Global Poker League Announces 12 Franchises, Managers


The Global Poker League, or GPL, has announced the names and locations of its 12 franchises. As a press release from GPL explained, there are “12 cities, 12 franchises, 12 brands, and as many reasons to build a platform to aggregate fan engagement for the 100 million poker fans (51 million in the USA) in the world.”

The 12 franchises that will make up the GPL, along with their managers, are as follows:

Berlin Bears: Philipp Gruissem, Team Manager
Hong Kong Dragons: Celina Lin, Team Manager
Los Angeles Sunset: Maria Ho, Team Manager
Las Vegas Moneymakers: Chris Moneymaker, Team Manager
London Royals: Liv Boeree, Team Manager
Montreal Nationals: Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Team Manager
Moscow Wolverines: Anatoly Filatov, Team Manager
New York Rounders: Bryn Kenney, Team Manager
Paris Aviators: Fabrice Soulier, Team Manager
Rome Emperors: Max Pescatori, Team Manager
San Francisco Rush: Faraz Jaka, Team Manager
Sao Paulo Metropolitans: Andre Akkari, Team Manager

If you’re doing the math, that’s one franchise in Asia, one in South America, one in Canada, five in Europe, and four in the United States. The 12 team managers total 71 career live wins, 405 top-10 finishes, and $46 million in live tournament earnings.

Each team’s manager is now tasked with drafting their five-man squad. The GPL Draft will take place at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on February 25 preceding the American Poker Awards. Kara Scott will host the draft, which will also feature analysis from players like Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu. The gala will be live-streamed on Twitch starting at 2pm Pacific Time for those who can’t make it out to LA.

Faraz Jaka, manager of the San Francisco Rush

Managers are not required to be one of the five players on the active roster for a franchise. In other words, the manager can elect to draft or not draft himself. Managers and drafted players have two-year commitments for 2016 and 2017.

Chris Moorman, Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno, and Fedor Holz are among those who will attend the GPL draft, making them eligible to be selected for a team. According to the same press release, drafted players will get all they can handle poker-wise: “The Global Poker League will provide a new level of fan engagement, with live events and innovative new game play formats. Its combination of online, studio, and venue-based events aims to ignite the passion of the 100 million-plus existing poker fans worldwide.”

Chris Moneymaker will manage the Las Vegas Moneymakers

Chris Moneymaker, whose iconic win in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event helped spark the modern poker boom, was announced as the Las Vegas franchise’s manager last week.

Alex Dreyfus, the brains behind the GPL, commented, “Today is an exciting day in Global Poker League history. The confirmation of our team managers is a crucial step towards our goal. We’ve secured an incredible amount of talented leaders to represent our 12 franchise teams as well as strong intent from some of the world’s best poker players to make themselves draftable on February 25. We’re looking forward to what the next few months and the inaugural season of the Global Poker League will bring for fans across the globe.”

Alex Dreyfus, the brains behind the Global Poker League

Dreyfus shared the logic behind what 12 cities received teams with PocketFives on Wednesday: “These 12 cities have been chosen for their marketing potential and to represent poker globally.”

Certain GPL competitions will take place in a specially-designed, transparent cube called, you guessed it, “The Cube.” Events will run in “iconic venues across the globe,” while the league’s finale “will be staged at one of the most renowned sport and entertainment venues in the USA.”

No firm start date for the first GPL season has been given.