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Global Poker Index (GPI) and The Hendon Mob parent company Mediarex Sports & Entertainment has released further details into one of the most ambitious poker projects to ever grace the game.

The Global Poker League — set to start early next year — will aim to redefine how poker is viewed by millions of fans worldwide. Through a dual-conference (Americas and Eurasia), 12-team league, and numerous innovations to the traditional live poker format, the league’s CEO Alex Dreyfus is betting big on “sportifying” poker.

Americas Conference: New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, Toronto

Eurasia Conference: London, Moscow, Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Hong Kong

Teams will be formed depending on players’ GPI Ranking along with “wildcard” entries to ensure the top poker players are chosen.

Global Poker League Innovations

One glimpse at the GPL’s soundproof, LED-lit boxed arena — dubbed “The Cube” — makes it clear that the league will be taking a unique approach to how it relays poker to live audiences.

The Cube will be where league poker action takes place. Thanks to a multitude of cameras, RFID technology and digital cards, on-site fans will be able to take in all the action in real time as the players within compete.

Because the arena is soundproof, there will be no need for a time delay between what is happening at the poker table and what is being broadcast. Players will not be able to see outside of their isolated arena, yet live event attendees can look on or watch the action play out on large screen monitors.

Live audiences will be able to tune-in and see players’ hole cards from the actual venue or from the comfort of their own homes via network television and live streaming.

The Global Poker League will depart from traditional brick & mortar casino venues by hosting its events in convention centers and live sports arenas — holding its competitions in conjunction with major international sports spectacles as it looks to grow its fan base throughout 2016. The first season of GPL will last 14 weeks and will hold events throughout the world, including cities in the US states of Nevada and New Jersey.

The speed of play will be increased significantly via event clocks and the fact that all league players will be required to stand. Matches will take place within a time frame of 30-40 minutes and live commentary will be juiced-in to viewers without affecting any of the actual poker play.

The Global Poker League will also set a precedent by becoming the first globally recognized poker brand to charge admission to see poker played out in real time. The league plans to fund its prize pools through ticket sales, merchandising, and sponsorship opportunities.

The Global Poker League states that it will not compete with established tournament series such as the European Poker Tour (EPT) and World Series of Poker (WSOP). Instead, it plans to play a role in supporting those events by using its GPI Ranking to select its players.

Must-Watch Poker Programming

Due to its innovative approach, the Global Poker League will be must-watch poker programming during its first season. Not only is the company’s hefty investment riding on the league’s eventual success, but poker itself could benefit greatly if the GPL catches fire and establishes itself as the premier poker league.

Although no official start date has been set, the Global Poker League is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2016. Seasoned poker veterans and recreational fans alike will be experiencing the game like they’ve never seen it before, and it will be interesting to see how the new concepts translate to live, on-site audiences and TV viewers.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Global Poker League? How much success do you think it will enjoy during its first two seasons? Let us know by voting in the poll below!

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David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.