For the last few years, the Global Poker League has been undergoing a development process that should eventually see it become a giant in sporting entertainment. This particular giant hopes to grab poker by the collar, sling the game over its shoulder and carry it out blinking into the global light. The “sportification” of poker has always been the ambition, and while we’re still talking about a baby giant of sorts, that baby has stood upright and begun to take its first steps in the last few months. The team draft which aired a few weeks ago was an exciting moment where dreams and ideas finally took physical form in front of a watching audience, and with the GPL schedule announced yesterday – it’s finally time for the dream to take wing.
Kickoff fast approaching
With the announcement today, we now know that the first season will officially get underway on April 5th and that Wembley Arena will host the finals once the season ends on November 23rd. We also know that there will be 14 regular weeks of competition, along with a 5 week summer series packed with action. There will be playoffs involved at the end of the season too, although further details of that will be revealed at a later time.
League of Legends World Championships at Wembley
Full schedule: http://www.globalpokerleague.com/schedule/
Cameras soon to roll
One of the most exciting aspects of the GPL is the scale of what is being undertaken, and the number of people involved. The regular season will create an estimated 400 hours of footage, with multiple language translations going on – ensuring that people across the world can keep track of the action. The GPL even have a studio construction in progress in Las Vegas so that they can start generating content all year round. It isn’t just that there will be many people and countless hours of work going into the project, but also that it will reach out to form bonds with digital platforms such as Twitch.tv, DouyuTV, PokerCentral, and many others. These bonds with broadcasting allies will surely serve to strengthen the GPL, to carry it to each corner of the earth, and to ultimately help ensure its longevity. In just under a week, countless fans around the world will tune in to watch the duels raging between a field of teams that encompass 72 top pros with combined lifetime winnings of over $350 million.
Game on. Actually, scrap that……Sport on.