The International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) announced on Tuesday the signing of David Benyamine as an ambassador for the ambitious event, set to take place next year. The deal comes just days after fellow poker player Patrik Antonius was brought onboard. The two join Liz Lieu, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, and Sam Trickett as members of the ISPT team.
The ISPT is the brainchild of French businessmen Bernard and Laurent Tapie, as well as Prosper Masquelier. Most readers will recognize the Tapie name from Groupe Bernard Tapie, the company that attempted to purchase Full Tilt Poker before running into a roadblock with the U.S. Department of Justice this spring. Masquelier used to serve as president of Partouche Interactive before leaving to co-found the ISPT.
The Tour is unique in that it is not so much a tour as it is a single giant poker tournament, at least as of right now. Scheduled for May 2013, the ISPT will be held at the famous Wembley Stadium in London. The €6,000 buy-in event will start with an amazing 30,000 players, all playing on their laptops from seats throughout the stadium. On the third day of the week-long tournament, the final 3,000 players will shift to a live game at poker tables situated on the stadium’s grass field. Players will be able to re-buy one time and pay for one double add-on on their to try to grab their share of the €20,000,000 prize pool.
For those wondering what will happen if it rains, fear not, as Wembley Stadium has a retractable roof.
Patrik Antonius started off his role as ambassador by wearing ISPT gear during the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event last week. The handsome Finn is one of the most well-respected poker players in the world, though he has no World Series of Poker or World Poker Tour titles to his credit. That’s not to say he hasn’t been successful on the live tournament circuit. Just this year, he has won almost $2 million thanks to a 2nd place finish in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge, a 4th place finish in the PartyPoker.com Premier League IV, and a 4th place finish in the €98,500 8-Max Super High Roller Reload at the European Poker Tour Grand Final. Before Black Friday, Antonius was also one of the main draws for railbirds at Full Tilt Poker, as he happily splashed around chips in the highest stakes games online.
David Benyamine, like the ISPT’s founders, hails from France. A noted high stakes cash game player, he has also made his mark in tournaments. His first real big splash came back in 2003 when he won the WPT Grand Prix de Paris for over €350,000. 2008 was his breakthrough year at the World Series of Poker, where he won a bracelet in the $10,000 Omaha Hi/Low Split Championship, made two more final tables, and bubbled another. He has a couple more top four finishes on the World Poker Tour and just last year placed 3rd in the same $250,000 tournament at the Aussie Millions that Antonius finished 2nd in this year.