The Global Poker League, its commentators, and its players and fans began to find their groove during Week 3 of the first season. Online tournaments proceeded with 6-max SNGs on Tuesday and heads-up matches on Wednesday and Thursday.
That’s not to say the initial problems were worked out. Some of the players’ webcams were not working as they should have, and glitches in the live stream later in the week prevented key hands of the matches from being seen. However, the technical team was working hard to get those glitches worked out.
This was a week when some of the team managers played in some of the games, and the battle between Randy Lew and Daniel Cates was one that had fans – even commentators – laughing, cringing, and watching every moment.
Day 7 (April 19): Aviators Stay on Top, Rounders and Nats Change Places
Lineup: Two six-max Eurasia tournaments, two six-max Americas tournaments.
Three team managers got into action, with Liv Boeree representing her Royals, Max Pescatori his Emperors, and Fabrice Soulier his Aviators. The latter didn’t fare too well, though, taking sixth place in the first game and fifth in the second. Pescatori made it to second place in his first but fourth in the next. And Boeree took fourth in the first game but won the second. Daniel Cates of the Bears had the toughest time – again! – as he finished in fifth and sixth places, respectively, for a total of one point. Andrey Pateychuck represented the Wolverines well with a win and a third place. And the Stars’ Raiden Kan finished third before Weiyi Zhang got into the second game and took second.
The Paris Aviators retained the top spot, but the Rome Emperors climbed out of last place where the Bears now reside.
There seemed to be a rivalry between Felipe Mojave Ramos of the Metropolitans and Tyler Kenney of the Rounders, as they were the last two players standing in both games. Each took a win, but both were tough heads-up battles. The two teams that changed players from one game to the next had the exact same outcomes. Eugene Katchalov took fifth for the Sunset in the first game, and Maria Ho took fifth for her team in the second. And Jonathan Duhamel and Jake Cody each took fourth place finishers for the Moneymakers. In the end, the Rounders and Mets each took equal points but set the stage for possible rematches.
The New York Rounders climbed into the top spot in the Americas Conference, pushing the Montreal Nationals into second. The Sao Paulo Mets did climb out of last place, changing places with the San Francisco Rush.
Day 8 (April 20): Danzer Sweeps for Aviators
Lineup: Three heads-up matches, three games per match for Eurasian teams.
Match 1 was a much-anticipated one that pitted the entertaining Randy “Nanonoko” Lew of the Hong Kong Stars against the mood-swinging Daniel “Jungleman” Cates of the Berlin Bears. A misclick led to Lew taking the first game in rather quick fashion, and a misclick by Lew in the second game allowed Cates to capture a win. Lew took the third game, though, to garner six of the nine points.
The second match introduced George Danzer for the Paris Aviators, and Igor Kurganov made his debut for the London Royals. Danzer proceeded to win the first game in just one hand with a turned straight to put down Kurganov’s aces. Danzer kept control during the second game as well, and despite Kurganov’s repeated double-ups, Kurganov could never get the upper hand. Danzer swept the match for all nine points.
Match 3 put in Timothy Adams for the Rome Emperors and Sergey Lebedev for the Moscow Wolverines, and all three games were tough. A lot of ups and downs ended with Adams taking the first game but Lebedev coming from behind to take the second. Adams started strong in the third game, but when his bluff ran into Lebedev’s legitimate hand. Lebedev took that mistake and ran to victory for six points.
Day 9 (April 21): No Sweeps but Big Action
Lineup: Three heads-up matches, three games per match for Americas teams.
The first match of the day brought in Jonathan Little for the Las Vegas Moneymakers against Joao Bauer of the Sao Paulo Metropolitans. The games were quick, as Little took the first game without much of a fight, and he captured a second victory thereafter. Bauer, however, made a comeback in the third game and took his best plays in for a win to prevent a sweep.
San Francisco Rush manager Faraz Jaka came out swinging in the first game against Eugene Katchalov of the LA Sunset and raced on to a quick three points. Jaka seemed to be on the same path in the second game, but Katchalov doubled and took over, capturing a win to tie the games. Katchalov then started strong in the tie-breaker, but his plan backfired, and Jaka took pocket nines to victory to garner six total points for his team.
Bryn Kenney made his debut for his own New York Rounders team against the tough Pascal Lefrancois of the Montreal Nationals. The two teams were battling for first place in the Americas Conference, and both wanted those points. Kenney came out swinging in the first game, but his aggression got the best of him. Lefrancois took advantage of it and claimed the first three points. Kenney learned his lesson and took a more balanced approach in getting to a win in the second game. Lefrancois picked off a big bluff in the third game, though, and despite several double-ups from Kenney, Lefrancois took the win.
Week 3 Final Standings
- Paris Aviators: 40 points
- Hong Kong Stars: 37 points
- Moscow Wolverines: 35 points
- London Royals: 28 points
- Rome Emperors: 27 points
- Berlin Bears: 22 points
- New York Rounders: 40 points
- Montreal Nationals: 38 points
- Las Vegas Moneymakers: 31 points
- LA Sunset: 28 points
- Sau Paolo Metropolitans: 28 points
- San Francisco Rush: 24 points