International Poker Open Kicks Off On Unibet this Week

The annual International Poker Open (IPO) gets underway this week, despite COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland. However, in a change to the usual schedule, the action will take place online.

IPO 2020

The 2020 IPO will take place on Unibet Poker this week due to restrictions caused by COVID-19. (Image: IPO)

Like a plethora of live events this year, the IPO has been struck down by the global pandemic. It had been due to take place inside the familiar surroundings of Dublin’s Bonnington Hotel.

However, in the spirit of never giving up, the organizers have worked with Unibet to ensure the festival goes ahead online.

Unibet Helps International Poker Go Online

Hosting the 2020 IPO on Unibet Poker was a natural move given that it was already a sponsor of the event. This year, however, the event’s relaxed vibe will be taken to new levels.

Unibet Poker has become the champion of casual players in recent years and its ethos will take hold during the IPO. Evidence of that can be seen in the number of low stakes MTTs and satellites available.

Qualifiers for the main event got underway on October 19 and there will be combination of standard and mini MTTs running throughout the week. As well as nightly freezeouts and PLO rebuy events, the 2020 IPO will feature a €300/$350 main event.

Day 1 gets underway on October 24 and the action will conclude the following today. Unibet Poker and the IPO have guaranteed a €50,000/$58,000 prizepool but, if recent years are any indication of what’s going to happen, that figure will fall.

COVID Lockdowns Could Help IPO

In fact, even without the IPO being a hit, the latest batch of live-to-online converts have surpassed expectations. The World Poker Tour’s (WPT) online series breached its guarantee, while the WSOP Online Main Event broke industry records.

There’s no doubt the recent online poker boom has subsided as COVID-19 restrictions have eased. However, the IPO is taking place at a time when countries in Europe, including Ireland, are imposing fresh lockdowns.

Although not as draconian as they were in March, the overriding message from governments is to stay indoors whenever possible.

Under those conditions, online poker may be a viable option for some. This, in turn, could help the IPO come through a tough year and see a surge of interest in the coming day.

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