The second week of the Global Poker League is starting, after a controversial first week that included major computerized misdeal, viewers’ confusion over the Cube concept and some players indifference.
With new faces at the tables and new matches week two will hopefully make a better impression.
So far, after three online play day Bryn Kenney and Celina Lin are the managers feeling the best. New York Rounders, Kenney’s team, has 16 points and is leading the Americas conference and Lin’s team , Hong Kong Stars, has 18 points and leads the Eurasia conference.
A six-max sit-and-go tournament is held by both conferences each Wednesday. From each team only one player competes and based on how they finish, teams earn points. In addition, once a week team managers choose a player to represent their team in a heads-up.
Even though the first week is not decisive, Berlin Bear and San Francisco Rush will need to do better this week if they don’t want be in trouble. Both teams are in the bottom of their conferences and cannot afford bad results this week.
Even to the most casual poker fans, the heads-up matches of the second week should be interesting. On Wednesday at noon, the first heads-up challenge will be between Sam Trickett of London Royals and Randy Lew of Hong Kong.
A heads-up with Alexandre Luneau (Paris Aviators) and Dario Sammartino (Rome Emperors) will be next. The last heads-up of the day will be between Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Moscow Wolverines) and Dominik Nitsche (Berlin Bears). As we know Berlin Bear needs to win this match to not dig a deeper hole for themselves.
On Thursday, the Americas conference will start heads-up matches. Tiago Nishijma from São Paulo Mets and Pascal Lefrancois from Montreal Nationals will be the first to battle.
Followed by the heads-up of Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond from San Francisco Rush and Jason Mercier from New York Rounders. Poker fans can’t wait to see this match, Galfond is famous for being one of the top online poker players in history.
The final heads-up will be between Jonathan Duhamel (Las Vegas Moneymakers) and the charismatic Olivier Busquet (Los Angeles Sunset). This match and Galfond vs. Mercier will probably draw most attention.
Prior to the league’s debut, its creator Alex Dreyfus spend a huge amount of money and time marketing the tournament. After the first week, Dreyfus reported that the live stream of GPL had over 429,000 views and 290,000 unique views.
Those are impressive number but will viewers stick around long term? This is what we will see in the coming weeks.