Wednesday April 8,2015 : GLOBAL POKER LEAGUE COULD HAVE A MAJOR INDUSTRY IMPACT
International project has benefits for both team owners and players.
Global Poker Index CEO Alexandre Dreyfus has given an insight into his latest project – the Global Poker League – during an interview with the poker information site Poker News.
Dreyfus intends to build on the success of his Global Poker Masters product, where teams of players compete against one another, and hopes to generate audience engagement and interest through a 10-week competition which would have the added momentum of streaming via Twitch.
He envisages the inaugural outing – probably around September this year – as a contest involving eight teams of seven players each.
"The team members will be selected in a draft that will be held either during the WSOP or right after the event," Dreyfus told Poker News, adding: "Each team will most likely include three players from the GPI 300 or GPI 500, two wildcards and two qualifiers."
Each team owner will pay a fee to join the League, and this money will be used to create a prize pool that is integrated with other funds coming from the GPL. At the end of the season, the teams at the top of the leaderboard will share the prize pool, allowing team owners to get a good return on their investment and, at the same time, rewarding the players with significant money prizes.
Dreyfus indicated that he already has four team owners on board, but would not at this stage identify these.
He explained the advantage of investing to become a team owner; saying that a backer who spends $100,000 in a tournament, often ends up with the money lost after only two days unless they win.
With the GPL, whatever the investment needed, team owners are going to get something that lasts much longer. "They are building assets, brand, goodwill. They will own a company that will be part of the League," he said.
The qualifiers for the GPL teams will be in two categories, online and live, with the latter engaging the cooperation of land casinos in setting up live competitions to qualify for the GPL team selections.
Dreyfus revealed that his GPI company will invest between $3 and $5 million in the new venture and is confident that this interaction between live and online poker team action will be a success. Judging by the popularity of the Global Poker Masters in Malta recently, the idea certainly has potential.
The funding for the investment will come from GPI shareholders and potential American partners with whom Dreyfus is currently negotiating
The opportunity afforded by achieving a team membership is considerable for players; aside from the exposure and competing with top opponents, participation fees and travel and accommodation expenses will be carried by the team owners.
The GPL competitions will be held in collaboration with other major international live events to ensure greater visibility and convenience for professional players.
"The GPI will never create any open event as there is no need or space for additional circuits, tours, or poker tournaments," Dreyfus assured Poker News. "We are very clear and transparent about that. That is not our role and it will never be."
Dreyfus emphasised that the GPL will be a global phenomenon, involving the international onloine and live poker communities.
"Team owners can be from anywhere," he told Poker News. "Right now, we already have the commitment of someone who is not European nor American. And, well, as for the players, they can also be from anywhere in the world."