GPI Global Poker Masters

Global Poker Masters’ Alex Dreyfus Blasts Betclic Everest Over Blocked Players

Alex Dreyfus, the entrepreneurial force behind the Global Poker Index and its recent offshoot, the Global Poker Masters, has launched a diatribe against French site Betclic Everest over Everest’s refusal to release two sponsored pros, Benjamin Pollack and Fabrice Soulier, to participate in Dreyfus’s upcoming event.

GPI Global Poker MastersPollack and Soulier were initially selected to be part of the team representing France on the GPI’s upcoming Global Poker Masters event, which founder Dreyfus has envisioned as poker’s form of a World Cup, a part of his ongoing marketing plan to “sportify” poker.

Among other initiatives championed by Dreyfus include Fantasy Poker Manager and a new series of national and regional poker awards, including the American Poker Awards, the European Poker Awards, and, of some interest in regard to the latest controversy, the French Poker Awards.  In response to Everest’s refusal to allow the two French players to participate, Dreyfus has suggested giving the rival France site the “Absurd” award.

Dreyfus, a French citizen, has had a lengthy history in online poker and online gambling, having founded Winamax, ChiliPoker, and several other predominantly France-facing sites before branching out with his latest, more global offerings.  As such, he may be viewed as a marketing rival by Betclic Everest, with that site unwilling to allow its sponsored players to participate “unpatched” in the inaugural Global Poker Masters event, which will be held in Malta in late March.

Eight teams of four players each will play in the Global Poker Masters, representing the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, Italy, and the Ukraine.  The French team, for which Pollack qualified for and received an initial invite based on a merit system derived from Dreyfus’s own GPI rankings, has since had to be reworked.  Soulier was in the running for a “wild card” invite — which has still to be determimed.

France’s other GPI representatives, in a lineup that’s in the process of being reshuffled, also includes Erwann Pecheux, Bertrand “eLKy” Grospellier and Sylvain Loosli.

Dreyfus blasted Betclic Everest in a long, sometimes rambling post on the French poker forum In short, if one boils down the long missive (reproduced below in its entirety), Dreyfus admonishes Betclic Everest for not sharing his dream regarding what needs to be done to create a new poker boom, whether Everest is Dreyfus’s business rival or not.

Wrote Dreyfus, roughly translated, “The idea is to ‘Sportify Poker’ to make public, to recreate a boost to see a boom. Only innovation, risk taking and disruption will do that. It is a long journey for 2 or 3 years minimum. It is a vision Long Term. It is also an investment of several million personal, to build this vision.”

While Dreyfus’s attack may represent both a deep idealism and a hefty touch of savvy marketing, the selfishness he accuses Betclic Everest of displaying is hardly new in the poker world.  Several previous brand-based rivalries have erupted in the past, including a case brought several years by a handful or sponsored American poker pros against the World Poker Tour.

Another celebrated example, even closer in relevance to the Dreyfus / Betclic Everest rhubarb was the exclusion of PokerStars-sponsored players from the Full Tilt-backed TV program “Poker After Dark.”  (That imbroglio occurred back in the pre-Black Friday days when Stars and Tilt were heated industry rivals, not part of the same company.)

We make no judgment regarding who is right in the latest dispute, but note that by happening at all, it adds some measure of interest and attention to Dreyfus’s Global Poker Masters event.  The following is the Google Translate version of Dreyfus’s long, which was translated into French (from English) as it was posted; by being re-translated by the automated program, numerous grammatical errors occur, which should not be attributed to Dreyfus.

The attack on Betclic Everest, translated from the French version:

Sorry – it is long – it can be good – but a few days of the France Poker Awards, I would like to awarded the prize of the Absurd. Here is a blog that is only my opinion, full of mistakes because I write on an English keyboard, but from the heart because I longed to believe in the French poker community. Unfortunately I was wrong. Fortunately, it was my fault:-) So I keep smiling.

The advantage of being an entrepreneur is to be free. Free to say what we think and act accordingly. I made the choice to take 18 years ago, leaving high school to start my first business. Since, my journey was filled with success and failures, but always driven by passion, enthusiasm and a long-term vision. Some will say that I am arrogant, and conceited enough. As my physics teacher in Terminal S: “everything is relative”. (Ok, it stung to Einstein). Those who know me, know that these character traits – I assume – are actually the translation of an entrepreneurial passion and desire to do things advancer, lines, short: evolve. Innovation and risk, just by the fact of confidence in his dreams and ambitions. The others see it as a threat to their way of thinking, structured, organized; a threat to a world they can not see how to evolve.

In short, after working for 8 [years] in the poker world, having founded Winamax & Chilipoker, owner of, DeepStackOpen, IgamingFrance,, etc …. I try me for almost three years creating an initiative, dynamic, to revive media interest in poker – in France as in the rest of the world (mostly). For that, I bought a few companies – GPI HendonMob, EuropeanPokerAwards, FrancePokerAwards – launched FantasyPokerManager (100,000 players), and finally launched two large projects: Global Poker Masters (World Cup of Poker) and Global Poker League (professional league poker). The idea is to ‘Sportify Poker’ to make public, to recreate a boost to see a boom. Only innovation, risk taking and disruption will do that. It is a long journey for 2 or 3 years minimum. It is a vision Long Term. It is also an investment of several million personal, to build this vision.

This vision is shared by all, well almost, global players WPT, EPT & Pokerstars WSOP poker players around the world, the media poker and more leading groups in the world media and sport, as you’ll see in a few weeks. Few people had understood from the beginning, this global vision, the ambition, but more and more key players in the poker joined us and supported.

Our latest initative, the Global Poker Masters (World Cup of Poker) aim, naive, trying to give a new perspective to talk about poker, even as a sporting competition such as the Ryder Cup or Davis Cup . We are a world away from being at that level, but we must start somewhere. Furthermore, the model we have chosen is to have the top 8 countries and the 4 best players from these countries – all thanks to the GPI rankings, gives legitimacy to organize an unprecedented event of this type. We announced this event in June 2014 and several releases on this subject at the end year. We had received only positive reviews, constructive feedback and encouragement to give life to this project.

In early January 2015, we contacted all the players involved in GPI national teams, I was confident but worried. I decided at the last minute to go to the PCA Bahamas to meet the players and their gait and explain my initiative. I must have that I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the players. The player who won $ 5m, $ 10m or more. Moreover they have earned $ 135m all together, but come to play my tournament because they understand the issue. I can not tell any anecdotes without the permission of their authors, but I have two that have affected me a lot:

George Danzer, team pro stars, super star of poker, a lot of charisma and humor, a real character. I pass it to Starbuck Atlantis, we make a small point and he said “you know this is my girlfriend drove me to play a little late in the year to earn points and make GPI party Team Germany to the Global Poker Masters “

Or Philipp Gruissem, former world number 1 GPI little guy who earned $ 12m to date online and live, and is probably one of the smartest guys and humblest of the circuit. After receiving the press release with the players involved, it N’e not see it and send me an email “I thought I was going to play …. Bad year I imagine L “and wonder how it could be a wildcard.

It is my ultimate recognition and pleasure, motivation to continue my gait. I said I must be right and that the goal qq’part key. I invested over $ 300k on this project, have prestigious partners, we give a watch for $ 50k MVP, etc … It’s a real baby.

It was not counting on Moi J French idiocratie following advantage of France there is 8 years old, this week I found myself in a ridiculous situation hurts me and saddens me.

In #TeamFrance team there 4 players. Erwan Pecheux sponsored by PMU Benjamin Pollack sponsored by Sylvain Loosli sponsored Winamax and Fabrice Soulier sponsored Elky my friend, who was with Fabrice Soulier in my marriage, not part of the 4 selected, I’m a bit deg because it is a raw and it has a huge picture in France and abroad. It was GPI # 1 too. There was a good chance that the team would choose Elky as wildcard, this was a team of killers to compete with the world’s best player, live.

Like the 32 other prompts players, french 4 confirm their attendance and their desire to participate in this unique event, which most are free (with prices the key), for fun, for fun and also to represent their country . I communicated the names of the players and there the drama J badaboum

The French poker responsible / BetClick wake (guys, do your press review like the other rooms that already knew the global poker masters for several months) and ask for precisions players and their colleagues french about this event. Is, it is legitimate. I had bad press about the fact that we do not accept logos individual sponsors, online game or not, on the same basis as individual sponsorship of footballs players can not appear on the national jersey during cutting the world. My relationship is limited directly with the players because it is they who are involved in the national team and I have no commercial agreements with online gaming sponsors. I also want to step on this event, since the idea is to try to create a first world cup edition that will attract sponsors non-gaming in the future. So I need a stream clean / clear all sponsors of gaming, in order to promote the chains and distribution partners. We already have agreements with partners that should ensure more than 300.000 to 500.000 unique visitors to our live stream.

And there the anti-productive machine / BetClick starts, and still I am polite. I summarize: We organize the World Cup of Poker is by invitation only for the world’s best (and French), players will represent their country, they can earn tens of thousands of dollars (without investment), they will be visible for 45 days to promote the event and all live and post-event videos, etc … The players want to participate in the competition, it is also during EFA Malta, so it costs nothing more. Is a caveat anyway, is that they will not have the possibility to wear their logo during the televised stages of the game, but like another sports event, they may do so during the press confs, videos, photos, articles, blogs, etc … Moreover, they may themselves use the fact that their players are part of the France Poker team and do promotions around.

And bah no, then as understood in 2 minutes, the point of having Sam Trickett represent #TeamUK – without logo – the team / BetClick simply refuse to allow its players to participate in the Global Poker Masters tournament or a free THEIR players / Ambassadors will be visible for about 15h live (more than any EPT event or other) and will represent the interests of the French poker community. Their players who have earned their place after three years of effort to be there (GPI 36 months) are not allowed to play.

Yes, managers of EverestPoker.Fr / BetClick simply amputated two of the best players in the France team because they did not accept – unlike Winamax PMU or Pokerstars – to see their players represent France for two days without 5cm2 their logo on their chest. This reduces the chances of the team to win, and that’s a shame. I’m French nonetheless.

The French poker had instead need encouragement and be united to his image developer, not childish bickering and guys who defend their job instead of him.

Go #TeamFrance #Surprises J


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