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Dreyfus on GPL, HoldemX: “What We’re Trying to Do Is Impossible”

As promised, CEO Alex Dreyfus of the Global Poker Index and forthcoming Global Poker League took to Twitch today to present his vision and answer questions from skeptics and advocates alike.

Beginning with an 80-minute keynote where he walked through the history of the GPI, the American/European Poker Awards and his plan for the Global Poker League the livestream peaked at around 340 viewers.

Comprised of a mix of poker media, players and Twitch regulars the chat and questions varied from the intensely skeptical to glowingly encouraging.

If you have any interest in the inner and outer workings of the GPL almost every question was at least circled around or addressed in the full chat session, which is embedded below.

Dreyfus also couldn't reveal all of the details of things to be unveiled in the coming months. For the sake of those who don't have 3 hours to watch some cliff notes of some of the key points is included.

HoldemX, GPLX Ambitious New Combo for Gamers

If there was a particular section that was a "reveal" per se it was the introduction of a new proprietary poker game the company will launch called HoldemX.

Screen shot 2015 10 14 at 12.36.37 PM

A hybrid of Holdem and eSports gaming of sorts the new game is part of Dreyfus' vision to reach the new generation of millennials who don’t consume poker the way we're used to.

A companion league called GPL X will run parallel to the GPL, Dreyfus says, with current top-tier eSports teams already committed to creating a roster to play HoldemX in a major event.

The game is currently only in beta mode but if you visit HoldemX.com you can sign up to be one of the first to try it.

Also part of the long-term vision is PokerDraft, a real-money Daily Fantasy Experience based entirely around the GPL's players and matches, and proprietary free-to-play software used for the online component of the league.

Key Notes:

  • Aim is to change narrative from money to story, context, competition – "I don’t want to hear Team USA won $3m – I want to hear Team USA won 3-0 against Team France."
  • Franchises owned by someone who lives, been born or has significant economic interest in city.
  • Ownership commitment is 2 years and six-figures
  • Owners can be poker players but can't play for team/poker sites can't be owners
  • Don't expect major brands to join GPL in Season 1
  • Can guarantee will run 2-3 seasons at minimum
  • Players in GPI 1000 are eligible to be drafted. If players don’t want to be drafted, no problem it's an opt-in process. League will have agreement with players to be part of league.
  • Draft will be just players that consented. Need at least 36. Expectation is 80-150 in Year 1
  • Live Draft will be held in Q1 between Jan-March 2016. Date is set internally but not communicated yet. Draft lottery/3 Draft Rounds. Very similar to NBA/NFL/NHL
  • Season will run 12 weeks in lead up to WSOP. Won't overlap an existing significant major event. Break during WSOP. 4 final teams, two in each conference will return for World Championship post-WSOP
  • World Championship will be 2 days in a specific place in US. 5-6 arenas being discussed that fit Cube/needs.
  • Games/format – being adjusted based on feedback. Three components: Online, studio, live w/ 2 games per week.
  • Needed own free-to-play product so acquired software, worked with Swedish company, developed own poker software. Will be released in few weeks.
  • Legal everywhere in world as it's free-to-play
  • Every single match will allow you to see hole cards of every player. Allow you to see statistics, game clock similar to chess clock. Time bank for whole game, new layer of strategy.
  • Rabbit Cam for viewers, commentators to see cards that could come up. Drama, innovative content.
  • First arena event hoping for 5,000 people.
  • Team owners will be revealed. Have a list of people committed but can’t release. Targets included executives, hedge fund managers, NBA owners and more.
  • Not whole team will travel/not all will play every game. Specific team-play format.
  • Currently sponsored players can take part. No logos but will promote poker. Assets indirectly promoted even without logo.
  • In the beginning money will come from GPI, investors. League will fuel the launch of the operations. Future money from sponsors, advertising, licensing, ticketing, merchandise.
  • Drefyus won’t be Commissioner
  • Referee, not TD
  • Negreanu likely to be involved either as owner or player
  • Game integrity very important, will be managed by third party. And with all hole cards exposed easy to detect suspicious play.

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