Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Marchese’

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 StoreQueen of Hearts ParisBy: Pocket Queens Paris

For those of you who have been following my blog about the Global Poker League, it seems like a good time to catch you up on the team standings and to make some random observations after the first two weeks.  And by the way, you can watch replays of all of the matches on

Global Poker LeagueThe audience for the live streaming events has been pretty impressive considering this is a brand new team poker concept that can only be watched by going to According to his tweet on April 5th, Alex Dreyfus noted there were more than 429,000 views and 290,000 unique visitors. As a variety of minor glitches as well as some good suggestions were tweeted or came up in the chat room, @GPL responded quickly and/or made adjustments, demonstrating how engaged they were with the fans and how invested they are in turning out an exciting and high-class product.

The players also appeared to be highly invested in supporting their teams, entertaining the viewers and playing some good poker. This is especially obvious when the web cams are on and players reveal their personalities and poker savvy. That has not only made for some closely contested matches but a lot of “corollary” activity to build their fan bases. Each team has a Facebook page and a Twitter account; the more active the team pages and the individual players are on social media the more likely they are buying into the concept of the GPL in terms of bringing poker into the mainstream and attracting a whole new audience.

The League has already begun to change the narrative in the poker world. If a poker player from the NY Rounders wins big at a WPT or WSOP tournament, and happens to defeat a player from the LA Sunset or the San Francisco Rush in the process, the player is now automatically associated with their Global Poker League team whenever the results are written or tweeted about, bringing free advertising and recognition to the fledgling League.

In fact, my only criticism of the screen format for the 6-Max and Heads-Up matches streaming every week is that the names and faces of the individual players are easy to see, and of course, their hole cards and the river cards are prominently displayed, as well as their chip count and the pot. However, it’s much more difficult to see the team each player is representing – most of the time the team logo is covered by the hole cards.

Obviously, the majority of the players are far more familiar to their fans than are their teams, but eventually that has to change if the GPL’s innovative vision for team poker is realized. Clearly it’s a big advantage to have star players on your team and, just as in any sport, they usually grab the most attention: take Kobe, Curry, Manning (either one) and Brady as examples. But if you don’t know what team they play for there’s something wrong with the marketing plan. It’s the team that grows the fan base and excites those who root for them with a passion, motivating them to buy team banners, t-shirts, caps, season tickets . . . and ultimately bringing in sponsors. To continually reinforce the team concept, I believe it’s critical for Dreyfus and the GPL to implement a re-design of the screen layout so that the team name and logo are always easy to see.

For those of us who are just dipping our toes into the poker-watching water, it’s having a favorite team to root for that’s going to turn us into fans. In the end, it’s not Thomas Marchese taking on Anthony Zinno in a Heads-Up poker match; it’s the NY Rounders beating the Las Vegas Moneymakers six to three in GPL play. That’s how the GPL will change poker.

Standings After Two Weeks:

Eurasia Conference: 

Eurasia Conference




  1. Paris Aviators:                         30 points
  2. Hong Kong Stars:                   23 points
  3. London Royals:                       19 points
  4. Moscow Wolverines:              19 points
  5. Berlin Bears:                           18 points
  6. Rome Emperors:                    16 points

Americas Conference:  





  1. Montreal Nationals:                 29 points
  2. New York Rounders:               25 points
  3. LA Sunset:                               23 points
  4. Las Vegas Moneymakers:       20 points
  5. San Francisco Rush:               14 points
  6. Sao Paulo Metropolitans:        13 points

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