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GPL 3 Stars Week 3: Brothers, Bathrobes, Managers & Marathons
Who stole the spotlight in Week 3 of the inaugural season of the Global Poker League?
It's no easy task to pick just three players.
We saw the debut of some spectacular performers with equally spectacular personalities. GPL Team Managers put their talents on the line for the first time.
Faraz Jaka jumped in for teammate Jonathan Jaffe on short notice and didn't even have time to get dressed. We also saw the first signs of a true gap from the top and bottom of the Conference standings.
More than anything, though, we'll look back at Week 3 and remember it as the introduction of a new poker MVP to the world. Perhaps even two.
Who will top our weekly GPL "It" List this week? Read on (and tell us how wrong we are) below. Check the Conference standings after Week 3 here.
1) The Brothers Kenney
As host Eric Danis mentioned a few times on the stream, New York Rounders Manager Bryn Kenney took some heat for naming his younger brother Tyler as one of his wildcards.
With $1m in career live earnings it's not as if Tyler is a slouch at the tables but there were other players still available, some say, with better credentials.
The critics are eating their words today as Tyler put on a show in his two six-max matches on Tuesday.
A win and a second put 12 points on the board for the Rounders. Kenney's personality also shone through and his marathon heads-up with Felipe Mojave was entertaining.
After Tyler's big performance the pressure was on Bryn to deliver even more and he didn't disappoint - except, perhaps, on the score sheet.
The older Kenney's play was fun to watch (and listen to) and, without a few big bluffs going wrong, could have resulted in a better finish.
As it turned out he lost 2-1 to an unflinching Pascal Lefrancois but he definitely left fans buzzing. Check out (most of) the match replay below:
2) George Danzer
Sweeping a full nine points in a heads-up match is a big deal in the GPL and will really make the difference when it comes time to separate the playoff teams from the bottom of the table.
As we saw with Jason Mercier last week, when you do it against one of the best players in the game it carries some extra weight.
That's exactly what George Danzer did for the Paris Aviators this week with a 3-0 sweep of London Royal and high-stakes legend Igor Kurganov.
A massive set-up hand in Hand 1 obviously helped but Danzer's HUNL play - not something he's known for - stood the test in Gms 2 and 3.
Cool, comfortable and engaging on cam as well Danzer proved yet again that Fabrice Soulier's draft board was right on point. Watch the full replay of the match below:
3) Jonathan Little
There were a lot of ways we could go here for the Third Star but in the end we couldn't help but be most impressed by Jonathan Little - for both his poker acumen and his commentary chops.
A huge part of the success of the GPL will hinge on the players being able to explain high-level strategy in an engaging - and non-confusing - manner for the non-poker enthusiast.
Little has it nailed.
Clear and direct, nuanced yet easy-to-follow, it was a lesson in how well it can be done.
The chat box responded in kind with many saying Little was already their favourite streamer.
Winning his match 2-1 against Sao Paulo's Joao Bauer also didn't hurt his star rating.
Little is a veteran of the poker publishing game and clearly has put the time and effort into becoming a fantastic teacher as much as a player.
Watch and learn below:
We're not bathrobe people ourselves but seeing Faraz Jaka's general level of comfort doing interviews and playing intense heads-up poker in one, we might reconsider. Along with Jaka a few more GPL Managers got into the action this week including Liv Boeree (who won her 6-max match), Max Pescatori, Bryn Kenney, Fabrice Soulier and Maria Ho. All showed that the league is in good hands. Boeree's slow roll on the Jungleman was cruel, but funny. Andrey Pateychuk debuted with a six-max win for Moscow; Felipe Mojave's debut also went well. Jungleman was Jungleman; nanonoko's trash talking of Jungleman was epic. Sergey Lebedev bounced back from a rough first week to win his heads-up 2-1. Pascal Lefrancois again showed he's no heads-up slouch and a points machine for the Montreal Nationals.
Jungleman's actual misclicks really set the tone in his heads-up match with nanonoko and along with his one-point whiff in the 6-Max matches might be a sign a break would do him good. Having dealt with the Internet in Malta before we know it can be erratic but the constant buffering and technical gaps on Thursday let the quality of the games down.
A Few Random Stats
- Total number of hands played through 3 weeks: 3,158
- Number of different players so far: 58 (of 72 total)
- Player with most hands: Daniel Cates (Berlin Bears) 472 (10 games)
- Player with least hands: Kevin MacPhee (New York Rounders) 13 (2 matches, finished 6th in two 6-max tourneys)
- Number of actual dogs seen on screen: 2 (Trickett and Mercier)
- Most wine bottles in player's background - 3 (Alex Luneau)
- Most real barrels in player's background - 1 (Alex Luneau)
- Most swears - Jungleman (ainec)
- Best nickname for GPL announcer - Griffin Buger (c/o Kitty Kuo)
- # of blazers used over 3 weeks - 5? (Benger & Grafton for sure only own 1 each; Danis maybe a couple?)
Player Performance Index
|Pascal Lefrançois (Montreal Nationals)||15||6||6|
|Dominik Nitsche (Berlin Bears)||15||5||4.5|
|Randy Lew (Hong Kong Stars)||15||9||1.5|
|Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Moscow Wolverines)||14||5||3.5|
|Anthony Zinno (Las Vegas Moneymakers)||13||5||2.5|
|Felipe Mojave (Sao Paulo Mets)||12||2||6|
|Tyler Kenney (New York Rounders)||12||2||6|
|Olivier Busquet (LA Sunset)||12||6||3|
|Mike McDonald (Montreal Nationals)||12||4||0|
|Andrey Pateychuk (Moscow Wolverines)||10||2||4|
|Davidi Kitai (Paris Aviators)||10||2||4|
|Jason Wheeler (New York Rounders)||10||2||4|
|Raiden Kan (Hong Kong Stars)||10||2||4|
|Daniel Cates (Berlin Bears)||10||10||-11|
|George Danzer (Paris Aviators)||9||3||4.5|
|Jason Mercier (New York Rounders)||9||3||4.5|
|Kitty Kuo (San Francisco Rush)||9||2||3|
|Liv Boeree (London Royals)||9||2||3|
|Anton Wigg (San Francisco Rush)||9||5||-1.5|
|Mike Leah (Paris Aviators)||8||2||2|
|Xuan Liu (Montreal Nationals)||8||2||2|
|Max Pescatori (Rome Emperors)||7||2||1|
|Weiyi Zhang (Hong Kong Stars)||7||2||1|
|Justin Bonomo (London Royals)||7||5||-3.5|
|Alexandre Luneau (Paris Aviators)||6||3||1.5|
|Bertrand Grospellier (Paris Aviators)||6||3||1.5|
|Faraz Jaka (San Francisco Rush)||6||3||1.5|
|Jonathan Little (Las Vegas Moneymakers)||6||3||1.5|
|Sam Trickett (London Royals)||6||3||1.5|
|Tom Marchese (New York Rounders)||6||3||1.5|
|Joao Pires Simao (Sao Paulo Mets)||6||2||0|
|Walter Treccarichi (Rome Emperors)||6||2||0|
|Fedor Holz (LA Sunset)||6||3||-3|
|Sergey Lebedev (Moscow Wolverines)||6||6||-3|
|Timothy Adams (Rome Emperors)||6||6||-3|
|Chance Kornuth (LA Sunset)||5||1||2|
|Dzmitry Urbanovich (Moscow Wolverines)||5||2||-1|
|Jake Cody (Las Vegas Moneymakers)||5||2||-1|
|Mustapha Kanit (Rome Emperors)||5||2||-1|
|Igor Kurganov (London Royals)||5||4||-2.5|
|Byron Kaverman (Sao Paulo Mets)||4||2||-2|
|Jonathan Duhamel (Las Vegas Moneymakers)||4||2||-2|
|Eugene Katchalov (LA Sunset)||4||4||-3.5|
|Bryn Kenney (New York Rounders)||3||3||-1.5|
|Chris Moneymaker (Las Vegas Moneymakers)||3||3||-1.5|
|Dario Sammartino (Rome Emperors)||3||3||-1.5|
|Darren Elias (Sao Paulo Mets)||3||3||-1.5|
|João Bauer (Sao Paulo Mets)||3||3||-1.5|
|Martin Jacobson (Montreal Nationals)||3||3||-1.5|
|Bryan Huang (Hong Kong Stars)||2||1||-1|
|Chris Moorman (London Royals)||1||1||-2|
|Maria Ho (LA Sunset)||1||1||-2|
|Fabrice Soulier (Paris Aviators)||1||2||-5|
|Dong Guo (Hong Kong Stars)||0||1||-3|
|Phil Galfond (San Francisco Rush)||0||3||-4.5|
|Thiago Nishijima (Sao Paulo Mets)||0||3||-4.5|
|Kevin MacPhee (New York Rounders)||0||2||-6|
|Tony Gregg (San Francisco Rush)||0||2||-6|
*The performance index measures how a player performs compared to his expected value. For example: on average a player will win 3 points in a 6-max tourney. If (s)he finishes first, (s)he’ll earn 7 points, 4 above the expected value, meaning a performance index rating of +4 for this tourney. If a player finishes last, (s)he’ll get 0 points, which corresponds to a performance index of -3.