Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Global Poker League (GPL), has just announced its expansion into India, one of Asia’s most promising poker markets. The announcement was headlined with:
“GPL India is Coming – Get ready to compete against the best players in the country and the world in India’s Premiere Poker League. A spot in your city’s GPL India team may belong to you!”
Back in December 2016 the GPL completed its first season with teams spanning the globe from Americas to Eurasia in competition. Following that, the first GPL China kicked off in June with the league’s regional qualification games now well underway. With these two GPL formats to reflect on, the GPL India announcement stated:
“GPL India will take all the lessons learned in GPL’s 1st season, as well as GPL China’s current successful rollout, to create the most legitimate – and perhaps more importantly most appealing – poker competition witnessed in India until now. This is a spectacle built to benefit the country’s poker enthusiasts and draw in fans as well.”
GPL India will consist of six city based teams, namely the Delhi Diehards, Mumbai Jetsetters, Bengaluru Hackers, Chennai Sharks, Kolkata Creators, and Ahmedabad Alphas. While top ranked GPI national players will have a place in the team, most importantly, the nation’s millions-strong contingent of amateur players and poker lovers will have the opportunity to win their way into a roster spot on their local GPL India teams as well.
Following the motto of ‘sportifying’ poker worldwide, winner of the league’s 1st season will be invited to compete against the toughest GPL teams from around the world in the GPL association’s over-arching World Championships.
Focusing on two most promising poker markets while the 2nd season still on standby
Immediately after the completion of GPL’s first season with the Montreal Nationals winning the first GPL championship title, it was clear that the GPL was still in its infancy stages. Alike many ambitious projects, it faced many challenges, meeting only limited success among fans. With plenty of room to improve on, the second season has yet to be announced.
While that is on standby, the ongoing GPL China and the newest expansion GPL India, are the current focus. At the launch of GPL China in June, Alexander Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex, expressed “I believe that today’s China wants to show the world its culture, talent and philosophy. I think the GPL and poker culture can drive this, and the GPL can be seen as a platform for China to export itself to the world.
Due to GPL’s “no buyin” rule, this type of poker competition falls perfectly in line with China’s strict regulations. “Mediarex aims to promote the game of poker as a competitive mind game and to ‘sportify it’. There is an excellent opportunity for poker to become an actual sport now. We hope this poker league can show more potential than anyone expected”.
To-date, 8 out of 12 teams have already been formed and are ready to compete:
- Beijing Great Dragons
- Tianjin Guardians
- Shanghai Golden Tigers
- Hangzhou Legends
- Taiwan Black Bears
- Xi’an Warriors
- Chengdu Pandas
- Kunming Phoenix
The remaining four teams will come from the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macau. The GPL China is expected to run a course of six months with teams competing live. According to last month’s GPL China news, “each team in GPL China will have its ‘home turf’ and travel to play games around the country.”
Read More : Global Poker League China makes its debut