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The stage is all but ready for Indian poker enthusiasts to experience an exciting new league. Setting into motion the ball that is moving fast to realize and bring to the Indian poker community the dream of its first-ever long run Poker league, the Global Poker League (GPL) India has announced the much-anticipated Season 1 qualification process for its India chapter on its ‘skill game partner’, PokerStars India from June 25.
This summer, the GPL India is kicking off its inaugural league, with online qualifiers to be held over two months on PokerStars India from June 24-August 5. The qualifiers will bring the best poker action from poker regulars and enthusiasts alike.
Following subsequent stages – Bootcamp and Draft Day, six teams- Pune Alphas, Bengaluru Hackers, Chennai Sharks, Delhi Diehards, Kolkata Creators and Mumbai Jetsetters will enter the Regular Season and four teams will reach the finals.
The two-day final playoffs between these four teams will begin on October 28, and the winning team members will become GPL India’s first national champions. Each member will win a Platinum Pass worth ₹20 Lakhs ($30,000) to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) scheduled to take place in the Bahamas on January 19, 2019.
It’s not going to be just any league. Using a single-league entity structure, GPL India will maintain control over all six local franchises to unfold a grand convergence of India’s top poker stars on the same foreground as new qualifiers. The action will be televised nationally apart from live TV broadcast for the playoffs and the finals.
We bring you a brief summary of what the very first Season of GPL India has in store.
Worldwide, the GPL was launched by Mediarex Sports & Entertainment in 2016 to realize the dream of founder, Alex Dreyfus to bring a distinct ‘competitive sports’ feel to poker and offer a range of new, emerging e-sports.
GPL has experimented with different formats in holding poker leagues. While originally the GPL featured 12 global teams coming together to compete in a season-style format, Mediarex now has a portfolio of 30 global teams including the GPL China League that was rolled out in 2017.
In India, the GPL sojourn began with a strategic collaboration with Kwan Entertainment in December 2017 and on April 20, 2018 PokerStars stepped onto the GPL India frame as its exclusive skill game partner for the Season 1 of the League.
“We understand that the Indian poker market is only just emerging, but at the same time, we believe in the game’s future – and the future of competitive gaming as a whole – when it comes to the Indian market. This the right moment to establish our brand and our expertise locally and help this entertainment sector take root throughout India.”, GPL founder Alex Dreyfus stated, on GPL’s India chapter.
“Our global infrastructure to operate competitive gaming Leagues, including TV studios, online platforms, legitimacy, relationship with all poker operators and best players in the world, is a solid framework that we plan to leverage for the India poker community. Our ability to innovate and bring disruption, by promoting poker as a skill game and team based competition is unique. We want the whole Indian poker community to embrace GPL India. We’re excited to make this happen,” he added.
The GPL India Season 1 teams and their managers are:
Seven weekly, MTT qualification events will run on PokerStars India platform from June 25 till August 5, based on the ‘Free-roll satellite format’ divided thematically across the six GPL India teams. Every week, the top ten finishers will feature in that week’s ‘Team Final’. Like this, six teams of ten participants each will reach Delhi to attend the GPL India Bootcamp.
The Bootcamp begins on September 8 and over the next two days, 60 aspirants of the six ‘Team Finals’ will randomly compete through Sit-and-Go (SNG) tournaments.
Before the SNG, the aspirants will go through the following stages:
Through the month-long Regular Season, the six teams will compete in 6-Max and Heads-up NLHE variants online on PokerStars India. Weekly winners and top performers will be announced and a week-ending ‘best of three’ final will pick the week’s champion.
The top four teams of the Regular Season will come together in a two-day finale October-end. The four teams will compete in sequence and the final two teams will engage in a series of consecutive battles that will decide the Season 1 Champion.
Poker fans can hold their breath. Many highlights of the GPL India league will be recorded to be live streamed later! With player interviews, celebrities from poker and other circuits and the who’s who of Indian poker fraternity all expected to touch base, the GPL Season 1 promises to be the grandest event of Indian poker this year!
Keep following the latest updates from GPL India right here on PokerGuru!