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When the Global Poker League held its first Draft Day in late February, each franchise manager chose four players for his or her team. They then had the month of March to consider all options for the two wild card players to add to each team.

Within the last week or so, every team but Maria Ho’s LA Sunset revealed their wild cards via video submissions to the GPL. She told us last week that she had many paths to take, and it remains unclear which she chose. Even as Season 1 got underway this Tuesday, Ho was silent about her wild card picks, which only leads someone like me to speculate, obviously. Therefore, my best guess is that Ho has chosen someone big, possibly a celebrity of some sort, who will push the GPL to a new level of notoriety.

Read More

 Looking at the GPL Draft, Part 1: Analyzing Results

 GPL Should Use Wild Cards to Increase League Marketability

 Potential Wild Card Picks for Each GPL Team

Complete Team Lineups (Almost)

The majority of managers chose to play on the teams, which explains why they are listed as managers and wild cards. Only the Bears and Metropolitans have six unique players. Here is the list of each team, manager, and the players.

Rome Emperors: Manager Max Pescatori

  1. Mustapha Kanit
  2. Dario Sammartino
  3. Timothy Adams
  4. Walter Treccarichi
  5. Todd Brunson
  6. Max Pescatori

Montreal Nationals: Manager Marc-Andre Ladouceur

  1. Mike McDonald
  2. Martin Jacobson
  3. Pascal Lafrancois
  4. Xuan Liu
  5. Jason Lavalee
  6. Marc-Andre Ladouceur

New York Rounders: Manager Bryn Kenney

  1. Jason Mercier
  2. Tom Marchese
  3. Kevin MacPhee
  4. Jason Wheeler
  5. Tyler Kenney
  6. Bryn Kenney

San Francisco Rush: Manager Faraz Jaka

  1. Phil Galfond
  2. Anthony Gregg
  3. Kitty Kuo
  4. Anton Wigg
  5. Jonathan Jaffe
  6. Faraz Jaka

Las Vegas Moneymakers: Manager Chris Moneymaker

  1. Anthony Zinno
  2. Jonathan Duhamel
  3. Jake Cody
  4. Jonathan Little
  5. Scott Ball
  6. Chris Moneymaker

Sao Paulo Metropolitans: Manager Andre Akkari

  1. Darren Elias
  2. Byron Kaverman
  3. Thiago Nishijima
  4. Joao Pires Simao
  5. Joao Bauer
  6. Felipe Mojave Ramos

London Royals: Manager Liv Boeree

  1. Igor Kurganov
  2. Vanessa Selbst
  3. Chris Moorman
  4. Justin Bonomo
  5. Sam Trickett
  6. Liv Boeree

Moscow Wolverines: Manager Anatoly Filatov

  1. Dzmitry Urbanovich
  2. Vladimir Troyanovskiy
  3. Andrey Pateychuk
  4. Sergey Lebedev
  5. Igor Yaroshevsky
  6. Anatoly Filatov

Berlin Bears: Manager Philipp Gruissem

  1. Brian Rast
  2. Sorel Mizzi
  3. Dominik Nitsche
  4. Jeff Gross
  5. Bill Perkins
  6. Daniel Cates

Paris Aviators: Manager Fabrice Soulier

  1. Bertrand Grospellier
  2. Davidi Kitai
  3. George Danzer
  4. Mike Leah
  5. Alex Luneau
  6. Fabrice Soulier

Hong Kong Stars: Manager Celina Lin

  1. WeiYi Zhang
  2. Raiden Kan
  3. Dong Guo
  4. Bryan Huang
  5. Randy Lew
  6. Celina Lin

Los Angeles Sunset: Manager Maria Ho

  1. Fedor Holz
  2. Olivier Busquet
  3. Eugene Katchalov
  4. Chance Kornuth
  5. Unknown
  6. Unknown

Strategy Variables

Considering that the vast majority of team managers chose themselves as wild cards, one thing is clear. Those managers feel that they have as much to contribute to the teams as players as they do as managers. In addition, they’re anxious to participate in as many ways as possible.

However, it may not be the smartest move for all of them. Some may be good at multi-tasking, but the responsibilities that come with wrangling poker players, making decisions about play and timing, using objective judgement, and maintaining a cohesive team are incredibly important in this team-based league. Can they be objective when deciding to play in a game instead of putting in another player who is clearly more able to handle that particular situation? That remains to be seen, but there may be some conflicts.

Andre Akkari has a clear strategy. Choose top names from the world and from Brazil to represent the Metropolitans, and use any and all contacts to promote the team. Wild card pick Felipe Ramos knows football legend Neymar Jr and posted this video to support the Mets:

Celina Lin’s strategy was made clear in her interview with Poker Update. Put together a team of players she knows to be strong in Asia but unknown in many other parts of the world, and shock everyone. Her wild card choice of Randy Lew, better known to many online as Nanonoko, was smart in that he brings more notoriety and a strong online following to the team.

On the other hand, Max Pescatori started with a very strong lineup of mostly Italian players, but he went with Todd Brunson – a very close friend – for his wild card pick. Without little known online poker experience to put with his somewhat sparse live results, Brunson may have name value but remains a bit of a mystery as to the strategy aspect.

As for Maria Ho and her mystery picks, she may have a surprise up her sleeve that is big enough to wait for a fashionably late reveal. With everyone in suspense as to who she chose, due to her information being released so long after the others and after the GPL season already began, her strategy – though unknown at this point – may be the smartest of them all

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.

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