The first week of the inaugural Global Poker League is in the books and while many are hoping that the GPL reaches its ultimate goal of sportifying poker, the jury is still out and will likely remain so at least until some of the live matches take place.
Poker media sites were rife with analysis on what transpired in the first week, pointing out both the good and the bad. Granted, any new undertaking of such magnitude will encounter glitches and problems, of which Mediarex captain Alex Dreyfus and his team will certainly endeavor to make the necessary changes.
Whether poker fans enjoyed the action or not thus far is certainly a matter of opinion. It’s only fair to give the project a bit more time to blossom and grow.
Personally, I have only two complaints at this time. I would like to see commentators Sam Grafton and Griffin Benger work together a bit better. I didn’t watch all the games, but when I did the two pro analysts had an annoying tendency to talk over each other. The poker action is sometimes quick and points need to be made before the next hand is dealt, yes, but let your partner finish making his comment before chiming in – please.
What’s in a Name?
My second beef should have been raised earlier, perhaps in January when team names were announced. I don’t know what the thought process was with regard to naming the teams, but eight or nine of them should have been mucked.
Berlin Bears? Moscow Wolverines? Montreal Nationals? Sao Paulo Mets? Who was consulted in creating these names? A classroom of fourth graders could have likely done better.
There are so many terms and words that are unique to poker I find it amazing that almost none of them are being used. Shouldn’t the team names reflect poker in some fashion?
The Las Vegas Moneymakers and New York Rounders are both solid and cool, exemplifying what the league is about. I guess the Paris Aviators refers to a former card room in that city and may have great appeal to locals there.
Run of the Mill
The rest of the GPL team names? Bleh.
How about the Berlin Bluffers, Sao Paulo Potstealers, London Royal Flush? Maybe the San Francisco Short Stackers or Rome Raisers (or Razors).
Twelve teams made up of poker players and none of them are called the Sharks, Gutshots, Aces, Betsizers, River Rats, Chipgrabbers or Grinders? Even the Montreal Muckers would be a better play than the Nationals, and the Berlin Bullets more favorable than the Bears.
I know that the Wolverines, Bears, Mets, Nationals and Royals are all being used in other sports and those teams have quite a following. And that the GPL is hoping to attract a fan base similar to or on a par with those sports teams.
But the opportunity was there to employ cool team names that were germane to poker. Instead, many of the GPL team names are bland knock-offs, which diminishes the excitement surrounding the project to some extent.