Here we are – the inaugural edition of the Global Poker League’s (GPL) regular season has wound to a close. After 20 weeks of games and 174 eventful matches spread across our live and online arenas and streamed live globally we’ve gotten our final 8 Playoffs’ qualifying teams from the League’s 12 team franchise pool. They’ll be headed to Vegas to play down to crown conference champions and ultimately GPLs Season 1 winner late this November.
It started with GPL’s successful Draft Day in Los Angeles back in February, where from a pool of 203 opted-in draftable pros (accounting for over $500 million in live lifetime earnings) 72 were ultimately picked up to represent the League’s 12 teams by their managers. This formed the core of the GPL – building up teams comprised of the best poker players in the world, and letting them loose on a platform that would engage their talents.
Our company posted up an incredible amount of work in order to build the framework for this league – one that takes our twin mantras – “We Sportify Poker “ and “Pokertainment” – to heart. We built 2 TV studios – one in Europe and the other in the US – launched an array of digital properties including dedicated websites, a mobile applications, social media hubs and more, and even devised “The Cube” – an innovation on live poker presentation that was to be our signature Arena. We did all of this in order to create a new type of narrative within the poker landscape – a legitimate team-based vision complete with sports-formatted rankings, team matches, standings, fight cards, playoffs and finals.
We had to adjust a lot of our ambitions in real time. Not all of our initiatives were successful and we realized that we have a long journey ahead us, but as far as Season 1 goes – we made it. Against all odds, we built and ran a League from scratch through a full cycle of competition. That’s a big achievement, and my team and I are very proud to have accomplished this much.
With more than 300 hours of digital content filmed, and the first sports narratives about the GPL coming to full fruition, we have never been so solid. What was an idea, is now a reality and running. Having these first steps under our belt makes our business development strategy and our other initiatives much easier to achieve heading into 2017. While the League is not yet finished fully for the season, we are already eyeing up next year and adjusting our plans.
Thanks to our recent strategic partnership with Pokerstars, we will be able to deliver a better fan experience and better fan engagement on a larger scale. We’ve learned so much during the last 6 months and we’re pumped to continue to bring innovation into poker.
We’ve been very lucky with the GPL Pros involved with this season and we know they are all excited to go to Vegas to play in The Cube and take their shot at winning the GPL Season 1 Finals. We hope to finish this season the same way it started, on a high note with hype and excitement to match.
2nd: LA Sunset
3rd: Sao Paulo Metropolitans
4th: San Francisco Rush
2nd: Hong Kong Stars
3rd: Berlin Bears
4th: London Royals