The International Federation of Poker, in conjunction with the Federazione Italiana Gioco Poker, will launch its new smartphone app this week at Sicily’s first official Match Poker Championship.

The app powers every aspect of match poker – from individual games to major tournaments. Its capabilities will be demonstrated in Sicily where teams from over 100 towns will take part in a series of local leagues, culminating in a Match Poker Championship Finale in the Spring.

Match Poker is the team-based, non-gambling variant of the world’s most widely played card sport. The IFP has devised rules to minimise luck and reward skill and this, together with the innovative use of smartphone technology in game-play and administration, make it a true 21st century mind sport.

Match Poker and the technology which drives it has been developed by the International Federation which was established in Switzerland in 2009 and now has over 60 International federation members.

In Match Poker teams are split onto different tables with one player from each team in each of the different seat positions. All players start each hand with an equal number of chips and receive their cards on a digital device. The same cards are dealt at all tables (hole cards and community cards) ensuring the fairest means of determining which team has played identical cards the most skilfully.

The Sicily Tournament will be the first played using the new IFP smartphone app (shown here) which is currently in its Beta version. The App allows for customisable team tournaments, duplicate card delivery, in-built scoring and replay. The app design is very much focused on IFP’s mandate to promote Match Poker as a skill game and mind sport, and incorporates a fresh and clean approach to poker gameplay for mobile users.

In co-operation with Federazione Italiana Gioco Poker, the IFP plans to develop dedicated Match Poker clubs, leagues and competitions throughout Italy. This will provide a blueprint for the global rollout of Match Poker, establishing it as a major international mind sport.