The Global Poker League (GPL) will soon revolutionize the way poker is competed.
The brainchild of entrepreneur Alexandre Dreyfus, the GPL announced its 12 initial teams and managers last week to the delight of poker fans around the world.
The 12 league-owned franchises will begin drafting their five-person rosters on February 25 in Los Angeles during the first GPL Draft.
To be eligible for the draft, players must be ranked inside the top 1,000 on the Global Poker Index as of January 1, 2016, and sign a contract with their intent to be selected by a team manager.
“We’ve secured an incredible amount of talented leaders to represent our 12 franchise teams as well as strong intent from some of the world’s best poker players to make themselves draftable,” Dreyfus said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to what the next few months and the inaugural season of the Global Poker League will bring for fans across the globe.”
The 12 teams and their managers in the GPL are:
Berlin Bears (Philipp Gruissem) Hong Kong Stars (Celina Lin)
Los Angeles Sunset (Maria Ho) Las Vegas Moneymakers (Chris Moneymaker)
London Royals (Liv Boeree) Montreal Nationals (Marc-Andre Ladouceur)
Moscow Wolverines (Anatoly Filatov) New York Rounders (Bryn Kenney)
Paris Aviators (Fabrice Soulier)Rome Emperors (Max Pescatori)
San Francisco Rush (Faraz Jaka)Sao Paulo Metropolitans (Andre Akkari)
Though Dreyfus likely made a hard push to Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth in taking on a team, the poker superstars are at least lending their celebrity to co-hosting draft night with media personality Kara Scott.
The GPL will be split into two conferences, with both heads-up and six-player matches being contested. The live games will take place inside the portable “Cube,” a unique one-way glass soundproof arena that allows audience members to see hole cards and listen to the action without interfering.
With team cities identified and the competitive structure now laid out, the most predominant question remaining is discovering the quality of professional that agrees to join the GPL.
“Strong intent” from some of the best players that Dreyfus is advertising is of course not the same as a “sure thing.”
GPL Partners With Poker Central
Fans interested in tuning into the GPL will be able to do so around the world thanks to a new agreement with Poker Central, the only 24/7 poker television network which debuted last September. Poker Central will air live and prerecorded GPL matches beginning in early April.
“Poker Central and GPL were both created for the same reason, to take poker to the masses,” Dreyfus said. “Poker Central will help GPL connect to fans worldwide.”
Poker Central can be accessed through a variety of Internet streaming devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Roku.
While poker programming on traditional cable networks has struggled in recent years, the game has seemed to find its niche online.
From Twitch to PokerStars releasing its very own Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV apps, online broadcasting seems to be the direction poker entertainment is heading.