By: 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.
In 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!