The UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) has broken new ground many times this season. Not only did it go on 'holiday' to Marbella to team up with the PokerStars Estrellas Poker Tour, but the UKIPT brought big-time poker to the Isle of Man for the first time since John Duthie won the Poker Million in 2000. The event, which allowed Rational Group staff to play a PokerStars sponsored Main Event for the first time, was a huge hit with everyone who played - so much so that it was an instant addition to this season's calendar.
The UKIPT is continuing to innovate in 2014. Varied Main Event buy-ins have allowed players of all levels the chance to play an incredible multi-day tournament series, not to mention a great range of side events at each stop. Joining the UKIPT Isle of Man this October will be the first-ever PokerStars IOM International Chess Tournament. The events will cross over and could pit the cerebral heavyweights of the poker world against some of the best chess in the world. The chess players will, of course, be more than welcome at the poker table, too.
The PokerStars IOM International Chess Tournament is scheduled October 4-12 and will overlap with the UKIPT Isle of Man festival, which takes places October 2-6 with the £770 Main Event running throughout. The £350,000 guarantee will no doubt help to attract hundreds of players, particularly following the critical success of last season.
"I'm proud to say that the first UKIPT event on the Isle of Man was a big success in 2013," said Mark Scheinberg, CEO of the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars. "The atmosphere was very social and it was obvious that the players were really enjoying themselves."
Three levels of chess tournaments will run: Masters, Major and Minor. The latter two are aimed at amateur players so if you're a dabbler on the chequered board click through to the official PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament website here.
PokerStars UKIPT Isle of Man: October 2-6
PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament: October 4-12
Find out more about the UKIPT here. The next stop on the calendar is UKIPT Nottingham (May 7-12, 2014).
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.