Posts Tagged ‘Twitch’

Texas Poker StoreQueen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

It’s hard for me to believe, but the Global Poker League has completed its seventh week of online action. After this week’s matches are completed, the second phase of the schedule — the GPL’s Summer Series — will begin in Las Vegas on June 6th, making life way more convenient for those players who will also be playing in the World Series of Poker events.

Global Poker LeagueFor those of us who hadn’t spent much time watching poker before, much less finding themselves addicted to the entertainment value of the game, the Summer Series should be an exciting change of pace from the online matches we’ve gotten used to enjoying. First of all, the action will be live on the felt in the GPL’s Las Vegas studio. Second, there will only be Heads-Up matches, but it will be cross-conference action (for the first time) until all the Americas Conference teams have played all the Eurasia Conference teams. As they’ve done in the HU matches online, winners will receive three points per game for their teams and losers receive no points, so a total of nine points per match will be at stake. It will be fascinating to see how the results of these cross-conference games scramble up the rankings.

Of course, the HU action will be live streamed on Twitch, GPL and other platforms globally so we can continue cheering for our favorite team. There are some cross-conference pairings I’d love to see, but for now we only know which teams are playing when (http://www.globalpokerleague.com/schedule/)

The GPL has made the games easy-to-watch as well as highly entertaining for newbies like me by providing Great Content: web cams to get to know what’s going on inside each player’s head (from strategy to analyzing their opponent to how much they love their dogs); excellent interviews (Laura Cornelius and Eric Danis in the Lounge) and two humorous and knowledgeable commentators (Griffin Benger and Sam Grafton during the matches). In other words, there’s enough pure entertainment value so that my lack of poker savvy didn’t preclude enjoying the competition. In the end, I never forgot that I was rooting for the NY Rounders and the LA Sunset, the two teams representing places I’ve spent most of my life.

Team Texas Poker tore's Night HawkOn the other hand, for experienced poker players, the level of chatter and commentary was never dumbed down; the participants all speak the language of poker and it’s been up to me to determine how much I’ve wanted to learn. Suffice it to say that I’ve learned more about poker in the last two months than I’d ever known (considering we’ve owned an online poker supply store for four years) and more importantly, I’ve become intrigued by it. I’ve researched a bunch of terms I didn’t understand, watched late night poker on TV with my husband so we could discuss everything from player position to ranges, bluffing and gut shots and I’m ready to take my place at one of our tables and play.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is all playing out for us, the audience, just as Alex Dreyfus envisioned several years ago. What fascinated me when I decided to make the GPL the focus of my blog was that it was something new in the world of poker: a fan experience with digital content and competition at its core. And its founder, Dreyfus wanted . . . needed ambassadors to help him make poker bigger and more mainstream. Dreyfus knew “this skill game, sport game, brain game, whatever you want to call it” was not just gambling. He also knew that without exploiting its entertainment value and getting the media to talk about it, it would slowly die.

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Texas Poker StoreQueen of Hearts ParisBy: Queen of Hearts Paris

 

I’m traveling, I’m visiting my kids in Los Angeles, but somehow I remembered to check the GPL streaming schedule and managed to catch the heads-up match between Randy “Nananoko” Lew for the Hong Kong Stars and Justin Bonomo for Liv Boeree’s London Royals; Bonomo swept Nano for nine points which made me a little sad cause I’ve grown to like Nano.Global Poker League

Every once in awhile, I realize that although I’ve been living in a Global Poker League bubble for the past couple of months, the unfortunate fact is that it not only remains an unknown entity even to most poker fans, but no one I know has the slightest idea what it is. My friends and family don’t even get why I’m suddenly interested in poker. And I’m not sure how to change that. Our blog is not exactly Buzzfeed, nor can I force people to read my columns in order to catch my enthusiasm for the new League.

Alex DreyfusSo I’m trying to keep in mind what founder Alex Dreyfus has said about what he’s trying to accomplish with the GPL. It’s definitely NOT about becoming an overnight success or converting the world of elite poker players into the NFL in one season.  It will take two, three or more years, and it will be a slow process.

In fact, says Dreyfus “Our intent is not to create an event for players, like the World Series of Poker, but an event for fans and spectators. Our goal is to shift from a player and customer experience to a fan experience.” In other words, the GPL has no desire to compete with the WSOP. Its goal is to create a framework and platform where the best poker players regularly play for their team, as you can see on Twitch-TV right now, while we fans get into their heads and discover their stories.

What Dreyfus is doing is setting the stage for a continuing and engrossing poker storyline. In my case, for example, last week I got wrapped up in the heads-up matches between the Sao Paulo Mets’ Olivier Busquet and the NY Rounders’ Thomas Marchese, not because of my love of poker, but because, through the webcams, I had access to both of their New York Rounderscommentaries, both of their strategies, their very different personalities, and both their hole cards at the same time! This has never been done before, Dreyfus assures us. Not only that, but I was pulling for the team from New York, the Rounders, because that’s what I do . . . I root for New York teams.

Eventually, you and your friends and poker buddies will be talking about the amazing heads-up match you saw on Tuesday. One might say, ‘ Olivier got awfully lucky on the river with that final King.” You might answer, “I like Ladouceur’s style; he’s a very thoughtful poker player, but OB had an awfully good run. When it came down to the all-ins, Busquet always seems to win.”

It’s that “Hey, did you see what happened yesterday” mentality that the GPL wants to cultivate. The marketing goal for Alex Dreyfus is to provide enough sports or entertainment content to create a habit. And a habit is something you do every day or every week.

“What we aim to do with the GPL is for you to be hooked to watch GPL whether it’s one, two, or five matches per week, every week,” Dreyfus explains.

Which is why I’m with my daughter in L.A, and have a million things to do, but still took the time to watch a GPL match today.

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By: Queen of Hearts Paris

It’s Day Two for the Global Poker League and if you haven’t checked it out, you should. Go to Twitch.com/GPL or GlobalPokerLeague.com for live streaming of 6-MAX and Heads–Up matches every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Before you plunge right in, however, I highly recommend that you catch up on the GPL concept, including the rules, teams, formats, scoring or anything else about the League. (You can read our previous blogs — just enter GPL in the blog’s search function — but for in-depth information explore the GPL site.)

Global Poker LeagueBecause I’ve been following the formation of the GPL on our blog for a few weeks, I was ready to watch the minute they launched. Judging by the chat room participants on Twitch on Day One, most had absolutely no idea what they’d stumbled upon. There were lots of haters, tons of crazy comments and a million questions about where to get more info.

Daniel Jungleman CatesIt was interesting to see that the people chatting today already seemed more informed about what they were watching. Of course, it’s brand new and it’s bound to take a year or two for global team poker to catch on, which is exactly what its creator, Alex Dreyfus, predicted. But when it does, there’s no telling how big it might get.  Once they added the head cams today in the H-U matches, it became personal and exciting even for a total poker dummy like me.  Suddenly, the chat room was buzzing with positivity as we all had the privilege of observing each player’s strategy and listening to some of the more vocal and entertaining players as they let us inside their heads. Dan “Jungleman” Cates, representing the Berlin Bears, was especially open and extremely funny.

Justin BonomoAs of this writing, Justin Bonomo, for the London Royals is playing heads-up against Timothy Adams, for the Rome Emperors and even though I have so much work to do, I can’t seem to pull myself away. I can just imagine how hard it will be for me not to watch once I’ve picked a team to root for (probably the New York Rounders since I always root for NY teams; it’s where I grew up) and gained more poker knowledge along the way.

And that’s truly the whole point of the GPL: building an appreciation of poker for a brand new audience, attracting more and more fans by giving them a team to root for, until ultimately there’s a big enough appetite to watch team poker that it attracts sponsors. Suddenly it’s not just for points and pride; the players are making money without having to spend their own. You know, like other team sports.

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Texas Poker StoreQueen of Hearts ParisBy: Queen of Hearts Paris

I wrote about the launch of the Global Poker League (GPL) on this blog twice, on February 21st and again on the 26th, the day after the League’s first draft. Since then, I’ve been searching for more news about it so I could keep y’all updated on any new developments, and I have checked their Facebook page daily for updates, but nothing exciting or revealing has been posted as of yet. If anything, it seemed that founder Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports and Entertainment, may have been playing the League down a bit for fear of having the hype overshadow the results.

Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports and EntertainmentIn fact, Dreyfus said as much when discussing how successful the first-ever draft had been. In an article titled ” The Day We Sportified Poker,” Dreyfus noted how thrilled he was with the coverage of the draft, both through the five-hour live stream on Twitch, which drew an estimated 195,000 unique viewers and the activity on Twitter, which had poker enthusiasts engaged and arguing back and forth throughout the event. He also raved about the quality of the managers of each of the 12 teams and the terrific job done by the the analysts who kept fans entertained and informed throughout.

I watched enough myself to know how much fun it was listening to the opinions and color commentary delivered by the two superstar poker legends, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu, as well as circuit experts, Joe Stapleton and Eric Danis. After such a successful event, with the highest of production values in place, it makes sense that Dreyfus wants to plan the next steps taken by the new League very carefully. He and everyone else involved know that the League isn’t going to take off immediately; it could take several years to build up interest in and enthusiasm for team poker, and each team will need to work hard to earn the devotion of its own fan base.

For those who are eager to know more, the next news we’re all waiting for is who will each team manager choose as their two Wild Card players that the rules allow for. Most assume that each manager will make him or herself one of the Wild Cards, but their choices for the other spot could be newsworthy. Wild Card players also have to be ranked in the top 1,000 of the Global Poker Index and which player a team manager chooses will give us all some insight into their strategy for the first GPL season. Are they gunning for the most highly ranked players? Or are they looking for a wild card player who is popular and entertaining enough at the poker tables to engage fans? Remember, marketability is the name of the game!

And speaking of downplaying the hype, Dreyfus just announced, via a simple tweet on his Twitter feed, that the GPL will begin its first series of online matches on April 5th — stay tuned for full schedule.

In other words, when we know more, we’ll let you know!

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