Posts Tagged ‘Sao Paulo Mets’

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

I am a very loyal fan. I still root for the New York Yankees and Giants, despite not living in NY since 1988. Which is why I am so disappointed, Alexandre Dreyfus, about the absence of a Season Two for the Global Poker League.  The GPL is what turned me into a poker fan. I wrote more than 30 blogs extolling its virtues during its inaugural season; there were times I felt like an (unpaid) marketing director!

Chengdu Pandas GPLI understand that you and Mediarex Enterprises have been incredibly busy, coming up with your new tagline: Compete Globally, Play Locally, while forging strategic relationships in China and India. What’s more, GPL China had an extremely successful six-month season, as teams from 12 cities competed in regional leagues. The winning teams from each city became the championship franchise, and ultimately, the Chengdu Pandas defeated the Hong Kong Treasure Ships to win the first season of GPL China.

Meanwhile, there are six teams that now constitute GPL India, including the Chennai Sharks, Kolkata Creators and Nipun Java, with each team manager already named and Season I poised to launch.  And, based on the tremendous success of the GPL’s first season in Brazil, which fielded its own team, the Sao Paulo Mets, GPL Brazil is already becoming a “thing.”

All very well and good, but still no GPL Season Two (as promised) in the U.S. What happened to my favorite team, the LA Sunset, with poker superstars Fedor Holz, Olivier Busquet and manager, Maria Ho? What happened to the two-year contracts all the brave pioneers of the original GPL signed?

Custom Rockwell Poker TableIf you go to the GPL website like I did, you get a hint of something along the lines of a World Championship coming, with winners of each regional league competing against powerhouse teams from around the world. But there was a link on one page that said Season I has ended. Go on to Season II. I tried, but the link didn’t go anywhere. I hope that isn’t the fate of the original GPL that got me hooked on poker and even get my own poker table!

Send me your thoughts or comments!

Texas Poker StoreQueen of Hearts ParisBy: 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.Global Poker League

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.

Alex DreyfusSo 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 New York Rounderscommentaries, 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.

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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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