The Global Poker League – the biggest play money poker event in the world – has finished its regular season and now heads to Las Vegas for its climax.
Although the Global Poker League (GPL) has been criticised for being hype over substance, it has actually fulfilled its tagline of “Sportifying Poker”. Like most sports, the regular season has been unremarkable, with “fans” paying little attention to it. However, also like most sports, interest has started to grow as the climax of the season approaches.
This week saw the conclusion of the group stages – a rather lengthy journey that has trimmed the original twelve teams down to eight. Members of the final eight teams will face off against each other in the League´s purpose-built Las Vegas studios over November 29th to December 1st in order to find the GPL´s first champion.
Who Got to the Quarter Finals?
The GPL is divided into two “conferences” – one for teams from the Americas and one for teams from Eurasia. Each conference had six teams in it and between them the twelve teams played 174 heads-up matches and 6-Max Sit & Go games matches to determine who the top four teams would be in each conference.
Points were awarded for each heads-up victory or according to players´ finishing positions in the 6-Max Sit & Go games and, after twenty weeks of action, the final tables looked like this:
|GPL Americas||GPL Eurasia|
|Montreal Nationals||199||19||Moscow Wolverines||171||14|
|LA Sunset||188||19||Hong Kong Stars||164||14|
|Sao Paulo Mets||183||16||Berlin Bears||160||13|
|San Francisco Rush||161||16||London Royals||156||15|
|New York Rounders||158||12||Paris Aviators||156||14|
|Las Vegas Moneymakers||140||11||Rome Emperors||154||11|
What Happens Next?
The top four teams in each conference have progressed to the quarterfinals – the top team in each conference playing the fourth-placed team, and the second and third teams competing against each other. The winners of each match go head-to-head to decide the Conference Champion – the two Conference Champions then playing each other to decide who wins the inaugural GPL title.
The teams are not only seeded according to their finishing positions, but also get a chip advantage going into the quarter-final games. Consequently, when the Montreal Nations play the San Francisco Rush, the Nationals will start the match with 140,000 chips, whereas the Rush will have just 100,000 chips. Going into the Conference deciders, both teams will have starting stacks of 250,000 chips, and the GPL title will be played with both teams having a starting stack of 500,000 chips.
The All-Important Dates
The action in the Global Poker League resumes on Tuesday 29th November with the deciding games in the Americas Conference being played. The following day it is the turn of the Eurasian teams to determine a Conference winner, and the final will be played between the two Conference winners on Thursday December 1st. All the action will be live-streamed across various media, plus fans will be able to follow the progress of their teams on social media.
Hopefully the climax of the GPL receives the attention it deserves, if only to reward the efforts put in by GPL head honcho Alex Dreyfus and his team. Dreyfus has admitted that the inaugural season has been plagued with difficulties and has been a steep learning curve. However, Dreyfus has committed to producing another play money poker event in 2017 and, for all his annoying piecemeal releases of information, you cannot fault the man for his enthusiasm.
Good luck to all eight teams competing in the GPL play-offs – and to Alex Dreyfus.