What’s Next for the GPL Season?
As we have already written, Week 8 of the Global Poker League (GPL) concluded last week, marking the end of the unofficial first third of the league’s inaugural season. One might naturally think that with the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) getting underway this week that it would be time for a break in the GPL action so that the participants can concentrate on trying to win gold bracelets. Not so. In fact, the timing of the WSOP works out quite nicely for the Global Poker League.
Since most of the GPL players will be in Las Vegas for the largest poker festival in the world, the GPL schedule was arranged in such a way so as to have them finally compete against each other in person. What a novel idea! For the first two months of the season, the teams have squared off against each other in six-handed Sit-and-Go’s and heads-up matches online. Though I was sarcastic a couple sentences ago, this setup made perfect sense, as nobody can expect the players, who are scattered all over the world, to be able to meet each other live each week. Just as I question why my brother has to fly from Seattle to Atlanta for a meeting when he could see everyone via online video or, heaven forbid, a phone call (then again, who doesn’t LOATHE conference calls?), I would have raised an eyebrow at weekly live poker competitions. Especially when nothing is immediately at stake.
But now that the players will be in Vegas, the next stage of the Global Poker League season is set to begin next week. Starting June 6th and running for six weeks will be the Summer Series portion of the GPL. In the Summer Series, each team from the Americas Conference will play against each team in the Eurasia Conference in heads-up matches. This differs from the “regular season” contests, which are purely intra-conference; only Eurasia teams versus Eurasia teams and Americas versus Americas.
Thus, each week during the Summer Series, every team will play one heads-up match. We assume only one player per team will play, just like during the regular season, though this hasn’t exactly been made clear. One match per team makes sense, though, for two reasons: 1) Even though most of the players will be in Las Vegas for the WSOP, not all of them will and not all of them will be there at the same time, and 2) It would put way too much scoring weight on the Summer Series.
As for that scoring, it will be just like the online heads-up matches during the regular season. Each heads-up match will consist of three games, with three points at stake for each game. The most points a player can win in a match, then, is nine.
The heads-up matches during the Summer Series will be played at the Global Poker League’s Las Vegas studio for online streaming.
The format for the live heads-up contests will be the same for those that have been played online. Each player receives an 18 minute game clock and no time bank. So if a player runs through his or her entire game clock, that’s it, right? Game over? No! After the game clock runs out on a player, that player is then on the “Hot Seat,” meaning that they only get a maximum of four seconds to act for the rest of the game. If the four second time limit expires, the player’s hand is folded or checked, depending on the situation.
The Summer Series will wrap up before the World Series of Poker Main Event begins because really, nobody is going to want to play a GPL match during the Main Event. The regular season will then resume with Week 9 in mid-August and continue for a total of six weeks.
The Montreal Nationals currently lead the Americas Conference with 106 points, the only team in the league that has cracked the 100 mark. They are followed by the hard-charging LA Sunset with 95 points and the sinking New York Rounders with 87 points.
In the Eurasia Conference, it is the London Royals who have reached the top spot with 97 points. It is a close race behind them as the Moscow Wolverines have 92 points and the Hong Kong Stars have 91 points. For much of the GPL season, the Eurasia Conference was quite spread out with Moscow and the Paris Aviators dominating, but the ranks have closed in the last couple weeks. The gap between first and last is almost ten points fewer than that same game in the Americas Conference. On that side, it was Montreal and New York jockeying for first most of the season, but Montreal has started to pull away a bit.
Montreal Nationals – 106 points
LA Sunset – 95 points
New York Rounders – 87 points
Sao Paolo Mets – 82 points
San Francisco rush – 69 points
Las Vegas Moneymakers – 65 points
London Royals – 97 points
Moscow Wolverines – 92 points
Hong Kong Stars – 91 points
Paris Aviators – 86 points
Berlin Bears – 74 points
Rome Emperors – 63 points