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On February 25, the 12 team managers of the inaugural Global Poker League took part in the draft. Each manager chose four players throughout four rounds of drafts for their respective teams, each from the list of draft-registered players in the Global Poker Index top 1000 world rankings.


Managers now have the month of March to consider all of the options for their two wild card choices. The picks can be anyone from a top-ranked professional player to someone’s mother. There are very few limitations, other than the obvious age requirement.

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 Potential Wild Card Picks for Each GPL Team

Top Wild Card Choices

There are a few characteristics of a good wild card pick.

  • Must be excited about the Global Poker League.
  • Should have some reasonable online and live poker results.
  • Fun personalities will be a plus for sponsorship chances.

With those in mind, I have chosen some players I think would be fantastic for the GPL, sometimes even particular teams.

Niall Farrell

This Scottish professional poker player has nearly $2 million in live tournament earnings to date, and he’s no slouch in the online poker world either. He is also a friendly, funny, and outgoing person who would make a fun addition to any team. Personality plus value equals a solid pick, despite being overlooked in the initial draft. And I’m not the only one who thinks he should be chosen.

Jeff Madsen

He has been playing solidly since 2006. Mostly a live player, Madsen has more than $5.1 million in live earnings to date, and he is well-liked throughout the poker industry. He is a friendly and fun person who will be an asset to any team. He is looking to be picked up by the Las Vegas Moneymakers, but I believe he will be happy with any team.

Michael Phelps

The Olympic gold medal record setter is no stranger to poker. He has been playing for years and some under the tutelage of players like Jeff Gross and Antonio Esfandiari. He has little in the way of live tournament earnings, but his priority has been swimming. Put him in the spotlight on the poker table, however, and he could be the perfect mix of poker and celebrity.

Orel Hershiser

The baseball legend has a long history with poker, mostly on a casual level. He plays regularly in Las Vegas in cash games, and he has played tournaments like the World Series of Poker and the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in the past. He was also sponsored by PokerStars before the company’s exit from the US market, so he knows how to bring the right amount of celebrity and sport to the game of poker.

Justin Oliver

He wants it. He went through the trouble of making an outstanding video prior to the GPL draft in the hopes of being one of the registered players considered. He was not chosen on draft day, but his effort and enthusiasm for the Global Poker League should make him a solid wild card consideration.


Fatima Moreira de Melo

She is a consummate professional poker player, as well as a champion, Olympic medal-holding field hockey player. The positive and friendly player has been sponsored by PokerStars for several years, and she has more than $440K in live tournament earnings to date. She is also a serious online player and carries all of the qualities that a winning team will need.

Vicky Coren

Despite having parted ways with PokerStars, the longtime poker pro, author, and humorist is a perfect fit for the GPL. She earned nearly $2.5 million during her years at the tournament tables, and she did well in the online poker sphere as well. She would be an excellent choice and may be open to it since her break from poker may find her missing the game.

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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.