Have to admit I very much enjoyed watching the GPL on Wednesday and Thursday when the attention turned to heads-up matches. Having webcams on the players added a lot, and things got even better when some of them began talking strategy as the hands were playing out.
I ended up writing something over on PokerNews about how watching the GPL Twitch stream, besides being occasionally entertaining, also appears to be a good way to learn a bit of strategy, too: “Strategy on the Stream: Learning by Watching the Global Poker League.”
I know those who paid any attention at all to the 25 hours or so of poker they showed this week are moving quickly to make judgments on whatever bit they saw -- which more often than not seems to have been just a short bit of the first day -- and perhaps draw some conclusions about the whole idea of the GPL, too. It’s understandable, really, given the ambitious talk surrounding the league to respond with thoughts about whether or not those ambitions are going to be realized. (Or if they even can be.)
Three hands in particular were great fun to watch -- one involving Daniel “Jungleman” Cates losing his stack in a cooler-type spot versus Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, another in which Justin Bonomo tanked for over four minutes following a river all-in by Timothy Adams (with both players sharing their reads during the tank), and third funny one in which Tom Marchese triple-barrel bluffed and hilariously walked away from the computer in a hand against Anthony Zinno.
To me these hands provided actual laugh-out-loud moments in addition to some genuinely interesting strategy talk. I highlighted them in the PokerNews article -- if you watched, or even if you didn’t, you can read what I had to say about them there.
The New York Rounders have taken an early lead in the Americas Conference, while the Hong Kong Stars sit stop the Eurasia Conference. Seeing how the teams fare going forward is another part of the story that I think might become increasingly interesting to follow going forward.
I have no idea whether the GPL is having or will have any effect on the non-poker playing crowd, or if it will manage to draw any small part of that group over onto the poker-playing side. But I will say I enjoyed watching poker this week as much or more than any other recent examples, outside of the WSOP Main Event, anyway.
By the way, everything is instantly archived over on the GPL site, if you’re curious to see any of it.
Image: Global Poker League.