Poker Players Invited to Test their Skills in Mind Sports Olympiad

3 min read

Poker players who believe they’ve got the best mind in gaming can put their skills to the test in August, thanks to PokerStars.

Mind Sports Olympiad
PokerStars will host the poker leg of this year’s Mind Sports Olympiad. (Image: Mind Sports Olympiad)

With the annual Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) taking place online this year due to COVID-19, PokerStars will host the poker portion of the intellectual showdown.

Each tournament is free, open to players around the world, and points are awarded based on finishing positions. The player with the top score across all MTTs will be crowned the 2020 Amateur Poker World Champion.

Gaming Greats Do Battle Online

The MSO seeks to establish the top players in various games, as well as an overall champion (the Pentamind). As its name suggests, the Pentamind is the top performer across five disciplines.

A formula is used to calculate a player’s score from five events spanning five different disciplines. There are events in 15 disciplines, one of which is poker. The player with the top score at the end of all events will be crowned the 2020 Pentamind World Championship.

PokerStars will host seven free-play tournaments across its network, including local game clients and Play money chips will be used throughout, and entrants must be 18 or over.

The action gets underway on Aug. 8 and each MTT starts at 7:30pm BST/2:30pm ET.

  • Sat 8th August – No-Limit Hold’em
  • Sun 9th August – Pot-Limit Omaha
  • Wed 12th August – Limit Seven-Card Stud
  • Fri 14th August – Limit Five-Card Draw
  • Sat 15th August – No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Zoom
  • Sun 16th August – Pot-Limit Omaha Heads-Up Zoom
  • Wed 19th August – No-Limit Hold’em 6+

PokerStars Joins Mind Sports Olympiad

This is the first time PokerStars has hosted an MSO event. The site’s MTTs will form part of a 75-tournament schedule that features games from 15 disciplines, including:

  • Backgammon
  • Chess
  • Catan (a multiplayer strategy board game)
  • Bridge
  • Go
  • Othello
  • Scrabble

Competitors will also do battle across a variety of exam-based tests developed by the likes of Mensa. From Sudoku to quizzes and mental calculation challenges, the events are designed to find the best mind in gaming.

Any poker player who wants to see how their brain shapes up against the best players in the world will face stiff competition. Britain’s Ankush Khandelwal won the Pentamind World Championship title for the third time last year.

Khandelwal’s record is only bested by Demis Hassabis. A computer game designer, artificial intelligence programmer, and neuroscientist, Hassabis was a chess master by the age of 13. The English games master has won the title five times, a run that includes a four-year winning streak.

Poker is often referred to as a mind sport, and the Mind Sport Olympiad is the perfect opportunity to put that to the test. The series will run on various sites, including PokerStars, between Aug. 1 and Aug. 30.

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