The Global Poker League’s much-anticipated schedule of events, is hot off the press, just a week before the inaugural season begins (April 4).
The schedule reveals the path that 12 global teams, from two continental conferences, will need to plow to find their way to the grand finale inside “The Cube.” This is a 40 foot one-way soundproof glass case that aims to offer spectators the “first-ever immersive poker event in the world.”
And the league has found a fitting arena for The Cube, in the form of London’s Wembley Arena, one of the UK’s foremost live music venues, although it is not to be confused with Wembley Stadium, next door, where the England soccer team play their home matches.
Mediarex, the company behind GPL said it chose London partly because its own links to the city, via its Hendon Mob database, a global depository of poker tournament results and information that grew from the UK poker community.
It was also picked the UK because of its liberal online gambling laws and London for its diversity. It is “a cosmopolitan city … boasting … a population capable of representing all 12 of the global regions where GPL franchises are located,” said Mediarex.
“London, gives us the opportunity to build a fully immersive, interactive experience for the GPL Finals thanks to its regulated online sports betting environment,” said Alex Dreyfus, Mediarex CEO. “We are going to connect fans with one another as well as the GPL players at a leading entertainment venue. The experience is more than just ‘sit and watch,’ it’s full engagement,” he added.
Liv Boeree, manager of the London Royals, very Britishly declared herself to be “absolutely chuffed” at the choice of venue.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, because first of all we have the heats. Week 1 of the GPL Regular Season will kick off Tuesday, and will run to September the 26. It comprises three match days every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, days carefully chosen to coincide with major sporting events. The games themselves, a mix of online six-handed sit and gos and heads-up matches will be live-streamed on GPL.TV and Twitch.
Next on the schedule is the GPL Summer Series, running from June 6 to July 8, and comprising 33 days of live heads-up matches filmed on location at the GPL’s studio in Vegas. These will be followed by the live playoffs, date to be announced, in which the final 8 will play down for four places in the GPL Finals in London on November 22 and 23.
“Inspired by initiatives developed by the likes of the NBA, eSports and the UFC, the GPL is attempting to bring together a fragmented audience of 100 million worldwide poker fans via 400+ hours of live-streamed content throughout the regular GPL season,” said the GPL in an official statement.
“The GPL aims to shake up poker, with an innovative new approach to the game. There are no buy-ins with the players paid to play, the live matches feature players on their feet in The Cube … with the focus on fast-paced play and fan entertainment.”