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Global Poker Index, Ivey League Form Partnership

The Global Poker Index (GPI) and Ivey League announced Tuesday that they have entered into an agreement in which they will jointly promote and market Ivey League players as well as promote the game of poker in general.

Ivey League is a poker training site started by, you guessed it, ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Ivey. The site’s main feature is its series of training videos by Ivey League’s stable of poker pros. It also has a message board in which players can discuss specific hands and poker strategy, but it is lightly trafficked.

For what Ivey League is lacking in active poker discussion, though, it makes up for in its coaching roster, populated by some of the best poker players in world, particularly those who have focused on internet poker throughout their careers. Coaches include Ivey himself, Patrik Antonius, Cole “CTS” South, Aaron “aejones” Jones, Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, Brian “flawless_victory” Roberts, the GPI’s current top-ranked player Dan Smith, Griffin “flush_entity” Benger, Jared “RikaKazak” Bartlett, co-author of the Mathematics of Poker Jerrod Ankenman, Jennifer Harman, Jonathan Jaffe, and Ronnie Bardah.

In a press release, Phil Ivey said, “Ivey League is a single source for all training needs. Our goal is to provide the tools necessary to increase the skill level of every poker player and to win. We look forward to working with the Global Poker Index as they are a leader in promoting poker as a sport/skill game.”

Phil Ivey (c) Ivey League

“We are elated to be working with the biggest name in the game of poker,” added Global Poker Index CEO Alexandre Dreyfus. “We hope that this team will further highlight the game of poker and promote its players.”

The Global Poker Index got off to a rather inauspicious start, created by Federated Sports + Gaming in 2011 in conjunction with the short lived and widely criticized Epic Poker League. On Leap Day in 2012, Federated Sports + Gaming announced that it had filed for bankruptcy and in June of that year was sold in a bankruptcy auction to Pinnacle Entertainment. Pinnacle purchased the GPI, the Epic Poker League, EpicPoker.com, and other Federated assets for $300,000. Pinnacle also acquired the Heartland Poker Tour from Federated in a separate auction for $4.2 million.

Pinnacle quickly turned around and sold the Global Poker Index in August 2012 to Dreyfus’ Zokay Entertainment. At that time, the GPI was not really given much mind by the poker community, but it has since become the go-to site for live tournament rankings.

The Global Poker Index ranks players based on their live tournament performances using several factors to come up with a rather complicated GPI score. Tournaments which contribute to a player’s GPI score must have at least 21 players in the field, a one dollar minimum buy-in, and be tourneys in which the player actually made the money (obviously). To make sure tournaments with mammoth fields such as the World Series of Poker Main Event or outlandish buy-ins such as the Big One for One Drop don’t totally skew the rankings, things like buy-in caps and finishing percentage factors are used.

The GPI also uses an aging factor when calculating scores, giving more weight to recent accomplishments. Cashes from the last 36 months are used, with cashes separated into six half-year periods, each of which gets its own aging factor. Bottom line: finish high in a large buy-in, large field tournament in the recent past and you will score some solid GPI points.

The proprietary points formula is a big reason why the Global Poker Index has become the most referenced live tournament ranking in the industry. The other is, well, that it is really the only one of even the slightest significance any more. The Global Poker Index has also done a great job of partnering with sites such as the Ivey League to expand its reach. About a year ago, it purchased TheHendonMob.com, the internet’s leading resource for live tournament results. Obviously, the two were pretty much a match made in heaven, but TheHendonMob.com has been established for years as the site everyone goes to to research live tournament results and records, so the GPI’s visibility was instantly raised. The GPI also teamed up with PocketFives.com in December. PocketFives is to online poker tournaments what the Global Poker Index is to live tournaments, thus yet another synergy and another way for the GPI to attract people to its site. Now, with the Ivey League, the Global Poker Index has another partner whose popularity it can use to bring people over to its own site.

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