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The Global Poker Index has announced preliminary details regarding the second edition of the GPI World Cup, an international poker competition that will feature the top players from 12 countries.

The first running of the GPI took place in March and was known as the Global Poker Masters. Sporting a new name and a number of other changes at the suggestion of players and fans, the sophomore edition of the GPI World Cup will take place sometime in Q4 of 2016, with venues and dates to be revealed at a later time.

More Teams, But One Less Player on Each

The 2015 GPI World Cup played earlier this year consisted of five poker players on eight teams who had collectively won 211 live poker tournaments with cashes totaling over $182 million. Italy took the inaugural “Poker’s World Cup,” besting Russia 3-0 in the championship.

Four more countries will be represented next year, with the 12 nations divided into three groups of four to compete in the Group Stage round. However, the teams will each be one player smaller in the 2016 GPI World Cup, with four players to a team.

The dozen teams will each play the opponent nations in their respective groups, with the winners of each moving on to the Final Four round. The three groups will produce three winning teams for the Final Four, leaving one slot available for another nation to advance in a special Playoff Round. Specific details regarding the Playoff Round will be announced at a future date.

How Nations Qualify

The countries competing in the 2016 GPI World Cup must qualify to participate. Changes have been made to the Qualifying Process, including automatic qualifications for four nations, with one each coming from Asia/Pacific, Europe, North America and South America. The defending champion, Italy, is entered into the competition automatically.

That leaves room for seven other teams that will receive invitations based on GPI World Cup Rankings. Those rankings are calculated via a combination of the GPI scores of each country’s top seven players in the GPI World Poker Rankings with the best three scorers from each country’s 2015 GPI Player of the Year (PoY) race.

For nations hopeful of qualifying, monthly rankings will be released by the GPI so players and teams will know their current positions. The ranking cut-off date is July 20, 2016, chosen so that 2016 WSOP results will be included. The PoY score cut-off date is December 31, 2015.

Who’s In

As it stands now based on current rankings, Italy, USA, Germany, Argentina and Australia would be entered automatically. Canada, the UK, Russia, France, Ukraine, Spain, and Austria would be the seven nations to receive invitations. But that can certainly change by next summer.

The 2016 GPI World Cup Final Four will be played in The Cube, a 20’ x 20’ x 20’ portable arena consisting of 11 tons of soundproof glass. The Cube, as well as the GPI World Cup and Global Poker League, is the brainchild of GPI CEO Alex Dreyfus, who is on a mission to “sportify” poker, to bring the game out of the shadows and into the mainstream.

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.