Posts Tagged ‘Epic Poker League’

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.

WSOP’s Jeffrey Pollack still kicking, wants NHL in Vegas

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Thought Jeffrey Pollack would fade away into the woodwork after the Epic Poker League disaster? Not a chance as the former EPL Executive Chairman and ex-WSOP Commissioner is on to a new venture: working with billionaire William Foley.

And as the New York Post reports, Foley’s biggest pursuit right now is trying to bring an NHL franchise to Las Vegas. He hopes to accomplish this goal by the 2017-18 NHL season. Here’s more on what the Post has to say about the deal:

One scenario is for Foley to buy the money-losing Arizona Coyotes and move them to Las Vegas, a source said.

Earlier this month, Philadelphia hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway reached a deal to acquire a controlling stake in the Coyotes franchise. Barroway sees flipping the team as a good investment, the source added.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s half brother, Jeffrey Pollack, has been advising Barroway, sources said. Pollack also lives in Las Vegas.
While an NHL spokesman declined to discuss what, if any talks the league has held with Foley, he said it was “categorically wrong” that Foley is planning to buy the Coyotes and move them to Sin City.

As the report suggests, there’s some definite uncertainty regarding any plans to move the Phoenix Coyotes. Of course, with the lenghty amount of years that it takes to reach a deal of such magnitude, there’s not going to be any confirmation on if the Phoenix scenario is for real or not.

Another option is simply expansion, an idea that Bettman is open to. So with enough push from Foley and his crew, this is a deal that could definitely happen.

And Pollack will be critical to making it a reality since the adviser not only has a family connection with Bettman, but also knows the Las Vegas market fairly well. In any case, it’s interesting to see the path that Pollack’s career has taken. He’s much like his former colleague, Annie Duke, who became a business speaker after crashing out as the EPL Commissioner.

Daniel Negreanu talks Full Tilt Poker, Erick Lindgren

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Daniel Negreanu came out with yet another interesting interview as he discussed several subjects including Full Tilt Poker (again), Annie Duke, Erick Lindgren being broke, and a rumor that Layne Flack owes him money. First on the itinerary was how Negreanu thinks that it’s wrong how so many scumbags in the poker industry can keep screwing up, yet get high-profile jobs.

He cited Annie Duke as an example by saying that she represented UB Poker, and when they went down in scandal, she got a commissioner job with the Epic Poker League. This is sure to keep up the long-running feud that he’s had with Duke over the years.

Moving along, KidPoker also dropped the bombshell that he highly doubts former Full Tilt Poker players will be paid. Furthermore, he says that players need to forget about their money because Bernard Tapie is not going to complete the much-discussed FTP deal. Instead, he thinks that Tapie is just trying to make excuses for why the deal can’t be completed, such as Full Tilt pros owing the site money.

Another hot topic that was brought up was the subject of Erick Lindgren being broke. Negreanu stayed away from bashing Lindgren too hard, and chose to focus on how players who can’t pay back debts aren’t necessarily bad people – especially if they borrow with the intent to pay back the cash. During this discussion, the interviewer brought up a rumor about Layne Flack owing Daniel Negreanu money, which KidPoker chose to ignore.

One final point worth mentioning here is that Negreanu doesn’t think publicly outing those who owe money is productive. Instead, he believes that this makes it harder for the debtor to get the necessary money needed to pay others back. You can listen to the whole interview here.

Epic Poker League Bankrupt – Is this the End?

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

We at ThePokerPractice have always been skeptical of the Epic Poker League, and have often questioned whether a PGA-style tournament organization could be successful in poker. So far, our skepticism hasn’t wavered – especially amidst news that the Epic Poker League is bankrupt.

Their parent company, Federated Sports + Gaming, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday, which means they’re in serious debt and having trouble paying it back. Now this doesn’t mean they’re finished quite yet because Federated Sports + Gaming still retains rights to the EPL and their Global Poker Index ranking system. But they obviously haven’t experienced a lot of financial success so far.

Jeffrey Pollack, who is the Chairman  of FS + G, believes that the answer in getting the Epic Poker League back on track centers on finding a good partner. He also spoke about the bankruptcy by saying, “This reorganization filing is an important first step in that direction and our goal is to keep the Epic Poker League and all of our key initiatives – including the Global Poker Index, epicpoker.com, the Epic Poker game on Facebook, and the Heartland Poker Tour – moving forward with a continued spirit of innovation.”

Pollack added a word about the partner by saying, “We will most likely accomplish this by entering into an agreement with another firm that shares our passion and vision – a process we had been working toward prior to the filing.”

The Epic Poker League intrigued the poker world when they started operating last year, and they’ve successfully held three tournaments so far. However, their system is very different from other poker organizations since they only invite pros to the events, and front the prize pools for each tournament. Right now, the latter is proving to be a difficult hurdle for the EPL, which relies on lucrative TV contracts to keep going. It will be interesting to see if they can pull out of this mess, and we’ll keep you updated on any further news.

Epic Poker League could be in Trouble

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

If you listen to Commissioner Annie Duke, you’d think that the Epic Poker League was the greatest thing to happen to poker. But if you pay attention to recent reports by several poker news outlets, you might conclude an entirely different thought.

After all, it’s being reported that Pinnacle Entertainment is currently talking to EPL owners about buying the poker league. Popular speculation is that Jeffrey Pollack and the Palms Casino want to sell the EPL because they’re going through some major financial difficulties.

The reason why is because they have delayed their fourth event along with the championship $1 million freeroll tournament until the spring. Considering the fact that this isn’t exactly something you expect from a thriving poker organization, it’s no wonder why people are skeptical about the Epic Poker League finances.

As for their prospective buyer, Pinnacle Entertainment, they’re best known for operating several casinos throughout the United States. And they seem to be really motivated in acquiring the EPL since they’re trying to get the deal done by March.

Assuming they do indeed buy this poker tournament league, it will be interesting to see how the EPL transforms. Will all of the events suddenly revolve around the Pinnacle properties in states like Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio? Or will they continue to be held in the same scheduled locations as what we saw this year?

Perhaps more importantly is what will happen to the TV deals and current structure of the league. Right now, 200 poker pros are invited to the EPL season events, while other players can work their way into the mix by meeting the specified requirements. However, under new ownership, this could all change if Pinnacle Entertainment doesn’t think the current model will offer future profits. We’ll have to revisit this discussion when/if Pinnacle does buy the Epic Poker League.

 

Mike McDonald wins Lackluster Epic Poker League

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

The second ever Epic Poker League Main Event wasn’t exactly a resounding success since just 97 of the 200 invited poker pros joined the tournament. Seeing as how invited players are given a free $20,000 Main Event seat, and hotel/travel costs are covered, you have to wonder about the future of this organization.

In any case, the 97 players that did show up to the Epic Poker League certainly weren’t sorry because a $2.3 million prize pool was up for grabs, and the first place finisher was guaranteed $782k. Once everything was decided on the poker tables, Mike McDonald was crowned the champion.

McDonald, who became the youngest EPT winner in history after taking down the 2008 EPT Dortmund Main Event, outlasted David Steicke in heads-up play to scoop the big prize. And what’s nice about this win is that McDonald will have something extra to celebrate for his birthday tomorrow, when he turns 22. The Canadian now has $3,668,524 in live tournament winnings.

Of course, this is nowhere close to the $16.8 million that Erik Seidel has earned throughout his career, which ranks first all-time. And the reason why we’re bringing up Seidel is because the former New Yorker took fourth place in this tournament, and earned $184k for yet another solid finish this year. He took second place in the first Epic Poker League tournament too, and has earned $6,445,168 in 2011 alone!

It’s also worth mentioning that French poker star Fabrice Soulier took third place in this tournament, while the oft-hated Dutch Boyd finished in eighth place. Here is a look at the full standings from the second Epic Poker League Main Event:

1. Mike McDonald – $782,410
2. David Steicke – $506,260
3. Fabrice Soulier – $299,160
4. Erik Seidel – $184,100
5. Nam Le – $126,570
6. Isaac Baron – $92,050
7. Sean Getzwiller – $69,040
8. Dutch Boyd – $57,530