject to a 15-minute delay to avoid collusion.

The webcast of the £336 No-Limit Hold'em Freezeout will be shown on the UKIPT website at 8.15 p.m. local time May 16.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for us to test a new technology that could revolutionize the way we broadcast our live events," said Jeffrey Haas, Spokesperson for the UKIPT. "Our primary consideration is the integrity of the event - which is why there is a 15-minute delay on the broadcast.

"We know some players will be up-in-arms over showing their hole cards and decisions for every hand of the final table, as they may consider it drilling too deeply into their game - which is why we are testing this for a side event and not the UKIPT main event.

"For many reasons surrounding trust and transparency, there was a lot of controversy when hole-card cameras were first introduced in 1999 on the Late Night Poker programme shown on British Channel 4, and now they are not only commonplace but integral to the excitement of televised poker.

"This could be the future; however, for now, it is very much still a trial and we are keen to gauge our players' and viewers' reactions to this technology."

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