The Global Poker League got underway in February of 2016 with its Draft Day to introduce 12 team managers and discover their choices for drafted professional poker players. By April 5, everyone was prepared for the official launch of GPL action, which played out in 174 matches over the course of 20 weeks. On October 27, the final matches were played and scores settled to determine the eight teams that qualified for the Season 1 playoffs.
Accomplishments Thus Far
As the GPL played out through the spring and summer, the most important sponsor came aboard. PokerStars entered into a strategic partnership with the league in order to increase fan experience and engagement. By the third and final segment of general season action, PokerStars commercials appeared on the Twitch streams, the logo was prominently displayed on the commentator desk and on the online poker table, and PokerStars added GPL logos as avatar options for its players.
The Cube was built in Las Vegas before the Summer Series, and that new studio was established as the US base for the GPL. It is also where the upcoming playoffs will take place. The mobile app was launched late in the regular season, and team gear was made available for public purchase.
While the GPL admits to a long journey ahead and several failed initiatives during the course of the first season thus far, the lessons have been learned. CEO and founder Alex Dreyfus also plugs the many achievements of the league, however, and acknowledges pride in fulfilling the first season and a number of steps in his business strategy.
Try. Fail. Fix. Repeat.— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) November 11, 2016
Preparing for Playoffs
Of the 12 original teams, only eight garnered enough points throughout the regular season to qualify for playoff spots. Those teams are, in order of points:
1st place: Montreal Nationals
2nd place: LA Sunset
3rd place: Sao Paulo Metropolitans
4th place: San Francisco Rush
1st place: Moscow Wolverines
2nd place: Hong Kong Stars
3rd place: Berlin Bears
4th place: London Royals
Each team manager must choose three players from their teams of six to represent the team in Las Vegas for the playoffs, though there can be an alternate fourth player to take the place of a teammate at the start of a new round. Those players will compete in a modified rotation, as to allow all three official teammates to participate. The top-ranked team of each set will be able to see the opposing team’s lineup of players before finalizing their own.
The first team to accumulate four victories of the seven competitions wins the Conference Semi-Finals and heads to the Finals, where the best-of-seven rule applies again. The schedule for those rounds is as follows:
Tuesday, November 29
3pm ET: Nationals (#1) vs Rush (#4)
6pm ET: Sunset (#2) vs Mets (#3)
9pm ET: Playoffs
Wednesday, November 30
3pm ET: Wolverines (#1) vs Royals (#4)
6pm ET: Stars (#2) vs Bears (#3)
9pm ET: Playoffs
The winners of each playoff match will face off in the Finals on Thursday, December 1 at 3pm ET. That championship competition will be played in a best-of-nine format with the best Eurasia team up against the best of the Americas, with the first team winning five games emerging as the overall Season 1 winner.
All matches will be played in the Cube and streamed live on Twitch.