Posts Tagged ‘Andre Akkari’

Texas Poker StoreBy: Queen of Hearts ParisQueen of Hearts Paris

 

Our blog has been somewhat silent for the past few days, ever since I decided to do a series on the  Global Poker League.  I’ve been coordinating my blogging schedule with the GPL’s match playing schedule, which takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are many other elements about the new League I need to write about, but I’m not ready yet.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m getting hooked. .. It’s not that I sit and watch every match scheduled because that would mean I wouldn’t get anything else done. It might also mean that I had a slight problem! But I prefer blogging about poker when I’m in a poker state-of-mind.

Global Poker LeagueSo, when I’m doing some work that doesn’t require a lot of concentration, I have Twitch.tv/GPL  on my second screen. When one of my favorite players (yes, I already have favorites) is playing or when one of the teams I root for (NY Rounders and LA Sunset) are in a 6 MAX, I tend to abandon my work and focus on the match. Of course, there are many times when that kind of devotion isn’t possible and I have to settle for the replay, or even just the highlights, knowing you can always find what you’re looking for on www.globalpokerleague.com.

The standings were shaken up a bit after all the Week Four matches.  In the Americas League, the Montreal National took the lead away from the Rounders, who had been in the lead for the last couple of weeks, but the entire league is pretty well bunched up, with a mere 10 points separating first place from last place, currently occupied by the San Francicso Rush.  I’m pretty sure that with so many matches yet to be played, those teams will switch places more than once, with the team in first place changing often.

In the Eurasia League the standings are significantly more spread out, with 25 points separating the first place Moscow Wolverines from the Rome Emperors who are not only in last place, but are the only team to have 0 wins.  It will be more difficult to overcome the teams in the upper level of that league, but anything can happen in poker.

Bertrand " Elky" GrospellierJust a few comments about the play last week. I really enjoyed the epic HU battle between Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier and Randy “Nanonoku” Lew. The match, referred to as the Clash of the Twitch Titans, was highly anticipated because Elky is a “brand” in the world of poker, considered one of the best players in the world, while Nanonoku  is fast becoming an early star of the GPL.  The match itself was just fun to watch; both guys were perfect for the GPL/WebCam set up: they were both loquacious, talking trash, talking strategy, displaying their very different but charming personalities. Elky talked a lot about Nano’s strategy against Jungleman, making it clear that these guys are watching each other’s game for any strategy hints they can pick up for upcoming matches. At the same time, Nano was Randy “Nanonoku” Lewcharming as he talked about Elky being his first poker hero, and in his post-match interview he spoke candidly about his 2 out of 3 win, which gave the Hong Kong Stars some much needed points . “I’m just so happy right now,” he told the audience.  “I’m gonna talk smack to Elky all week in Monte Carlo.” (site of European Poker Tour’s Grand Finals).

Jeff Gross, playing for the Berlin Bears, earned a clean sweep (nine points) over the Rome Emperor’s Todd Brunson in the heads-up game. They seemed to be feeling each other out a lot in the beginning since they’d never played before. Gross, a former University of South Carolina soccer player, said at one point, “I really don’t know what he thinks of my game yet,” referring to Todd, the son of the legendary Doyle Brunson.

TPS Poker ChipsIn the first game of the match, Gross also said that he’d learned from Jungleman to “always bet your gut shot,” so he followed that advice and made what looked like a ballsy/crazy call, ultimately drawing the inside straight on the last river card,  while Brunson was left sitting with his two aces and no chips.  That game only took nine hands but it pretty much set the tone.

With the EPT going on simultaneously, it helped prove a couple of the of the GPL ‘s underlying concepts. The first is that the GPL has some of the very best players in the world playing in the league, as evidenced by how many of them were doing extremely well in the EPT.

At the same time, it shows how viable the GPL’s team concept is, with some not-so-well-known players, like hedge-fund manager Bill Perkins, getting the opportunity to play in a 6 MAX while other members of his team, the Berlin Bears, played in the EPT. Other less well-known players, such as Tyler Kenney (brother of Bryn Kenney, manager of the NY Rounders) and Felipe Ramos Mojave (playing for the Sao Paulo Mets under manager Andre Akkari) have been playing some stellar poker and really delivering points for their franchises, proving that only in poker can a less experienced player mix it up with the big boys and have the chance to come out on top. That doesn’t happen in boxing, or on the basketball court or in a tennis match.

Mostly it’s starting to demonstrate in a big way how much these GPL players want to win one for their team, as opposed to for themselves which is what poker has always been about. They all talk about the pressure they feel representing their team, wanting to win to help their team in the standings and so on. It’s fostering a real camaraderie among poker team mates as the fans begin rooting hard for their team.

The GPL is for every kind of fan, from the highly experienced to the newbie. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing poker for years or are just starting out, once you watch a few matches you realize how exciting it is to root for a poker team. And, for those who want to learn the game, or play it better, there’s an added bonus. So many of the players are also wonderful teachers and strategists, explaining their moves as they go along.  Some, like Jonathan Little (nicknamed the professor) explain every move; it’s like they’re conducting a poker clinic. Others just smatter us with glimpses of strategy. It’s got something for everyone, and somehow, it works.

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Texas Poker Store

Queen of Hearts ParisBy: Queen of Hearts Paris   

It’s hard to believe, but the Global Poker League, the creation of Alexandre Dreyfus that began as a concept to shake up the poker world three years ago, is about to embark on its first GPL season tomorrow, April 5th. Although not drawing quite as much attention as the start of the MLB season, every poker-related site has been covering GPL- news steadily since the 12 teams and their team managers were announced, and USA Today is now covering the league in their sport’s section.

Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports and Entertainment

The GPL’s inaugural draft, live-streamed on Twitch.tv, more than lived up to its hype and the suspense that built up before each team’s wildcard picks has kept social media buzzing. It’s clear to me that each of the team managers has not only totally bought into the “poker as a team sport” concept but, more importantly, understands and embraces his or her role as “chief marketing officer and brand ambassador” for their team.

So far, only two team managers (Andre Akkari for the Sao Paulo Metropolitans and Phillip Gruissem for the Berlin Bears) decided NOT to play themselves and chose to name two wildcard players. We’ll fill you in on the remaining wildcard picks as they are revealed

As this series continues, we’ll explore many of the nuances of the league as well as some of the unknowns that are yet to be grappled with. For the time being, however, we know that there will be three online-match days per week every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – either 6-Max matches or Heads-Up matches.

The following is the general schedule announced by the GPL:

  • The GPL Regular Season: April 5th, 2016 –September 22nd, 2016 – Three match days per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • The GPL Summer Series: June 6th, 2016 –July 8th, 2016 – 33 days of daily heads-up battles filmed live on location in GPL’s Las Vegas studio.
  • The GPL Playoffs: (Dates TBA) – The Global Poker League’s Final Eight play for one of four places in the final.
  • The GPL Finals: November 22nd-23rd, 2016 – Live from London at the SSE Arena, Wembley Stadium, where the first ever GPL Champion will be crowned.

Go to http://www.globalpokerleague.com/schedule for a more detailed schedule.

TPS Poker ChipsAs the season progresses, we’ll do our best to keep you informed about each of the teams so you can begin to identify your favorite team and become a fan. Of course, all the action will be carried online and live-streamed on Twitch.tv along with live commentary delivered by online legends Sam Grafton and Griffin Benger. Get on board, poker players! Poker Chips begin flying on Tuesday. It’s going to be an exciting ride.

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