[toc]The Global Poker League has announced the launch of the Global Poker League China, which will begin after the league’s spring festival next year.
This Asia-exclusive league will follow the same format as the original Global Poker League, with eight teams each representing a city competing for a season one title.
According to Global Poker League CEO Alexandre Dreyfus, the league will operate independently from the main Global Poker League.
It is an effort to make poker into an esport and mind sport in China with team-based Texas Hold’em poker.
Teams of the Global Poker League China
The eight team managers will be announced in early 2017, with players being chosen from the Global Poker Index, online qualifiers and celebrity players.
The teams, each representing a city within China, are as follows:
- The Beijing Great Dragons
- The Shanghai Golden Tigers
- The Guanghzou Pioneers
- The Shenzhen Eagles
- The Hangzho Legends
- The Xi’an Warriors
- The Chengdu Pandas
- The Tianjin Guardians
About the Global Poker League
The Global Poker League is a bid to make an esport or mind sport out of poker, building on the success of esports such as League of Legends or Dota 2 that fill stadiums when their professional players duke it out.
The brainchild of Global Poker Index founder Alex Dreyfus, the league began with eight team managers drafting their players from the Global Poker Index rankings and also the outside world.
The teams then play several poker variants, including heads-up and team formats, online in web broadcasts before going head-to-head in “The Cube,” a digital poker arena.
Originally, the Global Poker League final was to take place in Wembley Arena, London, but was moved to Las Vegas early on in the season.
The Global Poker League’s season one
The Global Poker League got off to an exciting start. The first big moment for the new league was when Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul announced that he would be playing for the LA Sunset in the Global Poker League, getting the league some mainstream exposure.
The online poker heads-up matches, featuring some of the world’s best high stakes poker players streaming their commentary and reactions over webcam, were very well-received and produced some fantastic poker moments for fans.
However, once the league graduated to live matches in “The Cube,” interest waned quickly. Despite Aaron Paul playing several live matches and the games being broadcast over Twitch, viewership dropped steadily.
In the final seven-hour match, the Montreal Nationals defeated the Berlin Bears 6:5 to win the inaugural title. The final was watched by just a few hundred people and was being outmatched, viewer-wise, by low-stakes poker tournament streamers.