The GPL Draft: My Mock Picks

TAGs: Global Poker League

With the Global Poker League draft rapidly approaching the horizon, Lee Davy attempts a mock draft and finds out that it’s not as easy at it seems.

Christmas arrives in four days time.

I am talking about the Global Poker League (GPL) Draft. I don’t pull all-nighters that often. I didn’t bother for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table. But I will bother for this. I believe it’s one of the most exciting moments in the 2016 poker calendar. It’s the start of a revolution.

An e-mail from Eric Danis, of Global Poker Index (GPI) fame, got me excited this morning. He was talking about creating mock drafts so I thought I would have a play with it myself. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was impossible. Here are the main reasons why.

1# Trust

It’s not easy to find genuine trust in a world where your opponent is trying desperately to bankrupt you. But it’s there. The problem I faced trying to pull together a mock draft is I don’t know who trusts who. I know the London Royals manager Liv Boeree trusts Igor Kurganov because they are dating. I have absolutely no idea if Philipp Gruissem trusts Brian Rast.

I believe this value is the most important one for the team manager. Skill and experience in the formats the GPL will contain is necessary, but the need to trust your players, throughout a two-year period, is going to be vital.

2# Language

Anyone following the English Premier League will know that Tottenham Hotspur is one of the favorites to win the league. In the 2013-14 season, their coach Mauricio Pochettino was the manager of Southampton. He conducted his post-match press conferences with a translator because he didn’t speak English.

Pochettino’s achievements are considerable when you take into consideration his inability to conduct a conversation with his players because he doesn’t know the language. Premier League clubs have the financial clout to hire translators. That won’t happen in the GPL.

All of the GPL Team Managers can speak English, but it’s not the first language for all of them. Would they prefer to communicate in their common tongue and will this play a factor in their decision making?

3# Nationalism

While the inaugural Global Poker Masters (now known as the GPI World Cup) was a great success, it was also a precursor to what we could expect at the GPL regarding team bonding.

The Italians won that competition when they beat Russia in the final. Although Max Pescatori wasn’t involved in the contest, I wonder if he will take advantage of that success and base the Rome Emperors on the spine of the GPI World Cup winning side?

4# Lifestyle

The GPL Draft: My Mock PicksI think this is another big one.

Some players smoke pot, and some don’t. There are those that like to get rip roaring drunk and those that don’t. There are those that like to rip people apart on Twitter, and there are those who wouldn’t hurt a caterpillar.

The lifestyle and persona of the individual will matter to the Team Manager. I don’t believe for one second that a manager will pick four of the greatest players in the world if the way they act outside of poker goes against their values.


It’s not going to be easy for any of the Team Managers.

If I were fortunate enough to be in those shoes, I would be walking into the draft with the 203 players formed in an orderly excel spreadsheet fashion with my greatest picks at the top. I would then take some chances. Each manager is going to spring a surprise, and that’s where you can take a chance, leaving them until the fourth round.

Here is the mock draft that I played with this morning.

Round 1

Team ManagerTeamPick
Max PescatoriRomeMustapha Kanit
Marc-Andre LadouceurMontrealPhil Galfond
Bryn KenneyNew YorkJason Mercier
Faraz JakaSan FranFedor Holz
Chris MoneymakerLas VegasMike McDonald
Andre AkkariSao PauloBertrand Grospellier
Liv BoereeLondonIgor Kurganov
Anatoly FilatovRussiaDzmitry Urbanovich
Maria HoLAVanessa Selbst
Philipp GruissemBerlinAnthony Gregg
Fabrice SoulierParisDavidi Kitai
Celina LinHong KongAnthony Zinno

Round 2

Team ManagerTeamPick
Celina LinHong KongDominik Nitsche
Fabrice SoulierParisBenjamin Pollak
Philipp GruissemBerlinBrian Rast
Maria HoLAByron Kaverman
Anatoly FilatovMoscowVladimir Troyanovskiy
Liv BoereeLondonJake Cody
Andre AkkariSao PauloDani Stern
Chris MoneymakerLas VegasAntonio Esfandiari
Faraz JakaSan FranThomas Marchese
Bryn KenneyNew YorkKevin MacPhee
Marc-Andre LadouceurMontrealChris Moorman
Max PescatoriRomeDario Sammartino

Round 3

Team ManagerTeamPick
Max PescatoriRomeMartin Jacobson
Marc-Andre LadouceurMontrealMark Radoja
Bryn KenneyNew YorkSorel Mizzi
Faraz JakaSan FranNick Pupillo
Chris MoneymakerLas VegasScott Clements
Andre AkkariSao PauloTimothy Adams
Liv BoereeLondonJustin Bonomo
Anatoly FilatovRussiaIgor Yaroshevskyy
Maria HoLAJeff Gross
Philipp GruissemBerlinEugene Katchalov
Fabrice SoulierParisSam Chartier
Celina LinHong KongKitty Kuo

Round 4

Team ManagerTeamPick
Celina LinHong KongChance Kornuth
Fabrice SoulierParisSylvain Loosli
Philipp GruissemBerlinSam Greenwood
Maria HoLADavid Baker
Anatoly FilatovMoscowVladimir Dobrovolskiy
Liv BoereeLondonEmil Patel
Andre AkkariSao PauloFelipe Ramos
Chris MoneymakerLas VegasJason Les
Faraz JakaSan FranMohsin Charania
Bryn KenneyNew YorkJason Mo
Marc-Andre LadouceurMontrealShawn Buchanan
Max PescatoriRomeRocco Palumbo

The Teams

Rome Emperors

Team Manager: Max Pescatori

1. Mustapha Kanit

2. Dario Sammartino

3. Martin Jacobson

4. Rocco Palumbo

Montreal Nationals

Team Manager: Marc-Andre Ladouceur

1. Phil Galfond

2. Chris Moorman

3. Mark Radoja

4. Shawn Buchanan

New York Rounders

Team Manager: Bryn Kenney

1. Jason Mercier

2. Kevin MacPhee

3. Sorel Mizzi

4. Jason Mo

San Francisco Rush

Team Manager: Faraz Jaka

1. Fedor Holz

2. Thomas Marchese

3. Nick Pupillo

4. Mohsin Charania

Las Vegas Moneymakers

Team Manager: Chris Moneymaker

1. Mike McDonald

2. Antonio Esfandiari

3. Scott Clements

4. Jason Les

Sao Paulo Metropolitans

Team Manager: Andre Akkari

1. Bertrand ‘ElkY Grospellier

2. Dani Stern

3. Timothy Adams

4. Felipe Ramos

London Royals

Team Manager: Liv Boeree

1. Igor Kurganov

2. Jake Cody

3. Justin Bonomo

4. Emil Patel

Moscow Wolverines

Team Manager: Anatoly Filatov

1. Dzmitry Urbanovich

2. Vladimir Toryanovskiy

3. Igor Yaroshevskyy

4. Vladimir Dobrovolskiy

L.A Sunset

Team Manager: Maria Ho

1. Vanessa Selbst

2. Byron Kaverman

3. Jeff Gross

4. David Baker

Berlin Bears

Team Manager: Philipp Gruissem

1. Anthony Gregg

2. Brian Rast

3. Eugene Katchalov

4. Sam Greenwood

Paris Aviators

Team Manager: Fabrice Soulier

1. Davidi Kitai

2. Benjamin Pollak

3. Sam Chartier

4. Sylvain Loosli

Hong Kong Stars

Team Manager: Celina Lin

1. Anthony Zinno

2. Dominik Nitsche

3. Kitty Kuo

4. Chance Kornuth





Who can replace Bucky in my Montreal team?

A Canadian who is a world-class stander upper?


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