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

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


Montreal Nationals — Marc-Andre Ladouceur

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




New York Rounders — Bryn Kenney

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


San Francisco Rush — Faraz Jaka

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


Las Vegas Moneymakers — Chris Moneymaker

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


Sao Paulo Metropolitans — Andre Akkari

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


London Royals — Liv Boeree

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


Moscow Wolverines — Anatoly Filatov

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


LA Sunset — Maria Ho

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


Berlin Bears — Philipp Gruissem

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


Paris Aviators — Fabrice Soulier

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


Hong Kong Stars — Celina Lin

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