Mediarex Sports & Entertainment (MSE), the parent company of the Global Poker Index, has confirmed the 12 teams for the inaugural season of the Global Poker League, which will begin with a draft day on February 25, 2016.
MSE’s first-ever professional team poker league is being launched as part of a wider effort to ‘sportify’ poker. The league will comprise a series of live events, during which players will compete inside a signature arena called ‘the Cube.’ A one-way sound-proofed cube, the structure will be placed in the centre of a venue to allow all spectators to view the action.
The first season will feature two conferences, representing Americas and Eurasia. The Americas conference will feature the Las Vegas Moneymakers, Los Angeles Sunset, Montreal Nationals, New York Rounders, San Francisco Rush and Sao Paulo Metropolitans. The Eurasia conference will include the Berlin Bears, Hong Kong Stars, London Royals, Moscow Wolverines, Paris Aviators and Rome Emperors.
When news of the proposed league emerged in October, it was initially thought that teams were likely to include Toronto, Prague and Barcelona.
The draft will take place at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills in California, US. Players already planning on entering the draft include stars such as Darren Elias, Chris Moorman, Anthony Zinno and Fedor Holz.
MSE also announced the various managers for the teams, including some of the most renowned poker players in the world. MSE said that the team managers were assigned not only due to their poker skills, but also their “business acumen, ability to lead a team and commitment to investing time and passion into their team and the league”.
“We’ve secured an incredible amount of talented leaders to represent our 12 franchise teams as well as strong intent from some of the world’s best poker players to make themselves ‘draftable’ on February 25,” MSE chief executive Alexandre Dreyfus said. “We’re looking forward to what the next few months and the inaugural season of the Global Poker League will bring for fans across the globe.”