Global Poker Index have been working very hard in recent years to create more buzz around professional poker. Their exact words are that poker should be “sportified.” This is a challenging task, because the committee does not want to add any serious rule changes to professional poker, but they want to make things more interesting for viewers.
This is where the Global Poker League comes into the picture. The GPI believes that creating this league would allow poker to compete with other fringe sports, such as Nascar or Formula One. A spokesperson for the GPI had this to say when asked about the subject by Poker News: “I believe this is a very ambitious idea. It is something that could be really good, but it could also backfire and have a negative impact. If it goes as planned, the landscape of poker will change dramatically.”
A lot of work has been put into poker by rich benefactors over the past few years. Alex Dreyfus has bought up a large stake in GPI over the past few years. His plan is to monetize the sport in a way that makes money for the organizers, not just the players. He wants a poker league where different teams are participating against each other during a four or five month season.
He had this to say on the matter: “There are plenty of other individual sports out there, such as tennis and golf, that have team tournaments. The Ryder Cup and Davis Cup are huge events around the world. Poker can have a similar team event.”
Dreyfus wants five or six teams to start off the event, with more being added if the Poker League is a success. The idea is for each team to be owned/run by a “leader.” A method for selecting players has yet to be decided.