Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, the Global Poker League (GPL) just took a big step towards being a reality, with the release of all twelve franchise names, logos and team managers. More details regarding the GPL draft have been released. Poker pros become draft eligible on the 18th of January, franchises will find out the order of the inaugural draft a month later on the 18th of February, and then on the 25th of February in Los Angeles, the 2016 Draft will take place.
In this article we’re going to look at the franchises in turn, taking a look at the logos, the team managers and also hearing some public opinion on their initial thoughts on the franchise as a whole
We all knew about this one owing to a tweet from Chris Moneymaker himself earlier this week announcing the logo. I’m not saying that the GPL would have failed without Moneymaker, but that with him on board this particular franchise sets itself apart from the others – no other Team Manager has won the WSOP Main Event, although it remains to see if any former Champions will be drafted.
Public Opinion: “I like what they’ve done with the Vegas sign, although I do think that Las Vegas could have gone with anything, not necessarily the name.”
Co-founder of the charity REG (Raising for Effective Giving) and with over $9m in lifetime earnings, they couldn’t have had a better role model to have as a Team Manager for Germany’s GPL team. You get the idea that this will be a German-dominated team, and with a wealth of talented players out there, this is definitely a team to watch
Public Opinion: “I really like this one. The alliteration is really good. I’m surprised more franchises didn’t use alliteration in their names.”
The only far east team in the GPL and former winner of the Macau Poker Cup heads this franchise. The Team PokerStars Pro is one of the most successful streamer on Twitch, and a big name in Asia which will come in handy to tap into the Asian poker markets.
Public Opinion: “The logo is basic and simple. It’s not the Hong Kong Dragons, it’s the Hong Kong Stars so I don’t really know if I like the Dragon”
Yet another PokerStars Team Pro as a team manger, and what a manager they have here in Liv Boeree. Also, another co-founder of REG who you would imagine would have a close partnership with the GPL seeing as two of its co-founders are team managers
Public Opinion: “It will appeal to Americans who love the whole idea of the royals with the crown. It’s a good branding of London”
Not Toronto as the initial press release stated, but another major Canadian city nevertheless. Marc-Andre Ladouceur is one of Canada’s top players with over a million in tournament earnings. The logo looks not too dissimilar from other major sports logos of North America, but it is one of the most striking, separating the name of the city from the franchise name effectively.
Public Opinion: “The colours make it stand out. It looks American” (I remind them that Montreal is in Canada. “I know, it just looks American!”
Everyone’s favourite pint-sized Russian poker pro is the Team Manager for the Moscow Wolverines. He managed to capture everyone’s attention with his antics during the Global Poker Masters last Spring, where he along with his fellow Russians finished runner-up to Italy
Public Opinion: “It’s a cool logo with the card in its mouth. I like the way it sounds too, the name juts rolls off the tongue”
Well the GPI timed that well what with Bryn Kenney taking down the $100k Super High Roller at the PCA. Another participant in the Global Poker Masters (in fact four Team Managers took part in the inaugural event) so already has strong links with the Global Poker Index as an organisation
Public Opinion: “The Statue of Liberty is cool. The name is still very much the focus of the logo. It’s unique with the skyline, just like the Vegas one”
Bracelet winner in 2011, Fabrice Soulier heads up the Paris Aviators. It’s named after the Aviation Club de France, a famous Parisian casino which closed in February 2015. I’s also up for debate whether this will be the team GPI CEO Alexandre Dreyfus supports!
Public Opinion: “The plane looks cool. I can imagine it looking cool on posters. The plane is cooler than the dragon one”
Not to be outdone, Pescatori has four bracelets himself and is seen as a “trailblazer” for poker in his native Italy. With Italy being the current Global Poker Masters World Champions, it remains to be seen if any of their winning side will form the basis for this particular franchise
Public Opinion: “The logo looks different to the others. It doesn’t stand out as much. It looks cool, but I wouldn’t immediately think of poker from the logo”
Former WPT Player of the Year Faraz Jaka has over $5m in lifetime earnings, as well as an appearance on the Shark Cage TV show. With both San Francisco and Los Angeles having franchises, it looks like there will be a local derby in the first season of the GPL
Public Opinion: “I’m not sure about Rush. It doesn’t stand out. Rush sounds like a sports team. Maybe they’ve gone too far away from poker with this one”
South America gets in on the act with Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari. A native of Sao Paulo, Akkari has become one of the biggest poker stars in Brazil. Could we perhaps see Neymar on a GPL team?
Public Opinion: “The name sounds odd. I like the chip and the bridge, but the name isn’t too great”
Last but not least we have our second female Team Manager in Maria Ho. One of the best female poker players in the world, and regular Twitch streamer, Ho competed in ‘The Amazing Race 15’ with fellow poker pro Tiffany Michelle
Public Opinion: “I really like the poker chip designs. Although the name doesn’t really sound like a sports team, more like a cocktail of some sorts.”