Draft Day for the inaugural Global Poker League’s 12 franchise teams is set for February 25. The action will take place alongside the American Poker Awards in Los Angeles, but the draft itself will be broadcast on Twitch, complete with Kara Scott, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth with their analyses.
Poker players eligible for the draft must be in the top 1,000 rankings of the Global Poker Index, though anyone – on or off that list – can be a wildcard draft over the course of the week following the draft. Those who want to be drafted are already signing up and promoting themselves on social media.
Teams and Managers
The 12 teams were announced in mid-January, along with their corresponding managers. They are listed as follows:
- Berlin Bears: Philipp Gruissem
- Hong Kong Dragons: Celina Lin
- Los Angeles Sunset: Maria Ho
- Las Vegas Moneymakers: Chris Moneymaker
- London Royals: Liv Boeree
- Montreal Nationals: Marc-Andre Ladouceur
- Moscow Wolverines: Anatoly Filatov
- New York Rounders: Bryn Kenney
- Paris Aviators: Fabrice Soulier
- Rome Emperors: Max Pescatori
- San Francisco Rush: Faraz Jaka
- Sao Paulo Metropolitans: Andre Akkari
Eligible Players for Draft
Players have been registering for the draft for weeks, and the pace has increased as the deadline is Friday, February 12 at noon CET.
Just applyed The form for be draftable for the Global Poker League Draft 2016. Good luck to the progect And l'ets do this💣👌✌️— Mustapha Kanit (@Mustacchione) February 6, 2016
Kind of a long shot to be picked, but just signed to be draft-eligible for the #GlobalPokerLeague!— Xuan Liu (@xxl23) February 6, 2016
The list of players who have registered thus far is a cornucopia of some of the most popular and top-ranked poker minds.
The work of the managers is ongoing, as they are able to choose from the registration list but have many considerations when forming their teams. Since there are no restrictions by country, the field is wide open. Manager Liv Boeree spoke to PokerNews about her draft plans: “I’m so, so excited to be a team manager of the London Royals, obviously the best team. A few people have approached me; I’m not going to name names. I’m so looking forward to the draft, but it’s going to be really tricky because I want to have a nice balance. Obviously, I want the best players, but I also want memorable players. I want characters.” She went on to note that the team will be seeking sponsorship, so the best mix of personality and skill will be ideal for obtaining those deals.
Montreal Nationals manager Marc-Andre Ladouceur also discussed his strategy: “I’ve been playing around with some names here and looking up the rankings, trying to get a grasp for who is not only signing up but who’s also excited to be part of Global Poker League — part of Montreal Nationals — and who will be happy to market themselves and market the team throughout the upcoming season.”
The full list of draft-ready players will be released within the next week, at which point the managers can truly look at all available options and begin making preliminary decisions.
Each manager will choose three players on February 25, and their two wildcard picks will be handled at a later date. The order of the manager drafts will be chosen at random by GPL, and there will be three rounds of the draft: top pick, second tier pick, and third tier choice.
Since the announcement of the franchise teams, information was revealed about compensation for GPL players. Every player on the team will be paid a salary of $100 per hour, and the minimum hours guaranteed for the first season is 35-50 hours. The salary is said to increase by 50 percent in Season 2.
Each player will receive 20 percent of the $100K winner’s purse in the Season 1 GPL Championship, though that amount could increase. Their expenses will be paid for all live GPL events. And at the end of the season, the person awarded “most valuable player” will be eligible for an award and bonus.
Players also participate in a revenue share, from which they receive income from merchandising and revenue from sponsorships and licensing agreements.
Of course, there are responsibilities as well. They must sign a contract upon registering for the GPL, which authorizes consent to use players’ names and images/likenesses and requires players to wear gear for and endorse the GPL and all associated sponsors and brands. Players must also agree to stay in the draft for two full seasons of the GPL and fulfill all media obligations.