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Who Goes Where? Predicting the First-Ever Global Poker League Draft

The first-ever Global Poker League draft lottery has finally taken place with Max Pescatori's Rome Emperors scoring the first overall pick.

We'll have to wait until the official draft day on Feb. 25 to find out what he does with that pick, however.

In the meantime we can merely speculate on which players teams will select.

While there are no geographical requirements to pick a player native to each of the 12 home cities in the Global Poker League there is a general desire to make things feel at least a little localized.

In places like Montreal and Sao Paulo this might make picking the team a little easier. In San Francisco or Hong Kong, maybe a little tougher.

Either way the Feb. 25th draft should be intriguing in how it plays out. And with 203 names officially in the draft pool there's an awful lot of international talent out there to distribute

The PokerListings International Editors took a look in the crystal ball to predict just where the names might fall.

Keep in mind that teams are now selecting four players as well as one wild card that doesn't necessarily have to be draft eligible. We will stick to the four draft-eligible players for the purposes of this article.

rome emperors

Rome Emperors

Team Manager: Max Pescatori

Draft Position: 1st


  • Mustapha Kanit
  • Andrea Dato
  • Rocco Palumbo
  • Walter Treccarichi

Reasoning: These four are solid players both online and live. They’ve been at the top of the Italian GPI for several years and that can perform well under the guidance of a strong team manager in Max Pescatori. Mustapha Kanit is particularly hot right now coming off a big $25k HR win at EPT Dublin and would be a solid #1 overall.

Contributed by Francesco Esposito, PokerListings Italy

montreal nationals

Montreal Nationals

Team Manager: Marc-Andre Ladouceur

Draft Position: 2nd


  • Jonathan Duhamel
  • Sam Chartier
  • Xuan Liu
  • Jonathan Roy

Reasoning: There’s simply too much homegrown talent in Quebec for Marc-Andre Ladouceur to ignore. Jonathan Duhamel will likely be a first-round pick. Sam Chartier has been quietly dominating for years. Jonathan Roy has been crushing. Would they bring in Xuan Liu from Toronto to complete the Canadian team? We would.

Contributed by PokerListings.com

newyork rounders

New York Rounders

Team Manager: Bryn Kenney

Draft Position: 3rd


  • Vanessa Selbst
  • Jason Somerville
  • Anthony Zinno
  • Darren Elias

Reasoning: This squad represents the East Coasters – they’re cool, they’re collected, they’re sharks. Vanessa Selbst is a monster at the table and should be a guaranteed first-round pick. Jason Somerville brings a little flash and a hoard of Twitch fans to the table. Anthony Zinno and Darren Elias are both well-respected pros.

Contributed by Dirk Oetzmann, PokerListings Germany

sanfrancisco rush

San Francisco Rush

Team Manager: Faraz Jaka

Draft Position: 4th


  • Anthony Gregg
  • Shannon Shorr
  • Mohsin Charania
  • Isaac Baron

Reasoning: Jaka has said he's looking for like-minded people and these four might fit the bill. Shannon Shorr is a poker nomad at heart, much like Jaka, and a phenomenal player as well. Anthony Gregg is an East Coaster but with a nickname like END BOSS it'd be hard for Jaka to pass him up. Charania, an EPT Grand Final winner, has a Chicago connection that might be hard for Jaka to forget about. Isaac Baron is a Californian and ridiculously talented player so could end up in the mix too.

Contributed by PokerListings.com

lasvegas moneymakers

Las Vegas Moneymakers

Team Manager: Chris Moneymaker

Draft Position: 5th


  • Antonio Esfandiari
  • Jason Mercier
  • Byron Kaverman
  • Brian Rast

Reasoning: This should be the original all-stars team. Byron Kaverman is the 2015 GPI Player of the Year. Jason Mercier and Anthony Esfandiari are high-stakes legends, all are absolute top players, and all of them have won big titles. Brian Rast doesn't get a lot of limelight but can straight-up dominate. This team would be a contender.

Contributed by Dirk Oetzmann, PokerListings Germany

saopaulo metropolitans

Sao Paulo Metropolitans

Team Manager: André Akkari

Draft Position: 6th


  • Phil Galfond
  • Felipe "Mojave" Ramos
  • Nicolau Villa-Lobos
  • Javier Zarco

Reasoning: Wait, Phil Galfond? That's right. The Mets have a relatively high draft pick and manage to pick up one of the most talented players in the entire draft. Sadly there are very few Spanish players available to draft but the Mets do pick up Javier Zarco (the only eligible player from Spain). Nicolau Villa-Lobos is always a ton of fun on TV. Felipe Ramos is a fantastic player and has connections around the world (Neymar Jr. as wildcard, please!)

Contributed by Alvaro Quiros, PokerListings Spain

london royals

London Royals

Team Manager: Liv Boeree

Draft Position: 7th


  • Martin Jacobson
  • Jake Cody
  • Igor Kurganov
  • Oliver Price

Reasoning: You could do a lot worse than snagging 2014 WSOP Main Event champ Martin Jacobson with your first pick. Jacobson actually lives in London these days so team meetings will be easy to schedule. Jake Cody is probably the most accomplished player on the GPL draft eligible list that hails from England. Oliver Price is currently the highest rated English player on the GPI. Never mind that Liv Boeree's dating Igor Kurganov. He's just a good pick.

Contributed by PokerListings.com

moscow wolverines

Moscow Wolverines

Team Manager: Anatoly Filatov

Draft Position: 8th


  • Andrey Pateychuk
  • Vladimir Troyanovskiy
  • Konstantin Puchkov
  • Dzmitry Urbanovich

Reasoning:  There's a good chance Anatoly Filatov will want to draft at least a few Russians so it's a good thing there's plenty to choose from on the eligibility list. Andrey Pateychuk and recent hot-hand Vladimir Troyanovskiy are a given. Konstantin Puchkov gives the team a little more experience. Ultra-skilled Dzmitry Urbanovich gives the Russians a little Polish flair.

Contributed by PokerListings.com

LA sunset logo

L.A. Sunsets

Team Manager: Maria Ho

Draft Position: 9th


  • Jeff Madsen
  • Chris Moorman
  • Christian Harder
  • Kelly Minkin

Reasoning: Maria Ho has plenty of California-based talent to choose from if she wants to go that way. Jeff Madsen is consistently ranked in the GPI top 300. Christian Harder, although technically an East Coaster (not a Californian), is an exceptionally talented poker player. Kelly Minkin is a fellow WSOP Main Event last woman standing and an exciting player to watch. England’s Moorman might seem like an odd pick but he’s a close friend of Ho’s and an incredible player to boot. Also Ho won’t be afraid to draft off the script.

Contributed by PokerListings.com

berlin bears

Berlin Bears

Team Manager: Philipp Gruissem

Draft Position: 10th


  • Fedor Holz
  • Dominik Nitsche
  • George Danzer
  • Mike McDonald

Reasoning: If they decide to go the German route there are almost too many players to choose from. Nitsche is a triple bracelet winner, as is countryman George Danzer and everyone loves Twitch star and Wunderkind Fedor Holz. Finally the Team Manager Philipp Gruissem decides to switch things up a little with skilled Canadian Mike McDonald.

Contributed by Arved Klöhn

paris aviators

Paris Aviators

Team Manager: Fabrice Soulier

Draft Position: 11th


  • Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
  • Davidi Kitai
  • Benjamin Pollak
  • Sylvain Loosli

Reasoning: ElkY was recently named one of the most social players, which is exactly what we need for the GPL. Kitai is one of the best players in the world and Belgian poker should be represented. Benjamin Pollak and Sylvain are both talented and experienced French players that should also be snapped up.

Contributed by Fred Guillemot, PokerListings France

hongkong stars

Hong Kong Stars

Team Manager: Celina Lin

Draft Position: 12th


  • Kitty Kuo
  • Bryan Huang
  • Jonathan Karamalikis
  • David Yan

Reasoning: Kitty Kuo is bar-none one of the most entertaining players in poker so somebody is going has got to pick her and it might as well be the Hong Kong Stars. Bryan Huang is probably the most accomplished player to ever come out of Singapore and another easy pick for Celina Lin. David Yan is a very underrated poker player and the only one from New Zealand to be draft eligible. Finally Jonathan Karamalikis is the sole Australian rep and should be a lock.

Contributed by Thomas Hviid, PokerListings Denmark

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