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Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports & Entertainment (the parent company of the Global Poker Index), has announced that he has secured $4.9 million in Series A funding in his continued bid to Sportify poker. The rock continues to be shaped into a diamond, and the French entrepreneur continues to do the cleaving.

In a press release issued by Dreyfus he states that the money has come from a 1st tier private equity fund in Beijing, and angel investors from telecom, sports marketing and financial sectors in Asia and Europe. Dreyfus has recently returned from an exhausting trip to China with a renewed sense of optimism over the future of the game.

It seems Dreyfus excitement emanates from the growth of the Asian eSports industry. Speaking to Dreyfus said: “If they {ESports} can create the engagement they have by showing video games then there is no reason why we couldn’t do that in poker. There are 100 million poker fans in the world.”

Dreyfus plans to use the money to solidify what he sees as a fragmented industry, and it seems the key lies in the growth of the Global Poker League (GPL). Planned for a January 2016 rollout, the GPL plans to build on the success already created through the Global Poker Masters (GPM), as the top players in the world will compete for prize money that comes from the GPI and their investors.

Dreyfus being tight lipped about the nitty-gritty of the GPL, but he did state that players who sign up to participate in the event will take part in a draft, similar to the ones that the American facing sports industry uses. Dreyfus also said that the style of the league would be similar to the American sports world with a regular season followed by playoffs and finals.

Quote from Alex Dreyfus, CEO of GPI

The money will also be used to improve the GPI’s in-house production facilities that we saw in use during the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP) recently.

Amongst the investors is Stanley Choi. The Hong Kong based businessman defeated 73 entrants to win the $6.4m first prize in the HK$258,000 High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller in Macau back in 2012. John Juanda (5th), Sam Trickett (7th), Phil Ivey (8th) and Philipp Gruissem (10th) also featured in that event.

Now that’s a team worthy of drafting into the GPL.

Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.