Yesterday the new and innovative Global Poker League (GPL) held its inaugural player draft at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
Poker pros Phil Hellmuth and PokerStars' own Daniel Negreanu provided commentary for the event, and the draft went down just as any other professional sports draft would.
CEO of Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, Alex Dreyfus has taken his idea to “sportify poker” to a whole new level. The league now has the big names and faces of pokers finest professionals attached to its teams.
The Rome Emperors team and manager Max Pescatori had the first pick overall, and selected Mustapha Kanit (picture lower). Kanit has been a beast on the high roller tournament circuit over the past few years amassing over $5 million in live earnings. He’s also a native of Italy, providing some local flavor for the Emperors.
Mike "Timex" McDonald, a solid Canadian ultra high stakes pro went 2nd overall to the Montreal Nationals, and the New York Rounders selected tournament grinder and PokerStars pro Jason Mercier with the 3rd pick.
Before the start of the draft, the ever popular Antonio Esfandiari had to remove himself from the player pool because of family commitments. However with the amount of star power available in the draft, this was only a minor setback.
Here’s how the teams looked by the end of the night.
Montreal Nationals — Marc-Andre Ladouceur
4 Xuan Liu
New York Rounders — Bryn Kenney
San Francisco Rush — Faraz Jaka
Las Vegas Moneymakers — Chris Moneymaker
Sao Paulo Metropolitans — Andre Akkari
London Royals — Liv Boeree
Moscow Wolverines — Anatoly Filatov
Los Angeles Sunset — Maria Ho
Berlin Bears — Philipp Gruissem
Paris Aviators — Fabrice Soulier
Hong Kong Stars — Celina Lin
3 Dong Guo
Team managers now have a couple weeks to make 2 wild card selections and solidify their team rosters. Schedules should be announced shortly thereafter.
As it stands now, Montreal, New York, and Rome look to be very strong. It will be interesting to see what moves are made by the managers in regard to the wild card choices.
By Dan Dececco, Rakeback.com Freelance Author
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