First International Deaf Poker Federation event in Europe taking place at Goliath
Monday 17th February, 2020

First International Deaf Poker Federation event in Europe taking place at Goliath

By Mad Harper

The first ever International Deaf Poker event in Europe is taking place during Grosvenor Goliath at the Ricoh Arena this summer.


The event is set to be the richest and most prestigious tournament series in Deaf poker history. Four separate tournaments are being held from July 30 to August 2, hosted by UK Deaf Poker and the International Deaf Poker Federation in the Grosvenor Casino Sports Lounge at the Ricoh Arena. The events include the £125 + £25 World Championship Main Event, a £40 + £10 tournament, a £365 + £35 High Roller and a brand-new League of Nations team event. is the Official Travel Partner for Goliath and has been working closely with UK Deaf Poker to secure exclusive accommodation deals at the Hilton DoubleTree for Deaf/HOH players attending the championship. Click here for further details.


The flagship £125 + £25 buy-in IDPF World Championship Main Event is a single re-entry, two-day tournament starting August 1. All players receive a 30,000 starting stack with 30 minute levels. The League of Nations team event on July 31 features ten players per team, with ten-minute levels for the Round 1 shoot-outs and 15-minute levels for the Round 2 “tag team” style final table. Entry is £850+£150 per team with a maximum of 15 teams taking part.


The International Deaf Poker Federation was founded by Landon Blackhall in 2014 with seven major Deaf poker organisations joining forces. This summer’s debut World Championship in Europe follows two previous events: Las Vegas in 2016 and Australia in 2018.


Landon Blackhall said: “As one of the longest-running and most successful Deaf poker groups on the continent, UK Deaf Poker was the natural choice when it came to hosting this year’s event in Europe. The Grosvenor Casino in Coventry has been very accommodating, incorporating our schedule into the Goliath series with relative ease. Further to that, we are very excited at the prospect of having the Main Event live streamed on the final day on, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter and the Poker Live APP,. The event will also feature the first-ever IDPF League of Nations, a unique shoot-out team tournament.”


The UK Deaf Poker organisation was founded in 2008 after Oliver Westbury held a poker tournament to raise funds for his goal to become the first Deaf person to walk to the North Pole. The organisation now includes some 200 Deaf players in the UK and hosts a National League with five events held across the country. The IDPF Main Event field will include UK-based players Paulo Gomes, Stephen Draper and Ali Camara who all won their seats after finishing at the top of the last League.

The debut IDPF World Championship was won by Andrew Sanders in Las Vegas in 2016 at Planet Hollywood. Graphic designer Alisha Wormald is the defending champion after taking down the last World Championship in Australia. Alisha, who beat a 114-player field to win AU$5,930 in 2018, is also hoping to attend this year’s event in Coventry.

She said: “I’m really hoping to come! It’s a very exciting opportunity to have the IDPF hosted in the UK, with many Deaf Poker organisations from all over the world coming together! I’ve no doubt we will continue to break records for attendance and further grow the great game of poker within the Deaf community. Poker is my passion, and I’m hoping to start creating poker vlogs soon to help improve accessibility to poker content for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing poker players. The vlogs will cover aspects such as hand analysis and strategy, using sign language and captioned content simultaneously.”

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