London-based poker players have been dealt a hammer blow after The International decided to close its doors for the final time after a meeting with Hackney Council regarding the club's licenses.
Back in December we brought you the news that The International, a private members club, had lost its operating licence after Hackney Council completed an 18-month investigation into the running of the club. Under the 2005 Gambling Act, private clubs are allows to run games of chance and poker at their venue but can only do so if these games are not the main focus of the club itself. The investigation found that poker was the club's main focus and it would therefore need to apply for a very expensive and difficult to obtain full gaming licence.
The news broke on The International's Facebook page where the following statement was released.
After today's hearing with Hackney Council in regards to the club licenses we have to inform you that with immediate effect the club has closed. Its not all bad news as The Poker Olympics will still go ahead but not here but at The Western club. Still the same great events, the superb Int dealing team and massive guarantees which promises to be a great week.
There will be more information we can give over the next few days so please do check back.
All of us here at The International would like to thanks each and everyone of its members for the superb support over the last 4 and a bit years..... It been fun!
The Poker Olympics mentioned in the statement are being held in conjunction with our friends over at Main Event Travel and we are happy to report they will still be going ahead, albeit at The Western Club instead. Running between 16-22 July, the Poker Olympics feature seven fantastic tournaments with buy-ins ranging between £10 and £300 and with guaranteed prize pools of between £3,000 and a staggering £30,000.
Poker Olympics Schedule
|Mon 16 Jul||£40||The Triple Jump||£3,000||One Rebuy One Add-On|
|Tue 17 Jul||£100||Pentathlon||H.O.R.S.E Freezeout||£4,000|
|Wed 18 Jul||£100||Heavyweight Final||£5,000||£20 bounty on each play|
|Thu 19 Jul||£75||Triathlon||£3,000||Round of each, PLHE, PLO, PLO8|
|Fri 20 Jul||£10||Sprint Finals||£3,000||Turbo rebuy, £30 add-on|
|Sat 21 Jul||£300+£30||Olympiad Main Event||£30,000||20k stack, 45-min blinds|
Along with the above schedule there is a yet-to-be-confirmed Relay Final tournament where teams of four compete in a series of relays to determine the winners.
Wednesday's Heavyweight Final tournament has a little twist of its own too. The tournament costs £100 to enter with a £20 bounty going on each player's head and £5 going to the eventual Heavyweight Champion. The two players with the most knockouts during the tournament will return to the fold on Saturday and battle it out heads-up for the remaining prize pool!
It is not just tournament players who are being catered for either as there will be a 48-hour I-Stakes marathon taking place too. This will commence at 20:00 on Friday 20 July and run through 26-hours of play. The stakes will be £5/£10 No Limit Hold'em with a £2,000 minimum buy-in. Every two hours a player will be voted off and there is a special prize for anyone who manages to make it through the entire marathon!
From what we understand the Poker Olympics will be run by the dealers and staff of The International but at The Western Club. Hopefully this will receive a good turnout and that the people who have lost their jobs at The International manage to secure regular work in the very near future.
If you want to buy-in to any of the Poker Olympics events then either heads down to The Western Club or visit Main Event Travel who will be able to not only sort you out with a seat but will almost certainly have some amazing offers for accommodation.