The International Stadiums Poker Tour has been one of the most intriguing, controversial and confusing concepts ever conceived in poker.
Following the ISPT has been like watching a rollercoaster with failed guarantees, changes to the format and major player signings.
Despite everything, it appears the first ISPT event will actually take place on May 31.
ISPT Partners with Dusk Till Dawn
The tour has also received a notable boost from its recent partnership with famed U.K. poker room Dusk Till Dawn.
Dusk Till Dawn’s Simon Trumper, the tournament director for the inaugural ISPT event at Wembley, offered to shed some light on the ISPT in a recent interview with PokerListings.com:
PokerListings.com: There seems to be a lot of renewed optimism for the ISPT since Dusk till Dawn stepped in. Why do you think that is?
Simon Trumper: Players know that with Dusk Till Dawn the event will be run well and the guaranteed €1,000,000 will not change.
PL: Speaking of the deal, why did Dusk till Dawn think this would be a good fit?
ST: It gives us the opportunity to get worldwide exposure for our brand.
The original, over optimistic guarantee.
PL: Why was there so much confusion regarding the guarantee at ISPT Wembley before Dusk Till Dawn stepped in?
ST: The original concept was dependant on the acquistion of Full Tilt, when this fell through the organisers had to make changes while deciding what to do.
PL: Why was the decision made to guarantee a first-place prize but not the prizepool?
ST: We have no idea how many players there will be so it was easier to have a headline first prize where the remainder of the prize pool is uneffected regardless of runners.
PL: What do you think the chances are that ISPT will have to provide an overlay?
ST: At least 80% chance it is likely we will have to add money to make up the €1,000,000.
PL: You’re very experienced in poker, just how unique is the ISPT’s mixed online and live format? Do you think people will take to it?
ST: We have run similar events at Dusk Till Dawn eg our Grand Prix, ultimately we hope the €1,000,000 for the winner, opportunity to play at Wembley and feeders starting from just €2 will inspire players to get involved.
PL: Do you think the majority of the prizepool will come from online or live portion of the tournament? Or will it be an even split?
ST: As we are having live Day 1's at the club and it is possible to buy in on Day 2 for €3000 I think live will produce most.
Michael Mizrachi will play ISPT at Wembley.
PL: Why was the decision made to remove the portion where players used their laptops from Wembley Stadium to play? Were there technical issues?
ST: The original concept was not achievable for many reasons including technical, we would not have took this on under the original format.
PL: It always seemed curious that ISPT decided to schedule Wembley for the first week of the 2013 WSOP. What was the reasoning?
ST: Wembley was booked 2 years ago, long before the WSOP dates were known.
PL: Do you think there’s a chance the field will be slightly softer considering many of the best poker players will be chasing bracelets in Vegas?
ST: Yes but I also think many top players will attend as the inaugural winner of this event will get huge publicity.
PL: What will it take for the ISPT and Dusk till Dawn to consider this event a success?
ST: The players that do attend Wembley saying regardless of numbers it was an amazing experience to be part of.
PL: Anything else you want to add?
ST: My 50th birthday is May 31st Day 2a at Wembley so whatever happens it will be memorable :)