Cyprus will be the first country to showcase new poker technology at the forthcoming Nation’s Cup to be held in Paphos in April.
For the first time at a major championship, no cards or dealers will be used.
The European Nation’s Cup will be held at the Annabelle Hotel in Paphos from April 12-15.
Fourteen teams of six players will take part in the 2013 Nation’s Cup.
These include the top six teams, Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia, Poland, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina from a recent qualifying event held in Vienna.
Host nation Cyprus, Spain, UK, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Russia will also take part.
The details of the poker tournament were disclosed at a press conference held at the Annabelle Hotel in Paphos by the International Federation of Poker (IFP) founder member Patrick Nally.
He said that the IFP has developed the unique format of ‘match poker’ to demonstrate the level of skill involved in the game which he describes as a “mind sport”.
Nally: “We are making history in Cyprus through the use of technology. The smart phone and iPad are now integral part of our lives. Many people around the world come into contact with poker through their smartphones.”
Nally said no cards would be used. Instead, each participant will have their own smartphone and their cards will appear on their screen.
And he ended: “We are embracing the technology which has made poker such a global success”.
According to Nally, around 800 million people around the world play poker – predominantly online- on a daily basis and in China just one site has in excess of 35-40 million people playing Texas Hold‘em every day.
The IFP was established in 2009 and started off with seven founding members, of which Russia is one.
Today more than 52 nations are members.
At the press conference the Vice President of the Cyprus Poker Association (CPA), Antonis Theophanides confirmed that everything had been cleared with the relevant Cypriot Authorities.
Technical solutions for the event will be provided by Xpress HD.
Theophanides also said that as there are no ‘buy ins’ or prize money the IFP was fast becoming accepted and recognised.
The top six nations to qualify at the European Nation’s Cup will win through to the Nation’s Cup in November.