Global Poker League Draft Order Determined

The next step in the lead-up to the inaugural Global Poker League (GPL) season took place earlier than expected, as the Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of the GPL’s parent company, Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, drew the order for the upcoming player draft with Laura Cornelius on Tuesday, live on Twitch. There were some technical issues and it was obvious that this was the GPL’s first go at a production like this, but in the end, the draft order was determined.

In previous articles, we have detailed what the draft process is going to entail, but some aspects of the draft are now different than what the Global Poker League has published on its website. Before today, the GPL stated that each team would be composed of five players: the manager, three drafted players, plus a “Wild Card” that would be selected in the week after the draft. Each of the three draft rounds would be randomized independently of the others in order to ensure fairness. As I wrote yesterday, this made complete sense:

In normal sports drafts, we see teams selecting in the same order each round, but that is so that the worst teams the previous season have the earliest picks and thus a better chance to get the best players to help improve their teams. In the case of the GPL, at least for the inaugural season, there is no “bad” or “good” teams, so it would not be fair to have the same team pick first in every round (it could theoretically happen, but it probably won’t).

Things have now changed. In the Twitch broadcast, Alexandre Dreyfus said that because so many poker players signed a contract to be eligible for the draft (just over 200 players put their hats in the ring), the Global Poker League decided to expand the draft by one round so that each team would have six total players, rather than five. Thus, a dozen more players will be part of the GPL.

Additionally, the draft will now be a “snake” style draft, rather than having the draft order randomized each round. In a snake draft, the team to pick last in a round picks first in the next round. Thus, in the GPL draft, the team that selects 12th will also make the 13th pick, the team that selects 24th will immediately pick 25th (this is also the team that picked first overall), and so on. It is another draft format that makes sense; the advantage of picking first is negated to an extent and the team that goes last in the first round is helped.

The Wild Card picks have also been slightly changed. All indications had been, as mentioned earlier, that a team would be made up of the three drafted players, the manager, and a Wild Card. Now it is four drafted players and two Wild Cards, neither of whom is required to be the manager. Odds are, most managers will put themselves on the team and just pick one more Wild Card; Chris Moneymaker, manager of the Las Vegas Moneymakers, has already said that he will be on his own team.

Though you may have already skipped down to this point, here is the first round order for the inaugural Global Poker League draft:

1. Rome Emperors – Manager Max Pescatori
2. Montreal Nationals – Manager Marc-Andre Ladouceur
3. New York Rounders – Manager Bryn Kenney
4. San Francisco Rush – Manager Faraz Jaka
5. Las Vegas Moneymakers – Manager Chris Moneymaker
6. Sao Paulo Metropolitans – Manager Andre Akkari
7. London Royals – Manager Liv Boeree
8. Moscow Wolverines – Manager Anatoly Filatov
9. Los Angeles Sunset – Manager Maria Ho
10. Berlin Bears – Manager Philipp Gruissem
11. Paris Aviators – Manager Fabrice Soulier
12. Hong Kong Stars – Manager Celina Lin

gpl global poker league teams

As the result of the snake draft, this means that Celina Lin will make her second pick for the Hong Kong Stars with pick 13, the first one of the second round, while Max Pescatori will have to wait until all the other teams have picked twice to make his second selection for the Rome Emperors. He will then select first in the third round.

During the Twitch broadcast, commentators Eric Danis and Roland Boothby felt very confident that Max Pescatori would select Italy’s Mustapha Kanit with the number one pick in the draft. Kanit was ranked 31st in the Global Poker Index on December 31st, 2015 (the top 1,000 as of that date were eligible for the GPL draft) and is the 13th highest ranked player to put his name in for the draft.

Team managers are not required to choose players from the country or city that the team represents (and if teams want to win, most wouldn’t want to just go with locals, anyway), but Danis and Boothby feel that Pescatori would be itching to select a player like Kanit who is both from Italy and clearly one of the best poker players in the world.

Similarly, they thought Marc-Andre Ladouceur might go with a Canadian with the second pick in the first round, as names like Mike “timex” McDonald and Jonathan Duhamel are available, but they were not nearly as confident with that guess. They actually thought that Ladouceur might have wanted to pick lower, as he could have still grabbed a fantastic player and had the benefit of picking again shortly thereafter.

The Global Poker League draft will be held a week from today, on February 25th at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. It will be streamed live on Twitch at


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