Mediarex Sports and Entertainment has announced the 12 team names and managers for the forthcoming Global Poker League, and the influence of PokerStars is undeniable.
Alex Dreyfus promised us 12 team names and managers.
Last week, the CEO of Mediarex Sports & Entertainment delivered a delicious hors dourve when he announced Chris Moneymaker as the first team manager in charge of the Las Vegas Moneymakers. Tonight he rolls out the main course with 111 more team names, and managers, delivered to the media.
What hits you immediately is the heavy influence that PokerStars has on the event. 5 of the 12 team managers all hail from the world’s largest online poker room. Each manager has signed a two year contract to rule over their particular roost to give a solidity to the new competition.
The first job for the 12 team managers will be to choose the players who will make up their teams. The first GPL Draft Day will take place Feb 25 at the SLS Hotel in Beverley Hills, the same day as the American Poker Awards (APA).
The voice of the Draft will be none other than Kara SCott. Both Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu will feature as analysts for the show that will be streamed live on Twitch. Darren Elias, Chris Moorman, Anthony XZinno and Fedor Holz are names Dreyfus has confirmed will be available for the Draft.
“Today is an exciting day in Global Poker League history, the confirmation of our team managers is a crucial step towards our goal. We’ve secured an incredible amount of talented leaders to represent our 12 franchise teams as well as strong intent from some of the world’s best poker players to make themselves draftable on 25th February. We’re looking forward to what the next few months and the inaugural season of the Global Poker League will bring for fans across the globe.”
Team Manager: Philipp Gruissem
The Raising for Effective Giving (REG) co-founder is a great choice to lead the Berlin franchise. He has earned close to $10m in live tournament earnings, with a pair of World Poker Tour (WPT) Alpha8 titles to his name. He has also earned over $2.7m playing online.
Hong Kong Stars
Team Manager: Celina Lin
One of five PokerStars Team pros to be selected to manage a GPL franchise. Lin has close to $600,000 in live tournament earnings, and is one of the least experienced of the GPL team managers.
Las Vegas Moneymakers
Team Manager: Chris Moneymaker
Chris Moneymaker is a sublime choice as a team manager. He is proof personified that one day you can be sat at your work desk bored off your tits, and then the next you can be managed a GPL team consisting of players who have earned a million dollars. The poker industry will be hoping the man who kick started the poker boom will be a part of an event that may start another one.
Team Manager: Liv Boeree
Another member of both REG and PokerStars, Liv is an obvious choice given her standing, not only within the poker industry, but outside of it. She is one of the few poker players who is able to draw worldwide media attention. The event will need that.
Los Angeles Sunset
Team Manager: Maria Ho
Maria Ho had her face on a billboard in Times Square.
Say no more.
Like Boeree, Ho is well recognised outside of the poker industry and is great working with the media. This franchise suits her perfectly. Ho is a true ambassador of poker and an obvious choice.
Team Manager: Marc-Andre Ladouceur
The appointment of Marc-Andre Ladouceur is the surprise choice for me, and evidence of the influence that PokerStars have behind the scenes of this event.
Team Manager: Anataloy Filatov
Let’s hope Anataloy Filatov brings his dress code to the GPL. The smartest dressed man in the business has amassed close to $3m in online and live tournament earnings. An interesting choice given the more experienced members of the poker industry who could have taken charge of the Russian team.
New York Rounders
Team Manager: Bryn Kenney
These two go together perfectly. Another match made in heaven. Bryn Kenney is widely recognised as one of the smartest minds in the poker industry, and he is coming off the back of his greatest score, after winning the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Super High Roller for $1.6m and change.
Team Manager: Fabrice Soulier
Once again, this partnership looks perfect. Fabrice Soulier is well respected within the French poker community. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner is vastly experienced, and has over $5.8m in live cashes.
Team Manager: Max Pescatori
Max Pescatori is having a wonderful 18-months. A handful of bracelets and now the role as Team Manager of the Rome Emperors. Like Soulier, Pescatori is vastly experienced and is the king of Italian poker. I expect this side to do well, particularly as the Italians are the current holders of the GPI World Cup.
San Francisco Rush
Team Manager: Faraz Jaka
The former WPT Player of the Year wasn’t a name that I was expecting to see, but I believe will do a great job. Jaka has earmed over $5m in live tournament earnings and a few million more playing online.
Sao Paulo Metropolitans
Team Manager: Andre Akkari
The last member of PokerStars Team Pro to be given a berth in the GPL team management spots is Andre Akkari. The WSOP bracelet winner is well recognised as a tireless worker promoting the game in his native Brazil, and I am sure will pick out a great team.
Make sure you tune in to the Draft, live on Twitch Feb 25.