Poker players are a competitive group and the Match Poker Online app is looking to see how some of the game’s best players stack up on the app. The World Cup becomes the company’s first major tournament event and offers some of the game’s best players a chance to win some cash as well.
The World Cup playoffs run Dec. 3-4 with the finals set for Dec. 10-11. For American players, those dates are Dec. 2-3 for the playoffs and Dec. 9-10 for the finals. The event brings some real international competition as players battle for bragging rights. Eligible players of all levels have the chance to represent their country and determine the best Match Poker player in the world.
Match Poker is a bit different than a traditional online poker platform. The game truly gauges where a player stands by having competitors play the same hands across the platform. Players can work on their skills by comparing their own play and decisions to others around the world who have played the exact same hand.
When playing, you’re not just competing against the players at your table, but against players seated at other tables in the same seat you are. All players in that seat are dealt the same two “hole” cards and see the same flop, turn, and river. The game has found a growing and dedicated group of players since launching in February.
“The app is going great,” Match Poker Online head of customer relations Jake Colman tells Cardplayer Lifestyle. “We’re amazed at just how much players are loving the game. We have some players who have played over 800 matches in the eight months since we launched.
“Given that matches can last 45 minutes, this shows an incredibly dedicated community. Many of those have reached the upper echelons of our ranking system – either by being amazing or by improving their skill to that level – and will soon be rewarded with a shot at being world champion!”
How to Qualify & What’s on the Line
Grabbing a spot in the World Cup means a player has put in some real time at the tables. To be eligible, players must have achieved at least one of the following by Nov. 27:
- reached an IFMP (International Federation of Match Poker) Rating of 1,200 or above
- be in the top 15% of the Ivory, Sapphire, or Emerald tiers of IFMP Ratings
- be among the top 15% of eligible players in any Premiership Season
- won a Weekly Challenge
- won a Special Event, such as the May Cup or Weekend Clash
As of early November, there were about 400 eligible players but qualifying is also still underway. The game’s developers have always hoped to move beyond being just a traditional gaming/poker app. The World Cup is the first step in that process.
“From the start, we’ve wanted to be much more than an app, we’ve wanted to be a sport – albeit one that is played via an app,” Colman says. “Being a sport involves holding championship events, world cups, and other big events to determine the best players in the sport of poker. So this is the first time we are offering the pinnacle of our sport.”
Each competition features playoffs and finals for players at various rating tiers using Match Poker Online’s new Triple Battle format. This involves competing in one Battle Royale each hour for three consecutive hours. Matches last about 30-45 minutes and the top 36 players advance in the finals.
The winner in the Ruby division, the top tier, is named overall World Cup champion and wins the largest cash prize. Those at other player tiers also have a shot at some of the $2,000 on the line. Here’s a look at the payouts for each tier.
More Features & Events in the Works
Besides launching the first major Match Poker tournament series, company officials are launching even more on the app soon. That includes additional analytics, substantially increasing from two key statistics to 12. Players can expect to find new statistics like:
- how often a player gets to showdown
- the percentage of wins at showdown
- three-betting statistics
- folds to a three-bet
- continuation bet percentages
- pot-stealing statistics
“Each statistic tells the player where they are, and where they should be,” Colman says.
More country-specific events are also on the horizon in the coming year. Players will soon be able to create their own poker club and host their own competitions and tournaments. As more players become accustomed with the app and jump in the player pool, Colman notes that player input has been key in adding features to the app.
“We have players sending us feedback all the time that they love certain aspects – and it’s different each time,” he says. “We’re finding people all over the world really appreciating the emphasis we put on skill and how their results reflect skill, rather than luck. Others love the statistics we provide, and we’re excited that we’re going to be adding in new stats on how each player is performing, which are unique to our app and also free for all players for the next few months.”
“Eventually, because they are such important stats, players will be able to buy a subscription that will give them access to even more advanced information.”
A World Cup Qualifier Ready for Action
As the highest-ranked player on Match Poker Online, Peter-John Rodriguez is certainly a regular on the app. The 36-year-old player from Barbados has put in hundreds of hours and finds the platform a different experience than other online poker options.
“It’s unique as you’re not really playing against the players on your table,” he says. “You play the cards and must develop strategies to get the most out of every hand. I enjoy it, especially when the scores are tight and game time is running out. It becomes a race to the top before each level where a player is being knocked out.”
Since the COVID pandemic, and with a new son at home, getting out for some live poker hasn’t been easy for Rodriguez. Match Poker fills the void and qualifying for the World Cup is an added bonus.
“It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it,” he says of his upcoming Cup appearance. “I expect it to be very competitive as everyone will want to do well.”
Match Poker Online is available in the App Store and Google Play Store. Players can also simply click here to take them right to the download option. For more details on the Match Poker Online World Cup, click here.
– by Sean Chaffin