Lee Davy brings you his usual weekly round up of poker news including more news on the Global Poker League, the World Series of Poker contracting PokerFirma to look after Berlin, and much more.
Alexander Dreyfus and his team are about to change the face of poker. The Global Poker League (GPL) is looming large over the horizon. Every love is unique, and that’s a good thing. Dreyfus is in love with turning poker into an entertaining sport. He has his gloves on. It’s time to go to work.
The GPL will feature 12 teams, 60 players, 2 conferences; players will be paid to play, prize pools will be created based on revenue and merchandise sales, gameplay will be placed into fast forward mode, and the action will take place standing up, in a 20ft cube, in some of the greatest sporting and gaming arenas around the world.
“We need to create a poker product that focuses on the fans, not only on the players. We need to create poker fans and keep them engaged.” Said Dreyfus.
If you follow Dreyfus’s Twitter account you will know that he is paying close attention to the growth of eSports in general. Experts believe it won’t be long before professional video gaming is a billion dollar industry. That gives poker a lot of hope.
If the GPL is a success – and you have to tip your hat to the Frenchman with balls the size of King Kong – then a lot of things will change. We will have to take off our vintage clothing and start wearing the professional suit. eSports introduced drugs and alcohol policy of Olympic standard, when they grew, this week I opined on whether poker would follow suit.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) also sprung a surprise this week when they handed their live tournament coverage, of the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) to German media outfit PokerFirma.
“We anticipate 80-85% of the players will be German. As such, it was very important to us that we provided the majority of the audience with a German-language version and that was the priority.” Said Seth Palansky.
The decision to hand the coverage to an inexperienced English speaking/writing entity means the English coverage will suffer (something Palansky acknowledged) and I took the opportunity to form an opinion that the increasing interest in live streaming will soon render the live reporting blog obsolete.
PokerStars broke their own world record for ‘Largest Online Poker Tournament’ when 253,698 players paid $0.01 to enter the opening event of the Common Cents tournament series (a series where all buy-ins are below a buck). Austrian player “DadDumon” won the $10,000 first prize in less than seven-hours. The new world record beats the previous one of 225,000 players set by PokerStars in 2013, when they celebrated their 100 Billionth hand.
Jens “Jean86” Kyllonen was also setting PokerStars records this week. The Finnish high stakes cash game player is officially the winningest tracked player in PokerStars cash game history after a barnstorming September (where he earned $635,283) took his cumulative earnings up to $4,959,875.
In other PokerStars related news, they have decided to sponsor the Isle of Man Olympic snowboarder Zoe Gillings-Brier. The deal will run up until her fourth Olympic appearance in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 2018. And Rafael Nadal’s time with PokerStars seems to have come to an end. The tennis ace is conspicuous by his absence on the PokerStars page, although we have received no official word from Stars at the time of writing. Another movement in the world of sponsorship saw Isabelle “NoMercy” Mercier join Tonybet Poker as their official ambassador.
The Full Tilt remissions process is nearly at an end. This week they released another $5.7m, to take their total outlay to $110m, and 2,000 people will get their hands on that once forgotten cash. Over 40,000 players have now been made whole, but PPA Chief John Pappas believes a further 3,800 people are still having their petitions investigated by Garden City Group (GCG) officials. It’s believed that one final payment should do the trick.
I was heavily critical of Poker Central’s decision to showcase reruns of old tournaments and cash games last week. This week they have redeemed themselves slightly. On Oct 18, 8pm (ET) they will be giving us a sneak peak of Pokerography: The Story of Phil Hellmuth. It’s the first of a 10-part series that gives us a unique insight into the lives of some of the luminaries in poker’s past and present (mainly past). This was another story that I felt compelled to form an opinion on this week.
Only one interview for you this week, but it was a cracker. I spent time talking with one of the few professional poker playing married couples: Tim and Ness Reilly. We covered topics as wide ranging as marriage, veganism and politics so check it out.
Last but not least, Matt Affleck won the $264k first prize at the Coco Poker Open, Matt Glantz won the $55,357 first prize at the Parx Casino Big Stack XIII 300, and then said he would be standing down as ambassador for that particular poker room in November; Daniel Stacey won the £24,170 first prize at the United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Main Event on the Isle of Man, and Collin Gillon won the £25,270 first prize at the Genting Poker Series (GPS) Main Event in Edinburgh.
Time Ladies & Gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.