With Draft Day of the first-ever Global Poker League (GPL) season just around the corner, Mediarex Entertainment has just released the official list of draftable players. The list consists of 203 players that the 12 franchise managers will be able to select from to get on their teams, and it’s headed by Byron Kaverman, the 2015 GPI Player of the Year.
“The turnout for players signing up for the GPL Draft was much more than we expected, and I see that as a sign of hope,” Mediarex CEO Alex Dreyfus told PokerNews. “When players unite, they can make a real impact on the growth of poker. We’re happy to try and provide a foundation to make that happen.”
33 Countries, More Than $500 Million in Combined Winnings Represented
Each GPL franchise will include five players, three of which will be drafted during GPL Draft Day from those who opted in to be draft eligible from the top 1,000 GPI-ranked players. The other two players left will be selected as “wild cards.”
In order to be draft eligible, players in the top 1,000 of the GPI needed to confirm their availability to join the league. While a handful of big names decided the GPL and The Cube were not in their immediate future, as you can see by the gaps in the list, an impressive number of pros and legends of the game checked the “yes” box to give themselves the chance to be part of a project that aims to bring poker to a new level.
With combined live tournament winnings for an astonishing $562,834,964, the 203 players in the list hail from a total of 33 countries. While the delegation from the United States accounts for nearly half of the total field, the list of draft-eligible players includes names from every corner of the world, including Brazil, China, Canada, Russia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Who Are the 203 Players?
While the list does not include the names of poker superstars Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth— as they will be busy hosting the GPL’s Draft Day alongside Kara Scott — we can see that an impressive number of top players decided to opt in.
One that is on the list and is likely to end up in one of the 12 teams is Antonio Esfandiari. Sitting second on US all-time money list with live tournament earnings for more than $26 million, Esfandiari is not only a terrific player, but is also one that sure knows how to attract attention and engage the public — two things the league and league franchises will without a doubt need in the inaugural season.
While Esfandiari is the list’s biggest winner in live tournament poker, Chris Moorman leads the troop in terms of online cashes, as according to PocketFives he’s been able to put together online winnings for nearly $13 million. Also on the list are other great names of the game as Italy’sMustapha Kanit, winner of the first-ever Global Poker Masters with team Italy, Germany’s Dominik Nitsche, Belgium’s Davidi Kitai, and 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson.
About the author: Alex Dreyfus is the CEO and owner of the privately held Mediarex Sports & Entertainment which, in 2012, acquired the GlobalPokerIndex (GPI) and in 2013 TheHendonMob.com. With these acquisitions, the company became a leading digital hub for the poker industry with more than 4 million poker players per year making use of our services. Mediarex owns and operate the 12 year old largest live poker database with more than 270,000 events covered and 450,000 player profiles.