“Tonight is a very special night,” Global Poker League mastermind Alex Dreyfus opened by saying. “It’s the first show about GPL, and it’s the draft. The draft was the important key element.” Those were some of the first words spoken on Tuesday as part of the GPL’s Draft Lottery show, which aired on Twitch and occurred just one month after the franchises were unveiled.
The teams were drawn in reverse order, meaning the first team selected received the 12th pick and the final ball drawn got the coveted first pick. Here is the draft order for the inaugural GPL season:
- Rome Emperors
- Montreal Nationals
- New York Rounders
- San Francisco Rush
- Las Vegas Moneymakers
- Sao Paolo Metropolitans
- London Royals
- Moscow Wolverines
- Los Angeles Sunset
- Berlin Bears
- Paris Aviators
- Hong Kong Stars
“Because the field was so good, we decided to increase the number of players who will be draftable,” Dreyfus continued. “We will have 12 teams of six players instead of 12 teams of five players.” There will be four rounds of the snake-style draft, which will take place on February 25 from the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles.
Who Will Be Drafted First?
The camera panned to Global Poker Index editor Eric Danis for reaction. He stopped short of betting his first born child that Italy’s Mustapha Kanit, who just won the EPT Dublin High Roller Event, would be the first player drafted. “I think this is a no-brainer,” Danis said. “I think (Rome Emperors manager) Max Pescatori is the man to bring Mustapha Kanit back to Italy.”
Picking right behind the Emperors are the Montreal Nationals, captained by Canadian Marc-Andre Ladouceur. “This is not a selection that Marc-Andre necessarily wanted,” Danis said. “It’ll be fun to see what he decides to do. There are a lot of Canadian players, but… nationality doesn’t matter. There are also a few great Germans out there and a few great Swedes.” Danis mentioned a safe pick at #2 overall could be 2010 Main Event winner and Quebec native Jonathan Duhamel.
Picking at #10 overall in the snake draft are the Berlin Bears, captained by Philipp Gruissem.
“Berlin is going to be disappointed,” Danis explained. “I think Philipp would like to add Fedor Holz to his team, but I don’t think Fedor is going to fall to #10… That’s one of the teams that will not go with national pride. They are looking at players from around the world.”
The GPL draft takes place on February 25 in Los Angeles. Managers do not need to pick players from their home country or city; anyone in the draft pool is eligible.