Unibet Poker has recently announced the return of The International Poker Open (IPO) on their website, making it the fourth time when this poker room becomes the main sponsor of the tournament. As the COVID restrictions are slowly easing down, IPO marks an important step towards more live tournaments. The International Poker Open will take place from 20th to 25th of October in Bonnington Hotel, Dublin with satellites already underway on Unibet Poker. Read on to find out more.
International Poker Open Overview
It would be an understatement to say that many fans and regulars are excited to return to the International Poker Open in a live format. For example, an Irish Unibet ambassador, podcast award winner, and an IPO regular, David Lappin, has said the following:
“The IPO is an extra special event on the Irish poker calendar and I know that it is with great pride that Unibet Poker have sponsored it for the past few years. There is such a pent-up desire for live poker right now – and players deserve a fun weekend after such a long break. I think this event will be huge!”
Despite COVID restrictions (more on that later), Unibet is hoping to host this tournament with as many participants as possible. Here is the 2021 International Poker Open schedule:
- October 17, Sunday – Day 1 Online
- October 20, Wednesday to October 21, Thursday – Side events and live qualifiers if local restrictions allow
- October 22, Friday to October 25, Monday – Main Event and at the Bonnington Hotel
You can view the full 2021 International Poker Open schedule here. There are going to be 17 different events in total. Some of the highlights include (excluding the Main Event):
- €550 High Roller
- €120 PLO Double Chance
- €100 Nightly Freezeouts
- €120 Progressive Knockout
- €120 #QUEENRULES Ladies Event
- €120 No Limit Hold’em Mini Main
The Main Event will have a €300 buy-in with a guaranteed prize pool of €250,000. During this year’s International Poker Open, there are going to be six-start flights for the Main Even. There will be one re-entry per flight including an online Day 1 on Unibet Poker. All Day 1 participants will have a starting stack of 30,000 chips. The live Day 1s will start with Day 1a on October 21st followed by Day 1b on October 22nd, and Day 1c on October 23rd (all of them will have 40-minute blind levels). Day 1d will also kick off on October 23rd with a reduced clock turbo (20-minute blind levels) and Day 1e will kick off on October 24th (Hyper Turbo with 20-minute blind levels).
International Poker Open and Restrictions
Currently, indoors of such scale are prohibited in Ireland due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the organizers are hoping that the Irish government will ease some COVID-19 restrictions (if not removing all of them). The Irish government is supposed to announce its plan on September 21st. In other words, Unibet is planning to start the IPO on October 20th with some limitations (for example restrictions on player numbers) and continue without any restrictions from October 22nd. But there is also a possibility that none of the restrictions will be lifted. In a case where the Irish government delays the full unlocking, the IPO will take place online, the same way it did in 2020.
Needless to say that Unibet Poker and most players are eager to participate in a live event as soon as the government allows them to do so. But unfortunately, the current situation can’t be controlled either by the organizers or the players. Therefore, we can only hope for the best.
However, even if the International Poker Open will take place as planned, there are still going to be certain safety precautions in place. Everyone who wants to attend this festival will have to follow these rules:
- In order to enter the venue, players must show a COVID pass (proof of vaccination) or proof of a negative PCR test taken in the last 48 hours. After that, participants will be given a green wristband, allowing them to proceed.
- Players will have their temperature measured every day before they enter the venue. After that, participants will receive a second wristband which must be worn together with a green one.
- Players are required to sanitize their hands every time they enter the venue and sit at the table.
It is not yet clear whether face masks will be required during this festival as it is yet to be announced by the Irish government.
In a case when a player tests positive for COVID-19, they will be given two options:
- Leave their stack in play and let it ladder up
- Receive a refund based on their stack and buy-in
For example, if a tournament buy-in was 30,000 chips and the player has 30,000 chips or more at the moment of their positive COVID test, then they will receive a 100% refund of their buy-in. In a case, if they have 15,000 chips, then they will receive a 50% of their buy-in and so on.
Unibet Poker Sattelites
Even though the International Poker Open is scheduled to start on the 20th of October, the satellites for this event are already underway on Unibet Poker. They kicked off on September 9th. Unibet Poker offers at least two €1 Step 1 “Flip” satellites per day. On top of that, Unibet will also hold two Step 2 €5 NL re-entries each day that guarantee six seats to the weekly €33 qualifier. All of these feeder satellites include re-buys and add-ons.
The very first €33 qualifier is kicking off this Sunday, September 11th. It will feature nine guaranteed seats for the International Poker Open Main Event. The €33 qualifiers will be held every Sunday until mid-October. It is expected that such satellites will provide a great opportunity for many players to participate in the main event. For example, during the 2019 Internation Poker Open, around 100 players have qualified for the Main Event through Unibet satellites.
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