The Global Poker Index (GPI) is continuing to execute their plan of sportifying poker. GPI founder Alex Dreyfus has been clear from the beginning that his ultimate mission is to make poker similar to a sport, with marquee pros and a fan base. Interestingly enough, this sportifying effort will mainly be focused in the United States – despite the limited selection of legal online poker sites. Let’s discuss this effort along with why the lack of regulated iPoker may be a problem, but not one that’s impossible to overcome.
Half of Marketing dedicated to North America
Poker has been played in the U.S. since the early 19th century, and this is a big reason why Dreyfus believes that capitalizing on the American market will be huge. In fact, he sees about 50% of GPI’s marketing going to U.S./North America, 30% going to Europe and the remaining 10% revolving around South America.
The one problem with this model is that there are currently only three U.S. states that are regulating iPoker right now. And even though Dreyfus promotes live tournaments in his mission to sportify poker, he realizes that this could be a popularity roadblock. However, he also doesn’t want to jump into this space because sometimes partnering with online poker sites can have a “toxic effect.”
Nevertheless, Dreyfus does support legal online poker and believes that the GPI will be a vehicle that helps regulation efforts throughout the U.S. Just don’t expect him to be firing up his own poker site or picketing outside state capitals any time soon.
Many GPL Tournaments will be in US
Although it’s the “Global” Poker League, Dreyfus plans on holding a fair number of tournaments in America. Going further, he envisions the tourneys happening in non-casino venues to differentiate poker from gambling. Seeing as how the GPI fronts the prize pool, they can get away with not holding poker tournaments in casinos.
Other stipulations of this league include teams, 1,000 draftable players, salary caps, trades and cuts. In other words, this will work just like a regular sports league, where fans will see recognizable poker faces competing on a regular basis. Combining all this with the GPI rankings system, Dreyfus hopes to create a similar structure to NASCAR – except with teams.
Will it all work out in the end? Dreyfus has already done a good job of laying the foundation for his plan by buying the HendonMob and European Poker Awards, while building the American Poker Awards, Global Poker Masters and Fantasy Poker Manager. The next step will be actually running the Global Poker Masters league and selling audiences on poker as a sport.