The first edition of the Global Poker Masters (GPM) is already getting industry recognition, as the British bookmaker and poker room Bet365 has just started to accept bets on the event organized by the Global Poker Index (GPI).
According to one of the world's biggest online bookmakers, the event is most likely to be a battle between Team Canada (odds: 1.66) and Team USA (odds: 2.25), even if the experts at Bet365 seem to believe that Europe's Team Germany (odds: 9.00) may have a good chance at the title.
Things look far more complicated for the other five teams included in the competition, as Team UK (odds: 19.00), Team Italy (23.00), Team Russia (odds: 26.00), Team France (odds: 34.00), and Team Ukraine (odds: 41.00) are all considered not to be among the favourites.
Set to kick off at the Hilton Hotel in Portomaso, Malta, March 21-22, 2015, the GPM is an invitational event that aims to develop as poker's official World Cup.
"The GPI aims to partner with disruptive and new digital partners," the GPI's CEO Alex Dreyfus told PokerNews in an interview where he hinted at the fact that some online bookmakers could soon open to bets on the event. "While the Internet changed everything in our life since 10 years, the way poker has been served to the media since 10 years hasn't changed. We have to be proactive and look for new channels and new platforms to reach new audiences."
He went on to say, "If we really want to promote poker as a sport, we need an international competition like this one. We need something that gives the best players and the best countries the right exposure. With our initiative, we are creating another reason for the industry and mainstream media to keep talking about poker."
Meet the Teams
With less than two weeks to go, the eight countries that have earned a spot to the Global Poker Masters have already confirmed their official lineups for the competition.
Here's a complete look at the eight teams that will compete in the event:
|Team Canada||Team USA||Team Germany||Team UK||Team Italy||Team France||Team Russia||Team Ukraine|
|Ami Barer||Dan Smith||Ole Schemion||Jack Salter||Mustapha Kanit||Erwann Pecheux||Anatoly Filatov||Eugene Katchalov|
|Sorel Mizzi||Bryn Kenney||Marvin Rettenmaier||Simon Deadman||Dario Sammartino||Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier||Vladimir Troyanovskiy||Oleksandr Gnatenko|
|Andrew Chen||Olivier Busquet||George Danzer||Oliver Price||Andrea Dato||Sylvain Loosli||Ivan Soshnikov||Oleksii Khoroshenin|
|Jonathan Duhamel||Isaac Haxton||Philipp Gruissem||Sam Trickett||Giuliano Bendinelli||Paul tedeschi||Vitaly Lunkin||Igor Yaroshevsky|
|Marc-Andre Ladouceur||Jacob Schindler||Christopher Frank||Louis Alter||Rocco Palumbo||Patrick Bruel||Alex Bilokur||Yevgeniy Timoshenko|
To learn more about the event and what motivated the GPI to create it, have a look at this video interview with Dreyfus recorded at the European Poker Tour in Deauville.