Interview: InterPokerGOM: So how do people go about qualifying for the Caribbean Poker Classic through interpoker?
Peter: We run lots of satellites to get you to the CPC, and we also put on a number of free rolls for our players. We also do tournaments for our high rollers, whereby if you spend a certain amount of money or rake a certain number of hands then you get into a free roll. We sent about 30 people last year and we’re going to send about 60 people this year.
GOM: How much does it cost to enter the satellites?
Peter: They start at $3, so anyone at any level can try. Obviously the better you are the higher you start your buy in with. I think you have to win about five levels to get to the main tournament if you buy in at $3.
GOM: Did anyone who got there through interpoker there do well last year?
Peter: One of our players, Matt Goldman, came third, in the main event. And we’re pretty sure we’re going to get the winner this year, although I can’t tell you who yet, because I don’t want to jinx them?
GOM: So why did interpoker get involved with the CPC?
Peter: A couple of reasons. Firstly the CPC is operated by Wagerlogic, who provide the software for interpoker, so we’ve always supported it. But also it’s at the end of the tournament season. After the WSOP there’s a months break and then three more months, before finishing around November time. So what’s brilliant about the CPC is there aren’t really any other tournaments going on and it’s pretty cold in the US and Europe. So poker players not only get the chance to go somewhere warm to play poker, but they also get the chance to go to a beautiful island and sit on the beach.
GOM: So why St Kitts?
Peter: Well it’s the first major poker tournament the hotel will have put on, but more importantly it has a dedicated poker room within its casino.
GOM: Is John Earle going to be there to defend his title this year?
Peter: I believe he is. I hope so because it’ll great to see him have a go at defending it.
GOM: Has the CPC got anything unique about it?
Peter: It’s one of the few tournaments where the field is almost equally split between Americans and Europeans, which obviously gives it a different atmosphere. Very few tournaments have that mix. With the exception of Scandinavian’s, few Europeans play against Americans on a regular basis. The second thing is there are a lot of other tournaments going on apart from the main event with some different prizes, not just cash. For instance there are some tournaments where the first prize is a really nice watch.
It’s going to be televised as well, and there are some innovative features that are going to look great on TV. Watch out for the sin bins when people swear.
GOM: Is there any bounty for knocking out a well known pro?
Peter: Not in the main event no. But the internet qualifiers will have opportunities to mix with the pros, and in side tournaments there may be bounties on certain players’ heads.
GOM: And you’re chartering a poker plane for qualifiers aren’t you?
Peter: Yeah, it’s the first time it’s ever been done. We’re flying the poker plane from the UK, for anyone from Europe who has qualified and wants to fly out to St Kitts with other poker players. You can play poker in your seats and watch classic poker movies like Rounders.
GOM: And the prize pool has almost doubled from last year?
Peter: It was just under a million last year and this year we reckon it’ll be between two and three million dollars, so it could triple.
GOM: Any lessons learned from last year?
Peter: The hotel and location we’ve chosen show that it’s not just about the poker, it’s about people using the other facilities as well. Also offering more than one tournament is important, as last year we only offered the main event and some ring games. So this year there’s more options for anyone who goes out early.