February 2016: The Global Poker League (GPL) held its inaugural draft in California recently, commencing the first ever international poker league of its kind. It is the brainchild of Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports, who wanted to “sportify poker” and create an entirely new, global image of the game.

Unlike the usual poker games where individual players battle it out, the GPL will have 12 teams that will compete with each other in a whole format. The teams will have players from all over the world facing each other in a never-before-seen cube stadium. The GPL will have three ‘arenas’ – online, in studio and live. Each of these will have different variations of No Limit Hold’em and a player clock for quick play.

Mustapha Kanit was the first player to get picked in this snake draft by team Rome Emperors. He has won over $5.5 million in live poker earnings and over $4 million in online poker. This Italian-origin guy is currently one of the most popular players in the poker circuit.

Mike McDonald was the second to be picked, by the Montreal Nationals. McDonald has won over $13 million in live poker earnings, and is cited to be one of the best young poker players in the world.

The New York Rounders picked Jason Mercier, the third pick of the draft. Mercier has over $16 million in online poker winnings, and is considered to be one of the best all-round players in the world. He has also won 3 WSOP bracelets.

Anthony Zinno was picked fourth, by the Las Vegas Moneymakers. He is the second poker player to ever win two WSOP main events back-to-back. Plus, he is also considered as the best dressed player owing to the sophisticated suits that he wears to all main poker tournaments.

Here’s a look at the final teams –

Rome Emperors — Max Pescatori

1Mustapha Kanit
2Dario Sammartino
3Timothy Adams
4Walter Treccarichi


Montreal Nationals — Marc-Andre Ladouceur

1Mike McDonald
2Martin Jacobson
3Pascal LeFrancois
4Xuan Liu




New York Rounders — Bryn Kenney

1Jason Mercier
2Tom Marchese
3Kevin MacPhee
4Jason Wheeler


San Francisco Rush — Faraz Jaka

1Phil Galfond
2Tony Gregg
3Kitty Kuo
4Anton Wigg


Las Vegas Moneymakers — Chris Moneymaker

1Anthony Zinno
2Jonathan Duhamel
3Jake Cody
4Jonathan Little


Sao Paulo Metropolitans — Andre Akkari

1Darren Elias
2Byron Kaverman
3Thiago Nishijima
4Joao Pires Simao


London Royals — Liv Boeree

1Igor Kurganov
2Vanessa Selbst
3Chris Moorman
4Justin Bonomo


Moscow Wolverines — Anatoly Filatov

1Dzmitry Urbanovich
2Vladimir Troyanovskiy
3Andrey Pateychuk
4Sergey Lebedev


LA Sunset — Maria Ho

1Fedor Holz
2Olivier Busquet
3Eugene Katchalov
4Chance Kornuth


Berlin Bears — Philipp Gruissem

1Brian Rast
2Sorel Mizzi
3Dominik Nitsche
4Jeff Gross


Paris Aviators — Fabrice Soulier

1Bertrand Grospellier
2Davidi Kitai
3George Danzer
4Mike Leah


Hong Kong Stars — Celina Lin

1Weiyi Zhang
2Raiden Kan
3Dong Guo
4Bryan Huang