3: Barrels for you including the Global Poker League’s parent company Mediarex cutting a deal with Juzhong Joy in Beijing, Kristen Bicknell breaks into Canada’s Top 10, and Dan Bilzerian won’t care less.
According to a press release received from Mediarex, Juzhong Joy will take care of operations, distributions, and sponsorships in the region, which I assume is essential given the language and cultural differences between East and West.
If you follow Mediarex chief, Alex Dreyfus, on social media, then you will know he has spent some considerable time in China trying to find ways of pushing the GPL product beneath the noses of the voracious gaming appetites that exist in the region.
In April, Dreyfus and his team signed a long-term deal with one of China’s largest digital sports media platforms, Sina Sports, so the Chinese fans could gain access to the 180 matches that took place during Season 1 of the GPL.
In December, GPL China was born; an offshoot of the primary GPL product, consisting of eight teams: Beijing Great Dragons, Shanghai Golden Tigers, Guangzhou Pioneers, Shenzhen Eagles, Hangzhou Legends, Xi’an Warriors, Chengdu Pandas and Tianjin Guardians. Sina Sports have a significant part to play in the broadcast of that content when the action starts in the spring.
The new deal with Juzhong Joy is just the beginning. Dreyfus wants to make the GPL the NBA of Poker in China but also has his sights set on regional leagues in India and Latin America.
Dreyfus will have some competition in India after the entrepreneur, Amit Burman, announced plans to launch the Poker Sports League (PSL) in India where 12 city-based teams will square off in league action.
The press released also stated that the GPL has plans to move into more regional initiatives after they recently held a GPL Heads-Up Challenge in France where 40 of the top online players in the country battled for supremacy on the GPL platform.
Kristen Bicknell Becomes the First Female to Crack The Canadian GPI Top 10
The Global Poker Index (GPI) will power all of the above initiatives and this week the Canadian version of the Index broke new ground when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Kristen Bicknell, broke into the GPI Top 10.
It’s the first time a female poker player has reached those dizzy heights – no mean feat when you consider it’s the home of the GPL Season 1 Champions: Montreal Nationals and contains some of the greatest poker players in the world such as Ari Engel, Mike Leah, Timothy Adams, Mike McDonald, and on and on.
Bicknell is currently ranked #10 in Canada and #259 overall. The Canadian bubbled the final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Fallsview Poker Classic and recently won a side event at the PokerStars Championship in Panama.
Dan Bilzerian Won’t Be a Fan
One man who won’t be sending Bicknell a congratulations card is Dan Bilzerian. The role model of so many of the world’s teenage boys shared his view on the quality of female poker players to his 1.4m Twitter followers when commenting on Cate Hall’s upcoming clash with Mike Dentale.
The pair will square off in their ‘Grudge Match’ this weekend, and Dan Bilzerian will not be backing the GPI Female Player of the Year, Cate Hall, despite his ignorance on her opponent.
@catehall I don't even know who you're playing, but I want to bet against you because you are a woman and women can't play poker.
— Dan Bilzerian (@DanBilzerian) March 13, 2017
So what are women good at then, Dan?
— Dan Bilzerian (@DanBilzerian) March 8, 2017
And I am 100% sure my boy follows him on Twitter.