Playing poker standing up, without a deck of cards, inside a transparent sound proof cube?
Reading about the latest creation from GPI mastermind Alex Dreyfus, you'd think that someone was talking about an alternate poker reality. These bold and creative shake ups of poker are becoming more commonplace since the Global Poker League (GPL) idea first came to light, and you could argue that with the poker economy losing momentum, drastic shifts in the way poker is presented on TV could be a real game changer. The script of single players risking money against each while sat around a table is being torn up, and the new script has echoes of successful sport based ventures around the world. Teams that pay wages to players, competitions inside sporting venues where the crowd can become immersed in a fast flowing battle of wits; the new world of poker could arrive with the GPL.
At the core of this idea is the concept of an arena where poker players can fight it out, with the crowd being able to see live feeds of everything going on within the sound proof cube. They will have all the hole card details, stats, audio output from inside the cube, and much more. Inside the cube itself, with players standing up and digital cards being produced rather than real ones, the experience will be very different for players. Time constraints will also be in effect, ensuring that the action moves quickly.
The GPL will consist of 12 teams, and two separate conferences. 6 teams will be provided by “The Americas” with another 6 coming from “Eurasia.” This effectively means teams from New York, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, and Toronto to name a few, will make up the Americas conference, with major cities such as London, Hong Kong, Paris, and Prague providing teams for the Eurasia conference. There will certainly be at least one Asian team involved. Each team will be made up of 5 players, 3 of which will be GPI top 1,000 players, drafted in through a bidding war between the teams. The other two will be selected as wild card entries. Teams will pay wages to players
Alex Dreyfus states that research has shown more than 100 million people across the globe are fans of poker, and so the fan base is there if his concept can captivate them. The creation of a Global Poker League with franchise teams hiring players, and an arena for those players to duel in, all moves poker towards something fans can digest as an entertaining sport. Ultimately the focal point for this vision is to put poker in the same category as the NFL,NBA, or NASCAR, with millions of fans tuning in every week to watch their heroes. With no money crossing the felt, the GPL is not gambling, and crucially, can bring poker to all corners of the globe.
In an age of EPT and WPT events where most final tables feature unknown players, and people take forever to act, the potential fan base for poker just isn't being reached. The GPL, guided by Alex Dreyfus are single handedly altering this, and perhaps changing televised poker forever.
Article by Craig B.