Posts Tagged ‘Alex Dreyfus’

HoldemX could be Poker’s Next Big Thing

Friday, February 5th, 2016

holdemxIt doesn’t look like that long-awaited second poker boom is coming any time soon. So in the meantime, smart entrepreneurs are looking for innovative ways to repackage poker. Enter HoldemX, which is played like Texas Hold’em, except with a few exciting twists.

As you can see in the video below, these twists revolve around Xcards, which serve as “weapons” against your opponent. Specifically, you can use Xcards like “Pot Block” and “Card Switch” to swing the odds in your favor. At the beginning of a round, you select three Xcards that your opponent is banned from using in the game. Once this is done, you and your opponent will pick from six Xcards that you can carry into battle.

Max Rabinovitch, who heads the product development team at Mediarex Entertainment, offered an inside look at how they came to invent this intriguing game. Global Poker League founder Alex Dreyfus tasked Mediarex with creating such a new style of poker, which proved difficult in the beginning.

Namely, they were stuck on the idea that it needed to be a totally extreme version of poker, with “dragons and explosions.” Ultimately Rabinovitch and his team opted not to get this crazy, but they did create a pretty interesting game. Rabinovitch’s entire post is definitely worth a look, and you can see one excerpt of it below:

The more I thought about what players “wanted” the more I remembered dozens upon dozens of bad beat stories that had eerie similarities: “any diamond, jack or ten – and I’m chipleader…”, “got it all in good then the flop from hell hits while we’re three handed…”, “so I value bet and this a#$%*&@ has literally the only hand in his range that beats me.” – if you listen to enough poker players you’ll actually hear them utter phrases like “if only that 9 was a 10…” once in awhile. So the follow-up question seemed simple – what if you could make that happen? what if you could re-deal a flop, or turn that 9 into a 10?

ESports: Poker Savior or Competition?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

poker-esportsThe past couple years have seen eSports rise to an unprecedented level, as gamers look to use their video gaming skills to compete and make money. Meanwhile, global online poker traffic continues decreasing at a noticeable rate amid complaints of excessive HUD use and heavy regulation across the world. So does this mean that eSports will soon scoop up all the recs who would have, in the past, turned to poker?

Perhaps not…in fact, eSports could actually offer some sort of popularity boost for online poker as we head into the future. We need only look at the rapid rise of Hearthstone – a collectible card game in the same vein as Magic: The Gathering – for what eSports can do for a game.

So it’s little surprise that poker entrepreneurs like Global Poker Index founder Alex Dreyfus and Amaya CEO David Baazov are looking for ways to reinvent the ole’ Texas Hold’em concept. In Baazov’s case, he wants “a new poker variant targeting the large and growing skilled videogaming community.”

david-baazov-pokerstarsHow is this going to happen? At this point nobody really knows, but it’s clear that the business side of poker is looking for ways to put a new spin on an old game. “Spin” is the appropriate word here because Amaya has already proven that their Spin & Go’s (combo of poker/lottery) have worked at PokerStars. So we can only imagine what the Stars team is cooking up now to blend poker and eSports.

Going back to the original point over whether eSports are a threat to poker, well, the latter still has one big advantage – money. Daniel Negreanu recently said that he loves playing Hearthstone, but it would be a financially poor decision to quit poker for the Hearthstone circuit. If anything, it seems like eSports will be a great service in revitalizing online poker and bringing more amateurs to the felt.

Does the Global Poker League stand a Chance?

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Taking a cue from sports leagues like the NBA and NFL, Global Poker Index founder Alex Dreyfus recently announced the formation of the “Global Poker League,” or GPL for short.

While few details are known on the GPL, this poker league follows up on Dreyfus’ mission to sportify the game and make it more entertaining for casual audiences. Here’s more from the man himself on what to expect:

GPL will be Poker’s professional league. The initial vision is to have a series of live events akin to a sports season co-hosted by international poker events, with between six to eight different franchises (poker teams) competing against one another with initial seasons lasting a short three to four months. Unlike the Global Poker Masters – where teams are comprised of each Nation’s top 5 available players – GPL teams will consist of “draftable” players from GPI’s Rankings and wildcard entries.

I’ve already presented this concept, and terms for participation, to a number of prospective future team owners. It’s been an extremely positive experience – reception has been warm across the board and we’ve already had a number of commitments from intrigued future ‘franchise’ owners. Commitments from leading figures from both in front of and behind the felt are rolling in too.

So does Dreyfus’ proposed league stand a chance of success? Well looking back through history, there’s a little thing called the Epic Poker League, which flopped miserably. The EPL was designed to be a professional poker league of sorts, where qualified players competed in tournaments – all marching towards a $1 million freeroll.

The EPL was a massive failure, highlighted by the fact that the $1 million freeroll never took place. In the aftermath, Annie Duke’s reputation was tarnished even more than through her long-term promotional ties to UB. So is Dreyfus destined to be the next Duke?

Probably not since he can learn from the huge mistakes of the EPL. Plus he seems like a very capable business guy. But this isn’t necessarily to say that a professional poker league will take off either. Only time will tell if Dreyfus can make his vision a success.

Read more about the GPL at Dreyfus’ blog.
Read more about the Sports Betting at GTBets and their blog.

Poker Player Newspaper ends Print Magazine just as GPI launches One

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

With a wealth of poker news and information now available on the internet, many printed poker magazines are having a rough go of it these days. For Poker Player Newspaper, the pressure became too much as they ended their print edition after 30-plus years in the business.

Owner Stan Sludikoff said that the costs of printing and distributing a magazine “have escalated past a point of feasibility in our current business model.” He added, “Accordingly, effective immediately, we will be publishing Poker Player Newspaper exclusively on the Internet at” Sludikoff, who’s 78, also mentioned that he’s open to selling the business with the following statement:

At this point in my life, given my desire to pass the mantle as well as to work through the economic pressures as expeditiously as possible, I am looking for a working partner/investor or alternatively for a full buyout of my family-based Poker Player business which has operated since 1982.

Just as Poker Player Newspaper is getting out of the print magazine business, the Global Poker Index will be launching a free printed mag. As an official partner of the World Series of Poker, the GPI will have a booth at the Rio this summer and distribute their magazine. In addition to the Rio, the free publication will also be handed out at other Las Vegas casinos like the Aria, Bellagio, GoldenNugget, Venetian and Wynn.

The company’s CEO, Alex Dreyfus, is extremely excited to venture outside the bounds of their internet presence. “This is our first full-scale foray outside of the digital,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier to take this step and keep our growing momentum going in time for the 2014 WSOP.”

Some of the content that’ll be in GPI’s June edition includes a feature on Vanessa Selbst and her WSOP plans, Top 1,500 GPI US Rankings, and a guide of Las Vegas for WSOP out-of-towners. If you’d like to read the first edition of GPI’s magazine online, you can do so here.