The Global Poker League franchise’s Berlin Bears and San Francisco Rush have announced their wildcard entries. Some trends remain, and some break.
Now we understand the trend.
Two Global Poker League (GPL) franchises will reveal their wildcard entries every 24-hrs until there are none left.
Today, it was the turn of the Berlin Bears and San Francisco Rush to show their hand. There were some interesting picks and an interesting observation.
First to the Berlin Bears and a masterstroke by franchise owner Philipp Gruissem that may have occurred more by bad luck than judgment. We have witnessed the first four franchise owners select themselves as wildcard entries. Gruissem has broken that trend.
While I believe Gruissem’s decision not to participate might have something to do with his difficulties in traveling to all of the potential venues, I think the team will benefit from his distance.
I have never liked the player-manager philosophy in sport. There is too much ego involved, and it’s difficult to divorce yourself away from the heat of the action to make the tough decisions. So Gruissem has an advantage in my opinion despite the fact that he is a more rounded poker player that one of his choices.
So let’s get to those choices.
I think both of Gruissem’s picks are perfect for the GPL because they are the first two players who can light up the game in entirely different ways. You have the banter and balls of Bill Perkins, and nobody can blow up at a table quite like Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates. Both of these picks are crucial to the entertainment aspect of this enterprise.
I initially had Perkins pinned down as a franchise owner. Perhaps, this is his window of opportunity to see how the league grows from the inside before taking a bigger chunk of the operation in a few years time.
Back to Cates, and blow-ups apart, he is one of the most technically gifted players on the planet, especially in heads-up format, and is a great pick in my opinion.
Berlin Bears Lineup
1. Brian Rast
2. Sorel Mizzi
3. Dominik Nitsche
4. Jeff Gross
5. Bill Perkins
6. Daniel Cates
San Francisco Rush Signs Jonathan Jaffe
San Francisco Rush have also completed their lineup after team manager Faraz Jaka added Jonathan Jaffe to his team.
This one has thrown me a little bit. I don’t know much about Jaffee other than what I can dig out from Google searches. He has won over $2.1m in live tournament earnings, including a World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event win back in Season XIII, but he only has two recorded cashes in the past two years.
Now that doesn’t mean a whole lot. He could be crushing the game outside of the Hendon Mob bubble, and I know that Jaka is not going to pick a donkey with the world’s top poker players at his fingertips, so I am going to have to wait until game time to see how Jaffe fairs.
Jaka follows the trend set by all the teams except the Berlin Bears by including himself in the team as a player-manager, and you can’t question Jaka’s credentials both live and online.
San Francisco Rush Lineup
1. Faraz Jaka (player manager)
2. Phil Galfond
3. Tony Gregg
4. Kitty Kuo
5. Anton Wigg
6. Jonathan Jaffe