Everyone wants to ‘take on the champ’, so does the opportunity to take on the 2022 WSOP Main Event winner represent one of the most exciting opportunities in recent memory in poker? With the Merit Poker festivities kicking off in Cyprus this week, fans of Espen Jørstad will think so as the Norwegian professional plans to take on all comers.

A Welcome Fit for a World Champion

The Merit Poker experience in Cyprus is one that is unlike no other. As Jørstad himself admits, buying into all the tournaments he can over the course of the next three weeks means he’ll be out close to half a million dollars, roughly 10% of the actual winnings he took from taking down the 2022 WSOP Main Event.

Upon his arrival in Northern Cyprus, close to Turkey and some of the most stunning vistas in Europe if not the world, this is how the world champion was welcomed to one of the most exclusive poker resorts in the world.

“Looks like Merit Poker have given you my room,” said Rob Yong in response with a crying emoji. “I’ll prob be in the garage now.”

That’s unlikely to be the case, with Yong highly respected in the game for the backing he gave partypoker not so long ago, along with his regular ‘Keep the Faith’ tweets where he often takes the side of the recreational underdog in pursuing fairness in the game. Jørstad is, of course, a hugely popular world champion and this latest opportunity for players to take him on includes the Coin Rivet Invitational.

What is the Coin Rivet Invitational?

With a cap of 64 players increased to 80, the Coin Rivet Invitational uses Luxon Pay to pitch players against the WSOP Main Event winner as part of The Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party. Running from today until September 19th at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel in North Cyprus, Jørstad will host cash games, as well as playing in the live-streamed $200,000 buy-in Coin Rivet Invitational.

With Jørstad joining in with cash games from this Saturday, August 27th, he’s likely to play stakes of from €5/€10 all the way up to €100/€200, so players of all levels can hope to take him on, even if they sat down with ten big blinds at 5/10 with €100 to tell their friends they sat with ‘the champ’.

During The Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party, all the major events will stream their final tables via the Luxon Pay You Tube channel, which features commentary from the partypoker MILLIONS series presenting team Henry Kilbane and James Dempsey. The Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party has a huge schedule of events with the $2,000+$200 Mediterranean Poker Party Warm Up kicking things off with a massive $2 million guarantee and a four-day tournament schedule from August 25th-29th.

When’s the MPP Main Event?

The $5,000+$300 entry MPP Main Event runs from August 29th to September 3rd and has a whopping $5 million guarantee. In a week where the EPT Barcelona Main Event set a new record for attendance in the Catalan capital the next Main Event going on around the world is always a great gauge of how live poker is looking.

That’s not the only big event taking place during the series however, with One Drop, PokerNews and Imperium all hosting partner events at the MPP, with events put on by the Malta Poker Festival, Ladies First, Irish Open Mediterranean and The Festival are all included on the schedule.

The Super High Roller Triton Series Cyprus takes place in the late stages of the festival’s three-week hosting period, with the $200,000-entry (and single re-entry) Coin Rivet Invitational sure to fill up to those 80 players. That would give the event, which takes place between September 10th and 12th, a prizepool of $16 million.

Luxon Pay is now a solid brand within the poker currency space, with events in Estonia (The Festival in Tallin), Nottingham (Dusk Till Dawn), Rozvadov (King’s Resort) and Merit Poker themselves in Northern Cyprus all accepting the comparatively new currency.

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in GambleOnline.co.

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