According to a press release issued on Tuesday, the first-ever Global Poker League (GPL) will kick off during the first quarter of 2016, when 12 teams from America, Europe and Asia are expected to join the league in 2016, each team consisting of 5 players, 3 of them to be selected from players ranked inside the Top 1,000 on the GPI World Poker Rankings in the first ever GPL Selection Draft.
These teams will be split into two conferences. The American conference is expected to include teams from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Toronto and Sao Paulo while the Eurasian conference is expected to feature clubs from London, Paris, Prague, Barcelona, Moscow and Hong Kong. Teams will play a 14-week schedule with more details on the types of matches to be released at a later date.
The event will innovate the game of poker by turning it into an event able to appeal to a larger public, just like any other sport.
For many years, the poker industry was seen as a balancing act between two main interests: professional players, and the businesses itself. More recently, casual players becomes the main goal of poker industry.
The league and its innovative format all form part of CEO Alexandre Dreyfus’ vision to ‘sportify’ poker in a bid for the Global Poker Index to become the equivalent of the NASCAR, NFL, NBA, ATP, or PGA for poker.
One of the most remarkable innovations set to be introduced by the GPL is “The Cube”, a portable, 20-foot- one-way soundproof cube that will offer spectators the first-ever immersive poker event in the world. Built exclusively for the GPL and openly inspired by other well-known sports arenas like the UFC’s Octagon, The Cube will allow the organization to create an all-new way to present a poker game.
It is constructed of special one-way glass, based on the same optical principles as the stuff used by casino security, in police interrogation rooms and other such applications. As long as the house lights are dimmed, the audience will be able to see the players, but the players will not be able to see the audience. It is also sound-proof, but with microphones placed inside the Cube to pick up the sounds of the game and relay them to external speakers. In this way, the audience can be privy to both the action at the table and the players’ hole cards – displayed on large screens above the Cube – without impacting the integrity of the game.
To make the event even more engaging, Dreyfus plans to introduce some more innovative elements to speed up the game and make sure the action is always fast-paced in order to keep the audience excited.