Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Rush’

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

For all you Global Poker League fans out there, today (Nov. 29th) is the first day of the Playoffs to determine the winner of the Americas Conference.

The #1 seeded Montreal Nationals were the highest scoring team in the GPL’s regular season, with a whopping 200 points.  They will play the 4th seed, the San Francisco Rush in a series of heads-up games beginning at 3 P.M. ET.

Whichever team wins the “Best of Seven” (first team to accumulate four game victories) will await the winners of the match between #2 LA Sunset and #3 Sao Paulo Metropolitans.  The winners will then face off to determine the winner of the Americas Conference Final.

Tomorrow (Nov.30th) pits the #1 seeded Moscow Wolverines against the #4 London Royals. The winners will await the results of the best-of-seven match between the #2 Hong Kong Stars and #3 Berlin Bears. The winners will then play for the Eurasia Conference Final.

Higher seeded teams take an advantage into the playoffs, as do their counterparts in other highly contested playoffs.. The team managers have the opportunity to see their opponent’s lineup before submitting theirs which may involve some team strategy.  And, their starting stacks are higher: 130K vs. 100K and 120K vs. 110K.

Finally, on Thursday, Dec. 1st, the winner of the Americas Conference winners will play the Eurasia Conference winners in a best of eleven series to determine the first-ever GPL Champions and winner of the $100,000 prize.

GPL Playoffs

We’re covering up our poker table and getting ready to cheer our favorites at the Global Poker League Playoffs!

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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris
Here’s the latest news for those of you following the Global Poker League. The teams that qualified for the Playoff spots in the Americas Conference are: 1. Montreal Nationals; 2. L.A. Sunset; 3. Sau Paulo Metropolitans and 4.San Francisco Rush.

The qualifying teams from the Eurasia Conference are: 1. Moscow Wolverines; 2. Hong Kong Stars; 3. Berlin Bears and 4.London Royals.

Each Global Poker League Playoff Team will be represented by three players in Las Vegas, chosen by their Team Managers.  Since all team members chosen will be required to play, the Managers will obviously try to choose who they consider to be their best heads-up players (assuming they’re available.)

Managers will be required to play their players in a modified rotation. A player will not be able to play another game in a match until his/her two teammates have also played. (An “Alternate Player” option is available to the Team Managers. Teams who choose to do so can bring a fourth player to Las Vegas and that player can take the place of a teammate at the start of each new round only.).

Managers will be asked to set their lineup for the first three games of their Conference Semi-Final series. Teams will then be required to name the next player to enter The Cube following the completion of any previous games. Teams with the best rank will also be able to see their opponent’s lineup before submitting theirs (big strategic advantage there!)

A “Best of Seven” series (first team to accumulate four game victories) will determine the winners in the Conference Semi-Finals and the Conference Finals. As is the case in most other playoff scenarios regardless of sport, the #1 seed will face the #4, while seeds #2 and #3 will face off. The winners of those matches will play each other for the Americas vs. Eurasia Conference Finals.

Global Poker League Playoffs November 29thgpl-nov30Tuesday, November 29
3pm ET: Nationals (#1) vs Rush (#4)
6pm ET: Sunset (#2) vs Mets (#3)
9pm ET: Playoffs
Wednesday, November 30
3pm ET: Wolverines (#1) vs Royals (#4)
6pm ET: Stars (#2) vs Bears (#3)
9pm ET: Playoffs

For the GPL Poker Championship, the winners of each playoff match will face off in the Finals on Thursday, December 1 at 3pm ET. Teams will begin on a level playing field with no advantage for either team. That championship competition will be played in a best-of-nine format, with the first team winning five games emerging as the overall GPL Season 1 Champions.

All matches will be played in the Cube and streamed live on Twitch. Tomorrow we’ll let you know how to participate in the very first GPL Bracket Challenge.

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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

For those of you who got caught up in the Inaugural season of The Global Poker League and felt somewhat let down after such a promising first half, all is not lost.

Global Poker League Playoffs

In fact, despite the loss of momentum from long delays and venue changes, the League has successfully completed its regular season (20 weeks, 174 matches and 300 hours of digital content) and is headed towards the Playoffs and Finals.

As founder Alex Dreyfus put it; “Against all odds, we built and ran a League from scratch through a full cycle of competition. That’s a big achievement, and my team and I are very proud to have accomplished this much.”

I couldn’t agree more, especially since the GPL got me excited about poker, to say nothing about teaching me how to play. I was also incredibly impressed with how dedicated the professional poker players seemed to be to their respective teams and to their team managers, all of whom were terrific spokespeople for the new league and for poker in general. They were also respectful of their fans, including newbies like me, who might never have seen players like Mercier, Holz, Kenney, Boeree, Jaffe, Bonomo, Brunson, Elky, Duhamel and dozens more were it not for their wholehearted commitment to, and enthusiastic participation in, the GPL.

That being said, the following teams have qualified for the Season 1 Playoffs to be held in Vegas on November 29th and 30th  with the Finals to be played on December 1st.

Americas Conference:

1st: Montreal Nationals
2nd: LA Sunset
3rd: Sao Paulo Metropolitans
4th: San Francisco Rush

Eurasia Conference:

1st: Moscow Wolverines
2nd: Hong Kong Stars
3rd: Berlin Bears
4th: London Royals

Looking ahead, the future appears very promising for team poker. Thanks to the recent strategic partnership with Pokerstars, Dreyfus seems assured of seeing his as yet unfulfilled vision come to fruition. As he wrote, “we will be able to deliver a better fan experience and better fan engagement on a larger scale” based on how much they learned during the first six months combined with the clout of Pokerstars. In the meantime, let’s all hope for some exciting matches to finish this season in style.

Everyone at the Texas Poker Store will be watching very closely and will keep you all abreast of all the action.

Send us your thoughts!

Queen of Hearts ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

When I first began watching and blogging about The Global Poker League, I was thrilled to be covering something brand new in the poker world. I loved Alexander Dreyfus’ idea of teams of world-class poker players behaving more like sports teams, pulling for each other and competing with other GPL teams. I enjoyed the 8-week online format tremendously as each of the two GPL conferences – Americas and Eurasia –battled for points and aimed for the Playoffs, just like other sports teams do. As I’ve mentioned many times, I became addicted to watching and learning about poker after following it in this format.

But there were a few small tweaks I wished had been made along the way that weren’t corrected, despite my tweets to Alex Dreyfus and the League. I imagine it’s because the pace they’ve been on has been incredibly demanding, going from one format to another, and one location to another in their very first season.

Nevertheless, I’ve complained from the beginning that if this was being marketed as a Team Sport/Game, the logos of the teams ought to be prominent. Instead, they were often difficult to see the way the graphics were designed for the web. For example, in this typical screen shot, the team logos can’t be seen when the hole cards are being shown, whether it was a heads up or 6-max format.

Cube Shot 1

In all cases, the web cams made up for some of the lesser problems; it was great fun listening to the player’s explaining their thought processes and strategies, much less becoming familiar with so many great poker players, but this still seems like an easy fix

In addition, someone needs to be assigned to keeping the GPL website up-to-date! The same articles and stories stay up for weeks. Also, the site is slow to load, and most importantly, it hasn’t been optimized for mobile which is an absolute must.

Moving on to the much ballyhooed Cube, there are a couple of quick fix things to improve the experience beyond the general observations I’ll make later in this blog.

It’s been annoying that the player’s names and hole cards are often under the wrong player, as in this shot:

The Cube shot 2

In this particular case, it didn’t matter because I was so focused on both of the player’s faces, as well as their playful banter, that I ignored the incorrect graphics. Who could take their eyes off Fabrice and actor/poker player Aaron Paul? But I did find it odd that there was no branding at all – none for the GPL or again, none for the teams other than in the intro graphics that precede every match.

Thankfully, by the second Cube match, both players were wearing team t-shirts and I assume that will be standard operating procedure from now on. It really reinforces the “sportify” poker concept. (Apparently, as seen during the 4th match between Nanonoko and Jacobson, the players can get out of wearing their team shirts which isn’t smart in my opinion, unless the GPL has another identifier for later on,)

In this close-up of Jonathan Jaffe, his San Francisco Rush shirt was prominently displayed, as was the Moscow Wolverine shirt of his opponent, Urbanovich.  These two players kept up a steady table talk throughout the match, with Jaffe poking and prodding to get information out of Urbanovich, which made it great fun to watch.

The Cube shot 3

It also helped that the commentators (Joe Stapleton and Eric Danis) as well as the guest commentator only spoke occasionally, never taking the attention off these two compelling players.

In the 3rd match, guest commentator Felipe Mojave Ramos spoke over the players almost continuously. Although his insights were great, I tweeted at him after the match about it, and he graciously accepted the idea that it was important to find the right balance.

As far as the Cube itself, just a few general comments as I’m sure I’ll have more to say once we’ve all seen more.

So far, most players have said it was a fun but somewhat difficult environment to get used to. Several said it was a bit intimidating, with the music and heartbeat sounds and being cut off from the world. I felt “naked” in there, Martin Jacobson said and many spoke about the standing element as well as the heat. All seemed to enjoy it, however, and I applaud them all for being so supportive of the concept.

Based on comments made by Dreyfus in several interviews, I imagine that this is the Cube in its most basic iteration . . . they broke it out in time for the Vegas Summer Series but many of the bells and whistles are still to come. They better come, because although it’s fun to watch these heads up matches, most of the fun is created by the players inside. They have to create it with their chatter and trash talk and personalities . . . and if you really enjoy poker, that’s all you need.

Watching on the live Twitch stream, it’s a great experience because I get to see terrific close-ups of the players as well as side-by-side shots as the camera shows pretty much everything. But it’s hard to imagine what the live viewers will see.

Is it this? The Cube shot 4

Or this?
cube-6

I’m going to hold off all judgment for now. But by the time TwitchCon comes along in September, everything planned to enhance the Cube better be in place, or the huge video game audience will walk right by it without ever noticing it’s there.

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