Global Poker League Releases Official Schedule, Announces Grand Final at Wembley

  • Giovanni AngioniGiovanni Angioni
Global Poker League Programme

With only six days to go before the first-ever Global Poker League kicks off, Mediarex Entertainment — parent company of the event and of other international brands like the Global Poker Index and the Hendon Mob — finally released the league's official schedule, and it includes a league final to be held at Wembley Arena in London, England.

"While the bulk of the league's content distribution will be via GPL.tv and its own mobile applications (set to be launched during the summer of 2016), Mediarex Sports & Entertainment — GPL's parent company — has built an extensive distribution network distribution to ensure maximum exposure for the league across outlets such as USA Today Sports," the press release said. "We also recently signed a deal with DouyU.com, a Chinese platform that will allow us to penetrate the Chinese market and reach a user base that has no access to Twitch."

The inaugural GPL season will take place from April 5 through November 23, 2016. The first season of the GPL is a large one and split into four different phases.: the Regular Season, Summer Series, Playoffs, and Finals.

GPL Regular Season: April 5-Sept. 22

The GPL Regular Season officially kicks off at 9 a.m. PST on Tuesday, April 5, with the first of four six-max events involving players from all 12 franchises that compose the league. The 12 franchises are divided up into two conferences, America and EurAsia, and this first part of the season will take place online.

Then, with three match days every week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the Regular Season will feature three games a day until May 26, which means eight weeks of GPL action.

According to GPL's official schedule, both conferences will play six-max events on Tuesdays. The teams in the EurAsia Conference will then play heads-up matches on Wednesdays while the ones from the Americas will do the same on Thursdays.

Starting on May 27, the Regular Season will go on a two-month break to leave the schedule open for the Summer Series stage that will run in Las Vegas alongside the 2016 World Series of Poker. These events will be played at Mediarex new studio in Las Vegas.

Then on August 16, the second half of the Regular Season will hit the virtual felt again with three matches a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until Sept. 22.

"When you launch a new sport or a new content proposition like the GPL, you want to avoid competing with everybody else," Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex, told PokerNews. "Most big sporting events happen during the weekend already, so we decided to aim for less competitive days like Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This also creates more appetite for the sports books, since that's when their live-betting offer usually has a smaller choice."

With all the matches part of the GPL Regular Season taking place online, people will be able to follow on different platforms.

"We will be everywhere, from Twitch.tv to Poker Central," Dreyfus continued.

Additionally, the press release regarding the schedule added that the GPL "signed a deal with DouyU.com, a Chinese platform that will allow us to penetrate the Chinese market and reach a user base that has no access to Twitch."

Dreyfus also anticipated that commentary of the matches will be left in the hands of some of the best poker players in the world.

"Griffin Benger and Sam Grafton will be the commentators of the matches during the first half of the Regular Season," he shared. "There's going to be a lot of content about each match, that's why all the live streams will start 30 minutes before the beginning of the actual matches."

Summer Series: June 6-July 8

The summer is when poker players from all across the globe will be in Southern Nevada for the 2016 WSOP, and it's also when the GPL will launch its GPL Summer Series. This part of the season will be a series of heads-up battles to be filmed live in Mediarex studio in Las Vegas.

During these 33 days of action, players from all 12 franchises in the GPL will engage in a battle that will start every day at 11 a.m. PST that will be streamed online via Twitch and Poker Central, and available of other platforms and outlets.

GPL Playoffs: To Be Announced

The GPL Playoffs will consist of the top eight teams from the 12-team league. The bottom four will be eliminated from post-season play.

"At the end of the Regular Season, we will lose four teams," Dreyfus explained. "This means that the eight teams left will join the playoffs".

The 2016 GPL Playoffs are sent to take place in a two-day event that will fall in a location to be announced soon. It is likely that this location will be in North America. During the two-day event, the eight playoffs teams will play down to four.

The GPL Finals: November 22-23

The GPL Finals will take place at the iconic SSE Arena, Wembley in London, United Kingdom. This portion of the season promises to be not only a great poker event where four franchises still in the game will play down to a winner, but also an amazing show.

"We want fans to connect with players and with each other, and that's why are preparing a great show for this event," Dreyfus said.

The finals are to be played in The Cube, a 20-foot, one-way soundproof glass box. Players from the top four teams in the GPL will battle for the inaugural title in front of what Dreyfus hopes is a full Wembley Arena.

"While the playoffs are likely to take place in North America, we decided to have the finals at Wembley because that's a great opportunity for us," Dreyfus said. "Not only is it an amazing venue that has been used to host some of the world's biggest events, but London is a true cosmopolite city where we have a large presence thanks to the Hendon Mob, also part of the MediaRex family. This can help us fill up the arena."

And that's not all, because the French entrepreneur explained another reason why Wembley was selected.

"The gambling regulation in the U.K. helps us to create more innovative experiences and a real show for our fans," he said. "The experience is more than just sit and watch — its full engagement."

Regular Season Schedule, First Half

DateGa.m.eLocationTeamsTime (PST)Time (CET)
April 56-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
April 6Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. Moskow9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. Paris11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. London2:00 p.m.11 p.m.
      
April 7Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles vs. Sao Paulo10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. San Francisco12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Las Vegas3 p.m.12 p.m.
      
April 126-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
April 13Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Kong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. Rome11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Berlin2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
April 14Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. Montreal10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. New York12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. Los Angeles3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
April 196-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
April 20Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. Hong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Paris11:30 a.m.2:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. Moscow2:00 p.m.5 p.m.
      
April 21Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. Las Vegas10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles vs. San Francisco12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Montreal3:00 p.m.6 p.m.
      
April 266-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.1:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.3:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.5:10 p.m.
      
April 27Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. Hong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. London11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. Berlin2:00 p.m.5 p.m.
      
April 28Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. Sao Paulo10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles vs. New York12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. Montreal3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
May 36-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
May 4Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. Rome9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. London11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. Moscow2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
May 5Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Sao Paulo10 a.m. 
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. Los Angeles12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. San Francisco3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
May 106-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
May 11Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. London9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. Moscow11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. Paris2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
May 12Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. San Francisco10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. Sao Paulo12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles vs. Las Vegas3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
May 176-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
May 18Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Hong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Rome11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. Berlin2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
May 19Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. New York10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. Los Angeles12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. Montreal3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
May 246-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
May 25Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. Paris9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Moscow11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. Rome2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
May 26Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. San Francisco10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. Las Vegas12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Los Angeles3 p.m.12 a.m.

Summer Series Schedule

DateGameLocationTeamsTime (PST)Time (CET)
June 6Heads-UpVegasParis vs. Los Angeles11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 7Heads-UpVegasMoscow vs. San Francisco11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 8Heads-UpVegasLondon vs. Las Vegas11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 9Heads-UpVegasHong Kong vs. Montreal11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 10Heads-UpVegasBerlin vs. Sao Paulo11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 11Heads-UpVegasRome vs. New York11 a.m.8 p.m.
      
June 12Heads-UpVegasLas Vegas vs. Paris11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 13Heads-UpVegasMontreal vs. Moscow11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 14Heads-UpVegasSao Paulo vs. London11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 15Heads-UpVegasNew York vs. Hong Kong11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 16Heads-UpVegasLos Angeles vs. Berlin11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 17Heads-UpVegasSan Francisco vs. Rome11 a.m.8 p.m.
      
June 17Heads-UpVegasMoscow vs. Las Vegas1:30 p.m.10:30 p.m.
June 18Heads-UpVegasBerlin vs. New York11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 19Heads-UpVegasLondon vs. Montreal11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 19Heads-UpVegasHong Kong vs. Sao Paulo1:30 p.m.10:30 p.m.
June 20Heads-UpVegasRome vs. Los Angeles11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 21Heads-UpVegasParis vs. San Francisco11 a.m.8 p.m.
      
June 22Heads-UpVegasNew York vs. Moscow11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 23Heads-UpVegasLos Angeles vs. London11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 24Heads-UpVegasSan Francisco vs. Hong Kong11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 25Heads-UpVegasLas Vegas vs. Berlin11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 26Heads-UpVegasMontreal vs. Rome11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 26Heads-UpVegasSao Paulo vs. Paris1:30 p.m.10:30 p.m.
      
June 27Heads-UpVegasBerlin vs. San Francisco11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 28Heads-UpVegasLondon vs. New York11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 29Heads-UpVegasRome vs Las Vegas11 a.m.8 p.m.
June 30Heads-UpVegasParis vs. Montreal11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 1Heads-UpVegasMoscow vs. Sao Paulo11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 2Heads-UpVegasHong Kong vs Los Angeles11 a.m.8 p.m.
      
July 3Heads-UpVegasMontreal vs. Berlin11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 4Heads-UpVegasSao Paulo vs. Rome11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 5Heads-UpVegasLas Vegas vs. Hong Kong11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 6Heads-UpVegasLos Angeles vs. Moscow11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 7Heads-UpVegasNew York vs. Paris11 a.m.8 p.m.
July 8Heads-UpVegasSan Francisco vs. London11 a.m.8 p.m.

Regular Season Schedule, Second Half

DateGameLocationTeamsTime (PST)Time (CET)
Aug. 166-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
Aug. 17Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. Hong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Paris11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Berlin2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
Aug. 18Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles vs. Montreal10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. New York12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. Las Vegas3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
Aug. 236-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
Aug. 24Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. Berlin9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Rome11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. London2 p.m.11 p.m. 
      
Aug. 25Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. Sao Paulo10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. New York12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. Los Angeles3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
Aug. 306-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
Aug. 31Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Hong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Paris11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. Berlin2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
Sept. 1Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Sao Paulo10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. Las Vegas12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. Los Angeles3 p.m.12 a.m. 
      
Sept. 66-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.9 a.m.6 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineEurasia Conf.10:40 a.m.7:40 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 6-MaxOnlineAmericas Conf.2:10 p.m.11:10 p.m.
      
Sept. 7Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. London9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. Rome11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Berlin2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
Sept. 8Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Montreal10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. Los Angeles12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. San Francisco3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
Sept. 13Heads-UpOnlineHong Kong vs. Paris9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMoscow vs. Rome11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Berlin2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
Sept. 14Heads-UpOnlineLondon vs. Moscow9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. Paris11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. Hong Kong2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
Sept. 15Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. New York10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. Sao Paulo12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles vs. Las Vegas3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
Sept. 20Heads-UpOnlineLas Vegas vs. New York10:00 a.m.7:00 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineLos Angeles Montreal12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSan Francisco vs. Sao Paulo3 p.m.12 a.m.
      
Sept. 21Heads-UpOnlineBerlin vs. Hong Kong9 a.m.6 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineRome vs. London11:30 a.m.8:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineParis vs. Moscow2 p.m.11 p.m.
      
Sept. 22Heads-UpOnlineMontreal vs. San Francisco10 a.m.7 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineSao Paulo vs. Las Vegas12:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.
 Heads-UpOnlineNew York vs. Los Angeles3 p.m.12 a.m.

Playoffs Schedule

DateLocationGame
Sept. 30TBAPlayoffs and All-Star Celebrity Game*
Oct. 1TBAPlayoffs and All-Star Celebrity Game

Finals Schedule

DateLocationGame
Nov. 22Wembley ArenaGPL Finals 3 vs. 3
Nov. 23Wembley ArenaGPL Finals 3 vs. 3

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