Posts Tagged ‘Global Poker League’

China Bets Big on Dreyfus, Global Poker League

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

china-poker-boomWith much of the world’s online poker markets wrapped up in government red tape and regulation, China is seen as one of the few spots where the game could boom again. And Chinese investors have poured money into Alex Dreyfus’ Global Poker League to help make this boom happen.

The fact that Dreyfus secured Chinese investments isn’t breaking news because this has been known for a while. But Business Insider recently detailed the extend to which Chinese investors are banking on the GPL.

Dreyfus’s parent company, Mediarex Sports and Entertainment, has raised $4.9 billion from investors like Hong Kong’s Head and Shoulders Capital and Beijing’s Ceyuan Capital.

The hope is that the GPL can “sportify” poker and make it more mainstream.

“It’s a mind sport, a skill game,” said Dreyfus. “If you play one game only, there is a big luck element, but if you play regularly then it’s the skill that is predominant.

“Since four years ago when we bought the Global Poker Index [the world ranking of poker players] the same players are always at the top. Tournament poker is a competitive game and like esports, the poker we envision is being structured as a sport.”

global-poker-leagueIf there’s a place to promote this mind sport, it’s definitely China, which is a largely untapped market with well over 1.35 billion people.

And thanks to smartphones, Chinese poker players have have more access to poker than ever before.

“Texas hold’em is not part of the cultural roots of China, but this has changed in the last few years thanks to the introduction of free poker applications on mobile phones,” said Dreyfus.

“Therefore, you have new generations of white-collar, educated and influential individuals that love the game and play regularly.”

People have been waiting for the Chinese poker boom for quite some time. Will Dreyfus and the GPL be the ones to make it happen?

If PokerStars becoming the GPL’s lead sponsor is any indication, it appears that there are others who believe in the GPL and China’s poker market. But only time will tell if China can cause a surge in global poker popularity.

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.