Fews days ago, Alex Dreyfus announced the full list of the managers that will run the 12 teams to take part in the first-ever Global Poker League (GPL). Celina Lin will be taking control of the Hong Kong Stars.
The GPI project has become one of the most interesting developments in poker within the last few years, and the GPL branch of this project has been gathering momentum, and interest in recent months. At the core of this idea, is the blueprint used by major sporting events across the USA. There will be 12 teams, each of which will be a franchise that drafts in their players at the start of the season. The teams will then be split into two conferences, with each team being based around a city, in either the USA, or Eurasia. Each team will end up with five players, with three of those being brought in during draft day on February 25th which will be streamed live on Twitch.tv
The league itself will feature different varieties of online and live games, all taking place over at least 14 weeks, with points awarded for the most successful players.
Alexandre Dreyfus, head of the GPI project, has spoken of his excitement about the GPL, and how it will carry poker to a new audience. Managers will complete 2 year contracts with their teams. Only 2 players can be replaced in a team, per season. This helps keep a strong team identity, and builds fan support.
The Hong Kong Stars will be the only team based in Asia
Competition should be fierce, with many top pros having already put their name forward for the draft. With the team names and managers now known, here's how they line up:
The Berlin Bears
Philipp Gruissem will take charge of this team, with his strong background in the upper reaches of the GPI. He has been as high as 2nd in the GPI rankings, and has the second highest total live cashes of any player in Germany, with almost $10 million.
Hong Kong Stars
One of the most recognisable poker players born in China, Celina Lin, will be taking control of this team, and with her live winnings of over $500,000 she's certainly well qualified for the role.
Las Vegas Moneymakers This team will be managed by the 2003 WSOP Main Event winner, and man who changed the course of poker history, Chris Moneymaker.
Liv Boeree will be taking the reins of this team. She has a wealth of experience in live tournaments, including an EPT title and almost $3 million in winnings to her name.
Los Angeles Sunset
This team will be headed by Maria Ho, who is a very recognisable name in live tournament poker, and a highly respected player.
Marc-Andre Ladouceur will be the manager of this Canadian team, and will bring with him a decade of experience in the game, including success at the highest level. He has more than $1.7 million on the live circuit.
Having combined live and online cashes of almost $3 million, team manager Anatoly Filatov is the perfect choice to lead this Russian based team into the new GPL.
New York Rounders
Bryn Kenney is a highly rated poker pro who has always been comfortable playing at the highest stakes. He will be leading the New York Rounders.
With live tournament cashes approaching the $6 million mark, there are few who can match the reputation of Fabrice Soulier in the French poker world. He will be taking control of Paris Aviators.
4 time bracelet winner Max Pescatori has been a part of the poker world for a long time, and is the natural choice to take the Italian based team forward.
San Francisco Rush
As a high stakes player with a reputation for fearless bluffs and top class poker, Faraz Jaka will be looking to carry San Fransisco Rush into a successful inaugural season in the GPL.
Sao Paulo Metropolitans
Star of Brazilian poker, Andre Akkari will be leading the team from his home nation, and with his dedication to helping poker grow in Brazil, there was no better choice for the role of manager.