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PokerStars announces details for 2014 UKIPT

6 Mar 2014

(PRESS RELEASE) -- today announced that the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) will be returning to Douglas, Isle of Man from October 2 - 6, 2014. This will overlap with the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess tournament, leading to an exciting mind-sports festival throughout early October.

The Main Event of the poker festival will be a £770 entry No Limit Hold’em poker tournament that will be held at the Villa Marina. PokerStars is guaranteeing a prize pool of at least £350,000, ensuring it will again attract hundreds of visitors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe and further afield.

PokerStars first brought the UKIPT live poker festival to its corporate hometown in the Isle of Man last October, when hundreds of players visited the island during its traditionally slow tourist season to compete in five days of tournaments and cash games.

Isle of Man Chief Minister Alan Bell, M.H.K, said, “I welcome the news that PokerStars’ UKIPT Isle of Man event is coming to the Isle of Man again. The 2013 event brought the Isle of Man to the attention of a brand new audience and generated well over 1000 bed nights for our local hotels. 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.”

“I’m proud to say that the first UKIPT event on the Isle of Man was a big success in 2013,” said Mark Scheinberg, CEO of the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars. “The atmosphere was very social and it was obvious that the players were really enjoying themselves.”

The first visit of the UKIPT was focused on poker at the Villa Marina, but PokerStars operated a variety of events on the island. This included tours of the world-class Manx Telecom facility at Douglas North, tours of the PokerStars offices in Onchan, a charity poker tournament that supported a number of local charities, and a breakfast briefing presentation to the Junior Chamber of Commerce at the Palace Casino.

The Sefton Group, operators of the Palace Casino, were key partners of PokerStars in operating the event, and were just one of the many businesses to benefit from the increased business that the poker event brought to the island. The Sefton Group experienced high occupancy across all of the Sefton Group hotels, during a historically quiet period in the accommodation calendar. This increased food and beverage spend in their restaurants and leisure facilities.

Chess Tournament to Overlap

The PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament will take place from 4 – 12 October, 2014. PokerStars has supported Isle of Man chess for many years and has a history of sponsoring chess globally, highlighting the similarities in the strategic thinking and mental skills demonstrated by poker players and chess players.

The 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. Chess Tournament organizers Alan Ormsby and Brian Woodard anticipate the IOM International to be one of the biggest open chess tournaments to be held in the United Kingdom or Ireland this year.
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