Monday, October 12, 2015

Cubing the Cards

A week ago came a press release from something called Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, parent company of the Global Poker Index, announcing this new Global Poker League that is set to launch early next year.

The presser describes the desire of the GPI and its CEO Alex Dreyfus to “sportify” poker “in a bid for the Global Poker Index to become the equivalent of the NASCAR, NFL, NBA, ATP, or PGA for poker.” In an interview with PokerNews, Dreyfus underscored the importance of making poker spectator friendly, with the GPL and its planned-for schedule intended as a step in that direction.

The GPL will consist of 12 teams, it sounds like, who will compete with each other over the course of a 14-week schedule. Sounds like an extension of the earlier Global Poker Masters experiment from back in March of this year -- you can read details over on the Mediarex website.

“We wanted to think out of the box,” explains Dreyfus in the PN interview. Not sure if the pun was intended or not, but the GPL will have players playing inside a box -- “The Cube,” that is, described as the GPL’s “signature arena” à la UFC’s Octagon.

I’ve been skimming for several minutes now this elaborate page describing “The Cube” on the Mediarex site, though to be honest the idea still kind of escapes me. It is like a big clear box that kind of reminds me of the squash class I once took. (The photo credits to “” might have further planted that seed for me.)

The “arena” lets both TV viewers (or Twitch or whatever) as well as a live audience see and hear the players as well as access all the stats, cards, bets, and so on -- again, I suppose kind of replicating watching or attending a sporting event with a scoreboard nearby tallying relevant data and results.

I’m not real sure what all of this is or is supposed to be. It doesn’t look much like poker, and of course no previous attempts at team-based poker have ever really worked to produce more than a curiosity.

It excites some curiosity, sure, and I’ll be staying tuned to see what happens. “The Cube” feels like a big weird roll of the dice, although without knowing exactly what is being gambled it’s hard to have a rooting interest just yet.

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