It has just been confirmed to us that the Real PokerClub Tour has been cancelled. The €700 tournament was going to be organized in collaboration with Emeraldbet.com and was meant to take place between the 4th and the 6th March 2011 at the picturesque Casino Di Venezia, in Vittoriosa.
A representative from the Casino di Venezia informed us that the tournament had been cancelled as a result of the decrease in expected participants “due to fears“ over the Libyan unrest and Malta’s proximity and positioning in the whole affair.
This could prove to be terrible news for upcoming poker tournaments in Malta which have experienced such an increase in the past couple of years. It could also mean, that organizers such as Pokerstars, Unibet, and other international online poker event organsiers, may stray away from Malta, and seek less agitated waters when it comes to hosting their international multi table poker tournaments, at least untill the unrest in Libya ceases.
Whether or not this is the actual reason why the tournament has been cancelled, remains uncertain though, especially since the Real Poker Club tournament didn’t receive any heavy exposure, locally or abroad and was only mentioned on a few Italian poker sites in the past few weeks. Lack of interest in general, due to a feeble marketing campaign may be a more likely cause to the tournament’s cancellation.
However irrational it may seem that poker players fear traveling to Malta (since many Europeans & Americans are currently fleeing Libya and coming to Malta for safety), there may be some validity to the Casino Di Venezia’s explanation. Some people may actually be panicking because of the media attention that Malta has received in the past few days – If this is the case, we would expect to see a similar reaction in the , which kicks off between the 10th and the 13th March 2011, at the Portomaso Casino, St. Julians.
The , has received lots and lots of coverage on international gaming sites and publications, and Unibet have done a really good job at communicating the tournament out on a global level. If players are really fearing travel to Malta, we could expect this tournament to be adversely affected, although it seems highly unlikely as the “fears” that have been spoken about seem more like a just in time rescue cloak for a worthless marketing plan by the parties involved, rather than true fears shared by Poker players on the whole.
In any case, we’ll give our sources the benefit of the doubt, whilst hoping that they are wrong…. If for nothing else, at least for the future proliferation of Poker tournaments in Malta.