There were three big debuts in the Global Poker League this past week. The first was the Summer Series set of matchups that see inter-conference play for the first time, the second was the highly anticipated “Cube” that players play live heads-up matches in and the third was the debut of former Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul.
With all the players in Las Vegas for the 2016 World Series of Poker, the matches are played in a live setting while still using the GPL poker software on tablets. Each day throughout the summer features one best-of-three heads-up match with teams from the Americas Conference sweeping all five matches with their Eurasian Conference opponents.
LA Sunset (Aaron Paul) defeat Paris Aviators (Fabrice Soulier) 2-1
To kick it off on Monday, we had the only GPL player yet to play a game, LA Sunset wild card Aaron Paul, take center stage against Paris Aviators Team Manager Fabrice Soulier. The Aviators are in fourth spot in their conference, and needed to pick up some points here to move back into contention. Fabrice Soulier also had a point to prove, after a lacklustre start to his GPL season. The Frenchman currently has the worst Six Max points-per-match tally of any player with more than one match (0.25), with three sixth place finishes and one fifth. Paul was an unknown quantity, but his mixture of creative play and talk back and forth with his opponent saw him run out a 2-1 winner.
San Francisco Rush (Jonathan Jaffe) defeat Moscow Wolverines (Dzmitry Urbanovich) 2-1
On Tuesday it was the turn of the wonderkid Dzmitry Urbanovich, taking a break from his action at the WSOP to take a turn in the Cube. His opponent was Jonathan Jaffe, a player with just three wins from nine heads-up matches played so far this season. Urbanovich hadn’t played a single heads-up game in the GPL this season, and perhaps it showed, with Jaffe running out a 2-1 winner, narrowly missing out on a scoop with Urbanovich winning the final game.
Las Vegas Moneymakers (Scott Ball) defeat London Royals (Chris Moorman) 2-1
Chris Moorman was named as 888Poker’s latest pro ambassador on Thursday, and was looking to put in a good performance against Scott Ball in his first event wearing the 888 colors. Ball’s performances in the GPL so far have been hit and miss, with his only heads-up match coming against Jason Lavallee in Week 4, where he lost 2-1. That wasn’t to be the case in this match, with Ball besting online poker’s all-time leading tournament money winner 2-1.
Montreal National (Martin Jacobson) defeat Hong Kong Stars (Randy Lew) 3-0
It had been an excellent week for the Americas Conference with Martin Jacobson looking to extend that run back in the city where he clinched the WSOP Main Event crown in 2014. Jacobson is one of six players to have won two Six Max matches, but failed to convert that success to the heads-up competition, losing his only match so far to Anton Wigg way back in Week 1. His opponent this weekend was Hong Kong Stars heads-up master Randy Lew. Lew, together with LA Sunset’s Olivier Busquet have the highest number of heads-up wins so far (11), and Lew was looking to take that record for himself with a win over Jacobson. However, in what could be the upset of the week, Jacobson swept Lew 3-0 to extend the Montreal Nationals’ lead at the top of the Americas Conference.
Sao Paulo Mets (Felipe Ramos) defeat Berlin Bears (Jeff Gross) 3-0
The penultimate game this week saw Felipe Ramos of the Sao Paulo Mets take on Jeff Gross of the Berlin Bears. Ramos has been busy playing a full schedule in Vegas. Jeff Gross meanwhile was aiming to improve the Berlin Bears’ fifth place position in their conference. Ramos has had an impressive season so far, finishing second three times and winning once in the Six Max competition before sweeping Jeff Gross 3-0 on Friday.
New York Rounders (Kevin MacPhee) defeat Rome Emperors (Timothy Adams)
With Summer Series Week 1 action in the Cube winding down, the final game of the week pitched Timothy Adams of the Rome Emperors against Kevin MacPhee of the New York Rounders. Kevin MacPhee was yet to play a heads-up match this season, just like Dzmitry Urbanovich, but unlike Urbanovich, MacPhee ran out a 2-1 winner, with MacPhee unlucky to scoop Adams, having won the first two games of the match.
This Week’s MVP
The stand out team so far this season has to be the Montreal Nationals. Coming into the Summer Series, the team was 11 points ahead of their nearest rivals LA Sunset. Despite both teams winning their matches this week, it was Martin Jacobson who put in a sterling performance to sweep Randy Lew, not only cementing his team’s position at the top of their conference, but sweeping a player whose performances in the heads-up game so far this season have been top notch.
This week the Montreal Nationals will certainly be put to the test by a Moscow Wolverines side which is second in their conference. Meanwhile the LA Sunset will hope to make up ground against the Berlin Bears, and the Hong Kong Stars will be aiming to avenge the sweep they suffered last week against the New York Rounders
Week 2 Summer Series Schedule
- Las Vegas Moneymakers vs. Paris Aviators
- Montreal Nationals vs. Moscow Wolverines
- Sao Paulo Metropolitans vs. London Royals
- New York Rounders vs. Hong Kong Stars
- LA Sunset vs. Berlin Bears
- San Francisco Rush vs. Rome Emperors