The teams for the Global Poker Masters are close to completion after the Global Poker Index announces the final four positions for each of the eight qualifying nations.
The Global Poker Index (GPI) has moved a tad closer to their final roster of players, for the forthcoming Global Poker Masters (GPM), after announcing the first four placements from the eight qualifying nations.
There are four changes from the automatic selections. The GPM is going to lose some star power, but the top dogs that are coming in to take their place weigh that up nicely.
“There have been no disappointments.” Said the GPI, CEO, Alex Dreyfus, when questioned about the players that dropped out. “There were some schedule conflicts for them and I wanted players that were keen to commit. Players who were keen to participate, but couldn’t guarantee their attendance had to make way for the player next in line. They understood.”
We were already aware of the biggest omission of the bunch, after Dan Colman signaled his intention not to attend very early in the process. The in-form Bryn Kenney was drafted in to replace the 2014 GPI Player of the Year, and Olivier Busquet, who replaces Pratyush Buddiga, will now join him.
There are also changes in the UK, Canadian and Russian teams. Stephen Chidwick makes way for the European No.1 money earner Sam Trickett, Mike McDonald makes way for the former World Champion, Jonathan Duhamel, and Artem Metalidi moves aside to give Igor Yaroshevsky a berth.
Dreyfus flew out to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) to chat to the players. I asked him what the feedback was like for the GPM. It was great news.
“The Top 20/30 players told me that having the GPM was a great motivation for them to grind more points in order to ensure they are selected.” Said Dreyfus before continuing. “That’s the ultimate satisfaction for me; it’s not about the money. It’s about doing something that really matters. I met a few of the Top 10 and they all told me they wanted to be the GPI #1 at the end of 2015. Competition is going to be tough.”
All that remains is for the eight teams to appoint their wildcard entries and we are set to go. I spoke to Dreyfus about the wildcard process and this is what he had to say.
“Each team will give us two names that are in the GPI 1000+. We will then put those names out to the general public to vote for their favorite one. That ensures a nice balance between the opinion of the player and the fan.”
The GPM will take place March 21-22 at the Hilton Portomaso in Malta, and Kara Scott will host the event.