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For all you Global Poker League fans out there, today (Nov. 29th) is the first day of the Playoffs to determine the winner of the Americas Conference.

The #1 seeded Montreal Nationals were the highest scoring team in the GPL’s regular season, with a whopping 200 points.  They will play the 4th seed, the San Francisco Rush in a series of heads-up games beginning at 3 P.M. ET.

Whichever team wins the “Best of Seven” (first team to accumulate four game victories) will await the winners of the match between #2 LA Sunset and #3 Sao Paulo Metropolitans.  The winners will then face off to determine the winner of the Americas Conference Final.

Tomorrow (Nov.30th) pits the #1 seeded Moscow Wolverines against the #4 London Royals. The winners will await the results of the best-of-seven match between the #2 Hong Kong Stars and #3 Berlin Bears. The winners will then play for the Eurasia Conference Final.

Higher seeded teams take an advantage into the playoffs, as do their counterparts in other highly contested playoffs.. The team managers have the opportunity to see their opponent’s lineup before submitting theirs which may involve some team strategy.  And, their starting stacks are higher: 130K vs. 100K and 120K vs. 110K.

Finally, on Thursday, Dec. 1st, the winner of the Americas Conference winners will play the Eurasia Conference winners in a best of eleven series to determine the first-ever GPL Champions and winner of the $100,000 prize.

GPL Playoffs

We’re covering up our poker table and getting ready to cheer our favorites at the Global Poker League Playoffs!

Send us your thoughts!

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Do you enjoy a good bracket challenge? The Global Poker League has a simple challenge for their upcoming Playoffs and Championship to be played live on November 29th, 30th and December 1st in Vegas. And, just to rev up our followers, we at the Texas Poker Store have an additional challenge for you.

Global Poker League PlayoffsThe rules are easy. Go to https://www.globalpokerleague.com/bracket in order to register your account and log in. Then scroll down to the bracket and fill in your predictions by clicking on the logos of the teams you think will win.

But before you do, here’s a suggestion. Unless you followed the GPL season closely, you may not have a favorite team (mine is the L.A. Sunset) or remember which well-known poker star plays on which team or which teams have the best heads-up players. In that case, you should probably spend some time on the GPL website before you fill in your bracket. Even if you were an avid fan, it has been a while since the last heads-up matches were played and I know I’m taking a brief refresher course before I make my predictions.

You can do the same. Take a look at the members of the top four teams in the Americas and Eurasian Conference. The site lists complete statistics on every poker player, including how many HU matches they played during the season, how many games they won and lost and how many points were scored. You can also watch video highlights of their heads-up matches. Now, put yourself in the position of the Team Managers as they try to determine their three best heads-up players to represent their team in the Playoffs, along with the order in which they will play. (All three must play). There will most likely be a lot of strategic thinking going on, based on the amount of team pride displayed all season by every manager. They would all love to cap off their years as the Season 1 Champions, and they would all like to win the $100,000 Grand Prize.

Once you’ve done your homework, click on the logos of the teams you’ve chosen. When your bracket is complete, SHARE your predictions on Facebook and/or Twitter before the first match gets underway on November 29th. You MUST use the hashtag #GPLFinals  if you want to qualify to win a prize. If you filled out a perfect bracket, you may be the winner of a prize basket filled with goodies from your favorite team – hoodies, jerseys, tee-shirts and more, as well as a live mention on the GPL’s wrap-up broadcast at the Finals.Set of ESPN Poker Club Copag cards

We have some additional incentive just for you. Once you have filled out and submitted your bracket to the GPL, you can also post the names of the two teams you predicted will face off in the Finals and the name of the team you predict will win the 1st Global Poker League Championship on The Texas Poker Store Facebook page as well, before the cards are in the air for the first match on November 29th. As soon as the Champion is declared, and the perfect bracket is revealed on December 1, the first six of you to have posted the accurate teams on our page will win a set of ESPN® Poker Club 100% Plastic COPAG Playing Cards.

Send us your thoughts!

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Here’s the latest news for those of you following the Global Poker League. The teams that qualified for the Playoff spots in the Americas Conference are: 1. Montreal Nationals; 2. L.A. Sunset; 3. Sau Paulo Metropolitans and 4.San Francisco Rush.

The qualifying teams from the Eurasia Conference are: 1. Moscow Wolverines; 2. Hong Kong Stars; 3. Berlin Bears and 4.London Royals.

Each Global Poker League Playoff Team will be represented by three players in Las Vegas, chosen by their Team Managers.  Since all team members chosen will be required to play, the Managers will obviously try to choose who they consider to be their best heads-up players (assuming they’re available.)

Managers will be required to play their players in a modified rotation. A player will not be able to play another game in a match until his/her two teammates have also played. (An “Alternate Player” option is available to the Team Managers. Teams who choose to do so can bring a fourth player to Las Vegas and that player can take the place of a teammate at the start of each new round only.).

Managers will be asked to set their lineup for the first three games of their Conference Semi-Final series. Teams will then be required to name the next player to enter The Cube following the completion of any previous games. Teams with the best rank will also be able to see their opponent’s lineup before submitting theirs (big strategic advantage there!)

A “Best of Seven” series (first team to accumulate four game victories) will determine the winners in the Conference Semi-Finals and the Conference Finals. As is the case in most other playoff scenarios regardless of sport, the #1 seed will face the #4, while seeds #2 and #3 will face off. The winners of those matches will play each other for the Americas vs. Eurasia Conference Finals.

Global Poker League Playoffs November 29thgpl-nov30Tuesday, November 29
3pm ET: Nationals (#1) vs Rush (#4)
6pm ET: Sunset (#2) vs Mets (#3)
9pm ET: Playoffs
Wednesday, November 30
3pm ET: Wolverines (#1) vs Royals (#4)
6pm ET: Stars (#2) vs Bears (#3)
9pm ET: Playoffs

For the GPL Poker Championship, the winners of each playoff match will face off in the Finals on Thursday, December 1 at 3pm ET. Teams will begin on a level playing field with no advantage for either team. That championship competition will be played in a best-of-nine format, with the first team winning five games emerging as the overall GPL Season 1 Champions.

All matches will be played in the Cube and streamed live on Twitch. Tomorrow we’ll let you know how to participate in the very first GPL Bracket Challenge.

Send us your thoughts!

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As most of you know, my primary focus in this blog has been on the Global Poker League. I’m looking forward to the GPL’s Playoffs and Championship to be held in Las Vegas, but since they are still a couple of weeks away, I thought I’d look around for something else poker-related to get excited about. Luckily, I happened upon a great article by Marty Derbyshire (@MartyDerby). Since I agreed with everything he wrote, I’ll share the highlights with you.

Derbyshire’s premise is that he wants to “highlight positivity in the poker community” so he is launching a weekly column titled Good For The Game. Since I have always stressed my belief that the Global Poker League was extremely good for the game of poker, it seemed like a good fit. And it was.

That is probably because he began his series by writing about the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table, which my husband and I watched together and thoroughly enjoyed. We both found the action at the table incredibly exciting, which is not something I could have ever written before (because I didn’t understand poker prior to learning through watching the GPL matches) and because of the exhilarating pace, engaging coverage by ESPN and the enormously entertaining players at the Final Table. It looked to us as though the players were really having fun. It made me want to play poker.Qui Nguyen wins 2016 WSOP Main Event

The champion, Qui Nguyen, was the improbable but highly likable winner, and it was his style of play that helped make this such a compelling event. As Derbyshire wrote, “Nguyen . . . outplayed a final table full of professional players using an aggressive and relatively unpredictable style . . . effectively putting pressure on his opponents at every step and challenging them to make tough decisions.”.

Our all-time favorite, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu, served as ESPN’s analyst along with poker super star Phil Hellmuth, so that expert pairing, along with their on point analysis, helped a lot.  Negreanu was quoted heavily in the article, which made sense since he was so obviously loving the action.

Daniel Negreanu with Phil Hellmuth

“I think the whole final table was good for poker,” Negreanu said. “The speed of play for one, and Qui Nguyen specifically, played a style that, for lack of a better term, was not the boring, fundamentally correct and game-theory-optimal style. He was fascinating and exciting, because at any moment he could just be all in. He was doing things that were outside the box and unconventional and I think that gives hope to people that are not 23-year-old grinders who have studied game theory. They think if this guy can win, then I can win too.”

The author and Negreanu agreed that in the end, people want to be entertained, and that different personalities, table talk, bluffing, interesting characters, the pace of the game and going “all in” are the kinds of things that attract people and turn them into poker fans.

Alexandre Dreyfus must be smiling broadly somewhere, since that’s exactly what he’s been saying about his innovative team poker concept and the GPL.  His goal has always been to turn poker into entertainment that connects to the existing poker community, attracts new poker fans and is part of the burgeoning mainstream entertainment and e-sport sector on a global scale. But we can talk about that next time.

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