The Global Poker League (GPL) has now outlined its drafted player compensation packages for Year One, following the recent announcement of its 12 franchises.
Unlike many poker tournaments (excluding those that are made exclusively for TV), the GPL will actually be paying its players to put on a show for the masses. In the same way that sports franchises and pro teams compensate their players, the organizers will offer a benefits package to any pro on one of the 12 GPL teams.
As announced at the beginning of January, the draft process will take place at a special ceremony in Los Angeles on February 25th, but before that can happen, the GPL needs to zero in on a pool of eligible players.
GPI’s Top 1,000 Invited to Draft
That pool of players will be made up of any pros that were ranked in the Global Poker Index top 1,000 by the end of 2015, said a recent GPL statement.
Any player that was ranked in the top 1,000 will have to fill out an application form in order to register their interest in the draft. Then they’ll have to wait to see if their name is called out during the ceremony.
As with any other sports draft, the managers will be able to assess the credentials of each tournament player using the GPI’s stats before they make their picks, which means many of the applicants will be left on the bench. According to the terms of the draft, each franchise manager will be able to choose a total of three players from the available pool, plus a wildcard at a later date.
In the interest of fairness, a random draw will take place before the start of each round to ensure that each manager has a fair shot at securing their top picks.
Perks of the Job
For those that do make it through the draft, the GPL promises a “zero buy-in structure.” In fact, under the terms of the deal, all GPL players will earn some money regardless of whether they cash in any of the tournaments they play:
“Salary: $100 per hour with a minimum hours played guarantee for Season 1 at 35-50 hours.
Purse Prize: 20% share of $100,000 winners’ purse (or more) for Season 1.
Most Valuable Player: Eligibility for End-of-season MVP award/ bonus.
25% Team revenue share: from merchandising, licensing agreements and revenue from sponsors.
Expenses paid for travel for live GPL events,” reads the benefits package listed on the GPL’s dedicated site.
In return for these rewards, all GPL players must commit to a semi-flexible schedule that won’t clash with any of the major tournaments throughout the year.
Additionally, all GPL players consent to the organization using their images for media purposes, will wear any logos or branding associated with the GPL, and must commit to remain part of the draft for two seasons.
The plans outlined by the GPL and its CEO Alex Dreyfus are certainly audacious, but they will likely be attractive to a number of tournament players out there. In fact, regardless of whether or not it makes it past the first season, the concept is intriguing and could potentially spark a shift in the way poker tournaments are offered in the future.