What next for the Global Poker Masters?

Molto bene! Italy get their hands on the Global Poker Masters trophy
Molto bene! Italy get their hands on the Global Poker Masters trophy

It’s the morning after Team Italy’s historic victory over Team Russia in the first ever Global Poker Masters. But what next? Backdoor Quads spoke with some of the people who helped to make the Global Poker Masters such a spectacle and talked about the future of the competition.


The format has been one of the most widely discussed aspects of the Global Poker Masters. Both players and organisers have talked about ways to alter the competition in order to avoid the mass stalling we saw on Day 1 during the initial playoff phase.

Kara Scott and Alex Dreyfus introduce coverage of the 2015 Global Poker Masters final between Team Italy and Team Russia

We asked Alex Drefyus, the man behind the Global Poker Masters whether he had started thinking about the next edition, including any changes to the format of the competition. “Players wanted to change a few things during the playoffs, and fair enough. We will change a few things to make it a little bit different, more drama, maybe some more action, especially at the end of the playoffs and I’m totally fine with that.”

Kara Scott, who co-hosted coverage of the Global Poker Masters along side Eric Danis, said that ultimately it was up to the players to provide a lot of the feedback. “It’s difficult because poker players know what they like but I really hope that they like it. What we’re trying to do is bring more people into the game because poker as an industry needs fresh breath, new players and new viewers.

Vanessa Selbst, seen here competing in Day 1 of the Global Poker Masters
Vanessa Selbst, seen here competing in Day 1 of the Global Poker Masters

When asked about the future of the competition, Scott added “It would be interesting to have more nations, perhaps 12 instead of 8. This way we could expand it to three days giving everyone more time.” It was a feature of Day 1 that players were visibly fatigued after playing five matches back to back. Many of them including Team USA’s Vanessa Selbst felt compelled to rest in between the matches in order to keep their focus up.

Alex Dreyfus said at the end of the competition that he personally was feeling good not only because it was over but the players were happy as well. “Of course the winners are happy but I believe that every other country enjoyed the event as well. I hope that they [Italy] will claim this victory loudly but from the feedback we’ve got they’ve all really enjoyed it.”

Dreyfus made it clear that it wasn’t his place to say whether or not Italy will truly be seen as legitimate world champions. “The only people who are going to be able to claim that will be the players and the poker community. After the first ever Global Poker Masters it would be arrogant of me to say that this is the legitimate World Cup of poker, but we’ve built a platform, an event, a tool which hopefully will add to that legitimacy”

Alex Dreyfus (r) speaks with Giuliano Bendinelli from Team Italy after their victory in the Global Poker Masters

The next part of Dreyfus’ ambitions to sportify poker comes in the shape of the Global Poker League (GPL), but he was coy on the details surrounding the competition. “We’re going to start to talk more about the GPL in the next two months, but it’s a project that is supposedly going to be launched after the WSOP. It should be an Autumn/Winter project”