Liv Boeree has been excited about the Global Poker League since it first came to her attention. But that should be no surprise, as she always seems ready to embrace innovations and developments in poker that can broaden interest in the game.
She consistently tries to bring attention to poker through her PokerStars sponsorship, as well as to bring charity and poker together through her founding of, participation in, and promotion of REG (Raising for Effective Giving).
And of course, Boeree plays a mean game of poker. In addition to earning nearly $3 million in live tournaments to date, including a prestigious European Poker Tour title, she wins online as well.
So when the opportunity to become a team manager for one of the first Global Poker League teams arose, something that would combine many of her strengths and skills, Boeree was on board. She is the manager of the London Royals and flew to Los Angeles to represent and choose the first members of her team on GPL Draft Day in February. Her first choice was her life partner and high-stakes poker beast, Igor Kurganov, and her second pick was Vanessa Selbst. She then rounded out her team with Chris Moorman and Justin Bonomo, creating a team that is one of the early favorites in the GPL.
Considering her excitement for the GPL that was evident on Draft Day, we were anxious to ask Boeree some questions about the entire process.
PokerUpdate: What was your plan going into GPL Draft Day?
Liv: My main goal was to get Igor on my team. I knew that most managers would realize that he would have a strong preference on being on my team, but a couple of them let me know they were interested, so I was very relieved to get him! Otherwise, I had a number of shortlisted players by draft round and felt fairly confident that I’d assemble a team that was both good at poker AND marketable.
PokerUpdate: Did your selection process go smoothly or did you hit a stumbling block along the way?
Liv: For the most part, it went smoothly. Round 2 was interesting; Tim Adams was who I had my eye on, but my plans were scuppered when Max Pescatori stole him! Luckily, Vanessa was still available, so I got a great result with her instead!
PokerUpdate: What are your team’s greatest strengths?
Liv: We all know each other really well, so it’s going to be a very cohesive team. We’ve got a mixture of big personalities (very important for growing the league), and they’re all outstanding players.
PokerUpdate: Have you already chosen your wild cards? Or are you still considering options? (Any hints about your choices are welcome. Ha.)
Liv: Yes, it was a tricky one, but I’ve decided on them.
PokerUpdate: How do you feel about being a team manager?
Liv: I’m just really, really honored to have been asked. The GPL is such a huge, ambitious venture, and I’d be so happy to see it succeed and grow our game into the mainstream.
Yay! Got onto my favorite team BY FAR! Super excited to be playing with the London Royals. Fantastic human beings + poker players all around— Justin Bonomo (@JustinBonomo) February 26, 2016
PokerUpdate: What are your goals as the team’s manager?
Liv: Herd cats successfully! But seriously, my goal is to just make sure I get the maximimum out of each player and grow our team’s following as much as possible.
PokerUpdate: Do you feel prepared for the GPL to begin? What are you looking forward to the most?
Liv: The next couple of weeks will be a lot of strategizing. I’m really lucky to live with one of my teammates, and he’s a rather brilliant strategist!
PokerUpdate: What are your hopes for the GPL?
Liv: I want it to draw fresh interest into our beautiful game. Alex’s vision and drive is enormous, and this could be the shot at getting mainstream corporate interest back into poker, especially if the whole poker community does what they can to support it.
Read More GPL Interviews