The world is watching. Who will win....The Poker Cup 2018?

32 countries. 32 of the world's best poker players (and a Nigerian player with $24K in winnings). One champion decided by you.

You may be aware that there's a little football tournament taking place over in Russia. And while we've heard that that promising new event is "important" and "prestigious" and has the potential to "unite a nation", we know that what we're proposing here will mean more to the nations involved than kicking a ball into a net ever could.

Welcome, then, to the first ever PokerStars Blog Poker Cup.

Let the 2018 PokerStars Blog Poker Cup begin

How it works

OK, all joking aside, we know the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a big deal, so for a bit of fun we're attaching one of the most well known/winningest poker players from each nation to their respective countries, and pitting them against each other.

Throughout the World Cup we'll be running daily Twitter polls so that you, the fans, can vote on which player/country you want to see advance through the group stages into the knockout rounds.

Here's the first example for the first match of the World Cup:

Two countries/players qualify from each group, and the second-placed finisher in Group A will meet the winner of Group B etc. If there's a points tie in a group it goes down to total amount of votes garnered over the three matches.

There are three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. You'll be able to follow along with the Poker Cup progress via the tables below.

THE RESULTS

GROUP A

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1RUSSIA39
2URUGUAY36
3EGYPT33
4SAUDI ARABIA30

GROUP B

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1SPAIN39
2PORTUGAL36
3IRAN33
4MOROCCO30

GROUP C

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1FRANCE39
2DENMARK36
3AUSTRALIA33
4PERU30

GROUP D

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1ARGENTINA36
2CROATIA36
3ICELAND33
4NIGERIA30

GROUP E

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1BRAZIL39
2SWITZERLAND36
3SERBIA33
4COSTA RICA30

GROUP F

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1GERMANY37
2SWEDEN36
3MEXICO33
4SOUTH KOREA31

GROUP G

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1ENGLAND26
2BELGIUM26
3PANAMA20
4TUNISIA20

GROUP H

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDPOINTS
1POLAND26
2JAPAN26
3SENEGAL20
4COLUMBIA20

Now let's meet the players:

THE PLAYERS

GROUP A

Russia - Igor Kurganov (PokerStars)

Saudi Arabia - Amjad Nader Mustafa

Egypt - Ahmed Abd El Fatah 

Uruguay - Fabrizio Cataldi

GROUP B

Portugal - Joao Barbosa

Spain - Carlos Mortensen

Morocco - William Kakon

Iran - Ali Reza Fatehi

GROUP C

France - Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier

Australia - Joe Hachem

Peru - Diego Ventura

Denmark - Gus Hansen

GROUP D

Argentina - Maria Lampropulos

Iceland - Runar Runarsson

Croatia - Goran Mandic

Nigeria - Emmanuel Arokodare

GROUP E

Brazil - Andre Akkari (PokerStars)

Switzerland - Stefan Huber 

Costa Rica - Humberto Brenes

Serbia - Andjelko Andrejevic

GROUP F

Germany - Fedor Holz

Mexico - JC Alvarado

Sweden - Viktor Blom

South Korea - Sean Yu

GROUP G

Belgium - Davidi Kitai

Panama - Bolivar Palacios 

Tunisia - Imed Ben Mahmoud

England - Stephen Chidwick

GROUP H

Poland - Dzimitry Urbanovich

Senegal - Muhyedine Fares 

Colombia - Farid Jattin

Japan - Masa Kagawa

Who are your early predictions for the winner of the first PokerStars Blog Poker Cup? Will Igor Kurganov take it down for Russia? Will Viktor Blom grasp victory for Sweden? Will Stephen Chidwick lift the cup for England?

You decide. Follow @PokerStarsBlog on Twitter and start voting!

Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in News