Chris Moorman, Fedor Holz Among 203 Players Eligible for GPL Draft

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Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman is one of 203 players eligible for the Global Poker League Draft

The draft is one of the highlights of any sporting event’s season. The NFL Draft is spread over multiple days and attracts hundreds of reporters and thousands of fans. The NBA Draft is only two rounds, upping the drama. Fantasy football enthusiasts probably already have next season’s draft date circled on their calendars.

The Global Poker League will hold its first ever player draft later this month in Los Angeles. On Friday, the league released the list of 203 players, including many longstanding and successful members of the online poker community, who have made themselves eligible for the GPL Draft.

Last month, the GPL announced a dozen franchises, whose rosters will now be filled out with players from around the world: the Berlin Bears, Hong Kong Dragons, Los Angeles Sunset, Las Vegas Moneymakers, London Royals, Montreal Nationals, Moscow Wolverines, New York Rounders, Paris Aviators, Rome Emperors, San Francisco Rush, and Sao Paulo Metropolitans. Members of the online poker community like Faraz ‘The-Toilet’ Jaka and Bryn Kenney were tasked with managing teams.

Now for the draft. The 203 draftable players boast earnings in excess of $560 million and include six of the top 10 players in the Global Poker Index (GPI). They hail from 33 countries around the world.

Online poker players in the top 10 of the GPI who have signed up for the draft include Jason ‘treysfull21’ Mercier, who has $16.3 million in live tournament winnings according to the Hendon Mob, and over $2 million online. Mercier is #6 in the GPI and is the fourth highest ranked player to register for the GPL draft.

“I’m excited to do anything that has the potential to grow the game of poker,” Mercier said of his entry into the draft.

Also in the top 10 of the GPI and draftable for the GPL is Kevin ‘ImaLuckSac’ MacPhee, who boasts $5.4 million in career live winnings and another $7.1 million online. MacPhee was ranked as high as #7 worldwide on PocketFives in 2009.

The most successful online poker player to enter the fray is, without question, Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman, who has almost $13 million in career online tournament winnings, the most of any player. Moorman has also piled up a record 25 PocketFives Triple Crowns and won the Monthly PocketFives Leaderboard four times. Moorman is a former #1 online player and will be a valuable commodity for whichever GPL team drafts him.

Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz, who has been on a tear of biblical proportions, also threw his hat into the ring. Holz won the 2014 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event and has taken down a litany of high-profile online tournaments over the years, including the Sunday 500 and Full Tilt Sunday Major. He hit #1 on PocketFives in late 2014 and won High Roller events in December and January for $5 million total.

Managers can also select from the likes of Scott ‘BigRiskky’ Clements, Mike ‘goleafsgoeh’ Leah, Shannon Shorr, Mohsin ‘chicagocards1’ Charania, Justin ‘ZeeJustin” Bonomo, Christian ‘charder’ Harder, Jonathan ‘FieryJustice’ Little, Sorel ‘Imper1um’ Mizzi, Sam ‘KingKobeMVP’ Stein, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Dani ‘ansky451’ Stern, Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen, Joe ‘ender555’ Ebanks, Isaac ‘mr. menlo’ Baron, Chad ‘evechad’ Eveslage, Matt ‘mcmatto’ Affleck, Chris ‘SLOPPYKLOD’ Klodnicki, and Bryan ‘bparis’ Paris. Needless to say, the field is stacked with talent borne out of the online poker world.

Well-known live pros that will take part on the GPL draft include Allen Kessler, Jeff Madsen, Anthony Zinno, and Byron Kaverman, the latter of whom is the #1 ranked player in the GPI and the owner of almost $7 million in live tournament winnings. Kaverman banked $3.4 million from live events in 2015 and is approaching $7 million for his career. Zinno is the second highest-ranked GPI player in the draft and has three World Poker Tour titles, tied for the most by anyone.

Antonio Esfandiari is arguably the most successful live pro to be draftable come February 25. He’s #3 on the all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob, trailing only Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel, neither of whom entered their names into the GPL sorting hat. Esfandiari has over $26 million in career live winnings.

Former World Series of Poker Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel could be drafted as well. The Canadian won the Main Event in Las Vegas six years ago and is #10 on poker’s all-time money list. Duhamel has $17.5 million in live winnings and earned two bracelets last year, proving he’s still highly relevant.

Also likely to be taken off the board early is Vanessa Selbst, #23 on poker’s all-time money list. Selbst is the highest-earning female poker player and won the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout in mid-2015 for a million bucks. She has a GPI ranking of #447.

GPL managers will field a five-man squad, which may or may not include themselves. The draft will take place on February 25 from the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and will be live-streamed on Twitch starting at 2pm Pacific Time for those who can’t make it out to LA. Only players in the top 1,000 of the GPI were eligible for the draft, and player contracts have been a hot topic on Twitter. The draft order will be drawn on February 18.

Players do not need to be connected in any way to the city their team represents. Matches in a specially-designed “cube” will take place as part of the GPL. Heads-up and six-man games will also occur as the season plays out, as will online events.

6 COMMENTS

    • Ok, so dozen teams with 5 on a team. That is 60. 203 players eligible. And the first overall pick is Moorman.

      I don’t think he will be picked in top 10, despite his online successes

    • I don’t see how anybody would ever think the GPL will be a success reminds me of the tournament series the EPL with its exclusivity.

    • Being a good player is important but I think that you have to have a bit of charisma for the GPL. The team managers are expected to bring in revenue via sponsorship and you won’t do that by having a team of talented but charcterless players especially if the GPL is to have mass market appeal and create headlines beyond the poker media.

    • Being a good player is important but I think that you have to have a bit of charisma for the GPL. The team managers are expected to bring in revenue via sponsorship and you won’t do that by having a team of talented but charcterless players especially if the GPL is to have mass market appeal and create headlines beyond the poker media.

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