In this week’s ‘Calling the Clock’ the only thing worth talking about is the prominence of Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates in the Global Poker League (GPL). Nothing else matters.
The Global Poker League (GPL) is no longer a figment of your imagination. You can poke it. You can prod it. You can find yourself in the divorce courts watching nothing but it.
Alex Weldon at parttimepoker.com nailed it when he summarised the first day of the GPL’s existence by calling it a ‘delightful mess’. It’s a stretch to say the team is ‘winging it’ but it does have that feel in between moments of ESPN quality.
The online six max format was as attractive as a TV test card, but the introduction of the webcam for the heads-up matches was pure genius. On one hand you had an emotionless borefest, and on the other you had Daniel Cates.
His match up against ElkY was as hilarious as it was educational. I never thought I would prefer to watch Daniel Cates yawning instead of Champions League football, but that’s what happened.
At the end of the first day, Dreyfus said that there was ‘room for improvements’, and that they had ‘lots of ideas that will have to be launched in the next few weeks.’ Perhaps, one of them is to rebrand the GPL as the ‘Daniel Cates Show.’
Cates may have been entertaining, but his Berlin Bears side are struggling at the moment. Cates picking up two bagels in the six-max and then losing 2-1 to ElkY in the heads-up. At the time of writing, the Hong Kong Stars lead the Eurasia Conference, and the New York Rounders are tying with the Las Vegas Moneymakers at the top of the Americas Conference.
What is it with these New York Rounders?
Not only are they kicking ass all over the GPL, but they are also kicking ass at the Aria. Team manager Bryn Kenney, and his teammate Tom Marchese picking up $25,000 Aria High Roller wins for $233,794 & $260,655 respectively this week.
Finally, the Global Poker Index (GPI) announced shortlists for the 15th Annual European Poker Awards (EPA) this week. The red carpet is heading to Monte Carlo. LA Sunset star, Fedor Holz, will pick up the 2015 GPI European Player of the Year award, and London Royals team manager, Liv Boeree, will get the female version of that award.
World Series of Poker News
The reigning World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion, Joe McKeehen, decided to fall out with the world of poker media this week when he blamed us all for the new 11 am starting times for WSOP events this summer.
Apparently, McKeehen believes the only reason the greatest festival in the world dropped the starting times back an hour was so the media could go to bed earlier. Various members of the poker media decided to defend themselves; Daniel Negreanu even piped up for the team by telling McKeehen that he had made the wrong call, and McKeehen continued to act like a spoiled child until the thing died a death.
If you would like to follow in McKeehen’s footsteps (winning the Main Event and not acting like a brat), and you’re a little short on cash, and live in New Jersey, then you are in luck. WSOP.com is running online satellite qualifiers for the Main Event, and this week announced plans to do the same for the Colossus II.
The WSOP isn’t the only place you can win a bracelet while playing poker on American soil. The World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Global Casino Championships is another option, and this week they announced their season-ending finale will take place at Harrah’s Cherokee. For the first time in WSOPC history, players from WSOPC international events will qualify, and all gold ring winners can buy-in to the event for $10,000 (Main Event winners and Casino Championships qualify automatically).
One player who falls into that category is Valentin Vornicu, who won his eighth WSOPC gold ring this week, and $17,255 in prize money when he took down a side event at the Bicycle Casino in LA. Joseph Capello has also booked his seat in the Global Casino Championships after winning the Horseshoe Baltimore Main Event for $292,500.
PokerStars, World Poker Tour, and 888Poker
One route that is not open for WSOP online satellite qualification is via PokerStars NJ. A representative of the Red Spade told 2+2 forum posters that they had no plans to run satellites for their competitor’s flagship live event.
What PokerStars NJ did do this week was announce their draft schedule for the first Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) to be held Stateside since Black Friday. 27 tournaments with high and low buy-ins ranging from $5 to $1,000 are set to be all the rage.
The World Poker Tour were also in the news this week after partnering with LivingitLovingit on a new project christened Multi-Venue Series (MVS). For the first time in WPT history (if not all of poker), one tournament will play out across three different brick and mortar venues at the same time.
The WPT National Iberia Series will take place in Spain and Portugal (the first time in that part of the world for the WPT), and the whole thing will be synced using BRAVO technology. The buy-ins for the events will be €675+€75, and all players will be in the money at the end of play at their local casino, before merging into one field for the final.
In response, 888Poker announced plans to operate 31 events in Season 2 of their 888Local Live series. The $200 buy-in events will take place across four continents with the likes of Canada, the UK, and Chile getting in on the action. 888Poker’s relationship with Aspers Casino will feature heavily with nine of the events being held in the 888Poker branded card room in Stratford.
Bits and Bobs
Premier League footballers are blaming their poor form on poker. According to news reports that have spread like wildfire on the back pages of the UK tabloids, a young man researching for a Ph.D. decided to interview the glitterati about their gambling habits and was surprised by their responses.
It seems earning an average of £44,000 per week is a tad boring and the only way to relieve that boredom is by blowing it all on the bus on the way to the game. The researcher will be handing over his work to the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Birmingham this week.
The two largest staking platforms in the world merged this week. YouStake acquired TastyStakes in a deal that elevated WSOP commentator David Tuchman to the role of ambassador. And the World Poker Fund Holdings Inc. (WPFH) were back in the news this week after they launched the first-ever social casino with a celebrity flavour including a poker room managed by Jamie Gold.
Last but not least, Dan Bilzerian managed to complete the Bill Perkins LA to Las Vegas bike ride challenge without dying or suffering from brain damage. Bilzerian finished the ride with 15-hrs to spare, but not without some controversy. Bilzerian chose to complete most of the ride behind a van with its doors flung open to reduce the draft. Bill Perkins didn’t mind, and paid up the $600,000, but Rick Salomon did mind and refused to part with his $250,000. The last I heard an arbitrage committee was being set up to settle that hefty dispute.
Time ladies & gentlemen, please.
Somebody has just called the clock.