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(VIDEO) Inside GPL: Alex Dreyfus' Ambitious Plan to Sportify Poker
One look at the new Global Poker League's TV set is all it takes to see it's something completely new in the poker world.
The first thing you'll notice is the Cube, a giant glass enclosure inside which the GPL's first live matches are taking place.
When PokerListings.com visited for a special behind-the-scenes look, Canadian pro Xuan Liu and high-stakes online legend Dan Cates were going heads-up.
The Cube is soundproof and made of one-way glass, meaning fans can see in but players can't see out.
Those two qualities make it possible for the audience to watch the action live, in person, with hole-cards for the first time ever.
Dreyfus said that innovation is the basis for everything he wants the GPL to become.
Fan Experience #1 Priority
“When we decided to build the cube, it was all about shifting from a player experience to a fan experience,” Dreyfus told PokerListings.com.
“Every single initiative we're doing is to improve the fan experience and the viewer experience.
“Having the fans be able to watch the hole cards in front of the players live and to feel the players is the foundation. It's the backbone of what we want to build for the future.”
In 2012 Dreyfus sold his online poker room Chiligaming and said he reinvested 100 per cent of the money into his new project.
It started with the acquisition of the Global Poker Index and HendonMob.com, two major poker ranking and tracking resources.
While the World Series of Poker was playing out nearby, PokerListings.com visited the GPL's new Las Vegas studio where the Cube was assembled for the very first time.
Speaking to Dreyfus and new GPL commentator Joe Stapleton, PokerListings.com editor in chief Matt Showell takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of the most ambitious new project in poker.
Check out the video below to see the GPL in action.