Posts Tagged ‘Rome Emperors’

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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Queen of Hearts Paris

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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Queen of Hearts ParisTexas Poker StoreBy: Queen of Hearts Paris

After writing four blogs about the Global Poker League (GPL) (1.What is the Global Poker League (GPL) and… |2. Did You Watch The GPL Draft? | 3. We’ll Know More When They Want To Tell Us More, |4. What’s the Goal?) we planned to begin focusing in on each of the teams. But with play beginning in a week, I was also desperately searching for news of the “wildcard” selections. Two days ago, I decided to take a chance and send a tweet to Alex Dreyfus, GPL, who answered me immediately with the first two teams to announce. (Not bad for timing, by the way) Soon after that, wildcard announcements started breaking rapidly.

As a reminder, we’ve already reported that most team managers were expected to name themselves as one of their two wildcards. Also, the question about whether the wildcard had to be one of the draft-eligible players who hadn’t yet been selected has been answered; the fact is that anybody can be a wildcard! In other words, depending on their overall strategy, some team managers might choose a high-ranking player to make their team stronger, while others might choose to attract more buzz and increase marketability by choosing someone with known fan appeal.

Alexandre LuneauFabrice SoulierFabrice Soulier, Team Manager of the Paris Aviators, was the first to announce his GPL wildcards. Soulier named himself as expected, and then welcomed Alexandre “Alexonmoon” Luneau, to the Aviators. He chose Luneau despite the fact that there were many higher ranked French players. Luneau, however, is not only a seriously sexy gamer; he’s one of the most successful online poker players in the world. He is also known for his starring role in “Nosebleed,” an exclusive documentary about the world of online high stake players, directed and produced by Victor Saumont,. His goal now is to win a bracelet at the 2016 WSOP.

Anatoly FilatovNext to announce his picks was Anatoly Filatov, manager of the Moscow Wolverines, who proudly made his announcement live from Moscow’s Red Square. He chose the #1 ranked poker player in the Ukraine, Igor Yaroshevsky, who he said was smart and tough.  This was most definitely a team-strengthening choice; Yaroshevsky has nine Top 15 finishes on the live tournament circuit since last year’s WSOP. And for his second choice, Filatov charmingly named a young, smart and fearless player — himself.

Once the floodgates opened, the wildcard announcements kept coming. Manager of the Rome Emperors, Max Pescatori chose himself and high-stakes poker player Todd Brunson, whose resume includes taking billionaire Texas businessman Andy Beal at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for $5 million last year. His total live tournament winnings exceed $4,000,000 and he’s won a gold bracelet at the WSOP. Oh, and his father is the legendary Doyle Brunson.

Liv BoereeLondon Royals Team Manager, Liv Boeree, already managing one of the GPL’s early favorites, announced on Twitter that her wildcard picks are the top-ranked female poker player in the world (Boeree herself) and “the one and only” Sam Trickett.

Trickett has live tournament earnings exceeding $20m, and has competed against the world’s top poker players in both cash games and tournaments. He’s known for his quickness which should be an asset in the GPL format. He and his fellow teammates, Kurganov, Boeree, and Justin Bonomo have already shared a deep bonding experience at Burning Man. And of course, Boeree and Kurganov are a hot item. Lots of chemistry on this team!

Yesterday and today, three more teams made their wildcard announcements. First came Faraz Jaka, manager of the San Francisco Rush who chose himself and added young pro, Jonathan Jaffe. They were quickly followed by Philipp Gruissem, managing the Berlin Bears, the first team manager NOT to name himself as a wildcard player.  He chose @junglemandan  (aka Daniel Cates) and @bp22 (aka amateur poker player Bill Perkins) to play for his team. And today, we had Chris Moneymaker, team manager of the Las Vegas Moneymakers, welcome @RuMCaKeS (amateur Scott Ball) which made the eSports enthusiast extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity.

Global Poker League - Week One

There will be much more to come, so stay tuned and we’ll keep you up to speed. We want our followers to be ahead of the curve. And, we hope to get a few of you excited, maybe even hooked on a particular team in the 12-team league before the action begins on April 5th, 2016. Make sure to check out all the action at the GPL poker tables starting next Tuesday.

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Queen of Hearts Paris

By: Queen of Hearts Paris

 

As we’ve mentioned previously, the Global Poker League (GPL) kicks off on April 5th. It’s doubtful that anyone who isn’t very involved in the world of poker — ie; professional poker players, frequent recreational players, or poker bloggers like us — is even aware of that, nor do they care.

But if Alex Dreyfus, GPL founder, as well as the 12 team managers of the leagues’ teams deliver on their promises to “sportify” poker;  if team poker becomes engaging and entertaining for spectators, and if teams begin to develop fan bases, many more of you will start caring. Maybe not right away, but eventually. At least, that’s the goal.

The following quote from team manager Faraz Jaka of the San Francisco Rush sums it up perfectly: The GPL is attempting to break down barriers and change the way the game is both played and viewed. My hope is that we see the demographic that engages in poker grow massively, leading towards a new poker boom.

So, to get a head start, some of you might want to learn a little more about the teams . . . maybe even figure out which team you’d root for if you had to choose.

The 12 teams in the GPL are divided into the Americas Conference and the Eurasian Conference. The Americas Conference features four teams from the United States, including the LA Sunset, the San Francisco Rush, the Las Vegas Moneymakers (with guess who as their team manager) and, from the east coast, the New York Rounders (considered the odds-on favorites before the actual playing begins). The two other Americas teams are the Montreal Nationals and the Sao Paulo Metropolitans.

The Eurasian Conference consists of four teams representing major European capitals: The Paris Aviators, the Berlin Bears, the London Royals and the Rome Emperors. Russia is represented by the Moscow Wolverines and Asia’s team is the Hong Kong Stars.

aces-pro-tournament-tableWe’ll start focusing on each team: who are the fan favorites, who are the big name winners from the felt at the poker tables to the young hotshots from online, what are the managers’ strategies and other vital information in upcoming blogs. You will definitely need that if you want to pick a team to root for when the action begins.

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