The league stage of the Global Poker League have come to an end, and Rome Emperors, Paris Aviators, New York Rounders and the Las Vegas Moneymakers will not be making the trip to Las Vegas for the PlayOffs.
It all began as a spark of ingenuity inside the head of a poker loving Frenchman. What if he could gather the greatest poker players in the world, separate them into franchises, and create a Global Poker League (GPL)?
Like all great entrepreneurs, Dreyfus put in the elbow grease, the money, and let the thing roll.
Did it work?
Of course, it did, but man did he have to face and overcome some obstacles.
He had to gather 72 of the biggest egos in the game, sell the dream and convince them to show up week-in-week-out.
He managed to attract a movie star of the ilk of Aaron Paul.
He built a friggin Cube.
He revolutionised the way the general public consume poker entertainment and created an educational tool that beats the very best online poker training sites.
And now, 45-matches later, we know the teams who failed to clear the first hurdle.
The GPL Playoffs
We already knew that the Montreal Nationals and Los Angeles Sunset had qualified from the Americas Conference. We also knew that the Las Vegas Moneymakers were out. What we didn’t know was who would pick up the last two spots.
The first team to book a place was the Sao Paulo Metropolitans, and they were joined by San Francisco Rush as Phil Galfond beat Felipe Ramos by 2-1 and New York Rounders manager, Bryn Kenney, was beaten 3-0 by the Moneymakers Scott Ball. Sao Paulo & San Fran would be heading to Vegas, and the Rounders would not.
Final Americas Standings
1. Montreal Nationals – 193 points
2. Los Angeles Sunset – 185 points
3. Sao Paulo Metropolitans – 177 points
4. San Francisco Rush – 161 points
5. New York Rounders – 152 points (Out)
6. Las Vegas Moneymakers – 137 points (Out)
The Eurasia Conference was tighter than a duck’s ass. The Moscow Wolverines went into the final day with their PlayOff place confirmed, but any of the other five teams had the ability to join them depending on the results of their last matches.
Randy Nanonoko of the Hong Kong Stars squared off against Dominik Nitsche of the Berlin Bears with both sides needing to win one game to secure qualification. Nanonoko won the first to send Hong Kong through to the PlayOffs, and despite Nanonoko winning the second, Nitsche came through by winning the third sending Berlin through with them.
That left one spot remaining and three teams vying for it in the shape of Paris Aviators, Rome Emperors and London Royals. Justin Bonomo set fire to Rome’s chances of making the PlayOffs after beating Mustapha Kanit 2-1, but his London side had an anxious wait to see if they could qualify. Alex Luneau needed to beat Anatoly Filatov in the final game for Paris to go through. If Luneau couldn’t get the job done then London would go through in their place, and the Frenchman couldn’t, losing the game 2-1 to send London through by a hair’s breadth.
Final Eurasia Standings
1. Moscow Wolverines – 171 points
2. Hong Kong Stars – 164 points
3. Berlin Bears – 160 points
4. London Royals – 156 points
5. Paris Aviators – 156 points (Out)
6. Rome Emperors – 154 points (Out)
The PlayOffs will take place inside The Cube, live from the GPL Studios in Las Vegas.
Here are the lineups:
Tuesday, 29 November
Game A: Montreal Nationals v San Francisco Rush
Game B: Los Angeles Sunset v Sao Paulo Metropolitans
The winner of Game A will play the winner of Game B to determine the Americas Conference Champion
Wednesday, 30 November
Game A: Moscow Wolverines v London Royals
Game B: Hong Kong Stars v Berlin Bears
The winner of Game A will play the winner of Game B to determine the Eurasia Conference Champion
The final will be on Thursday, 1 December, where the winners of the two conferences battle it out for the $100,000 first prize.