By: 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.
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.
So 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 commentaries, 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.