The Global Poker Masters is, as Global Poker Index (GPI) owner Alex Dreyfus has said many times, an attempt to help “sportify” poker.
In other words, Dreyfus wants to make poker into a sport that fans can enjoy just as they would a soccer match or a baseball game, filled with known players competing for team and country.
And there’s nothing more important to enjoying sports than live coverage.
That’s why Dreyfus has announced that the Global Poker Masters (GPM) will be broadcast live through Twitch, the live-streaming online service that regularly sees millions of fans watch professionals play computer games, streamers try out the latest releases, and, more recently, online poker players ply their trade.
“The Global Poker Masters will be broadcast and promoted on Twitch in five different languages,” Dreyfus told PokerNews. “This means that we will not only have the live stream of our event available in real-time on Twitch, but also that the GPM will be featured on the portal’s homepage, making the event visible to an impressive amount of online users.”
The most surprising part of that announcement for many may be that the tournament will be streamed virtually in real time. While there are many people who stream online poker through Twitch, they typically do so on a delay of a few minutes.
There’s an obvious reason for this: if players play with their cards exposed on stream, another competitor at the same table could simply watch the stream in order to know what they were holding, giving them an insurmountable advantage thanks to that information.
By delaying the stream by four or five minutes, fans still don’t fall far behind, but the streamer is protected from being cheated.
However, Dreyfus says that this won’t be an issue thanks to the format being used in the GPM.
“The first edition of the event will not be open to the public, so there will be no possibility for people to collude with someone not at the poker table,” Dreyfus explained. “Then, the tournaments will be in a shot-clock format, which means that no one will have the time to play around with their mobile phone as they play.”
Dreyfus also explained that with only a very slight delay, it’s possible that bookmakers could offer live, in-play odds on the action, allowing bettors to gamble on the tournament in ways never before possible.
“We will stream with a 20- to 30-second delay at the maximum, and this is going to allow bookmakers to potentially accept live betting on the action,” Dreyfus explained.
If Twitch.tv isn’t available in your area, you may still be able to watch the GPM online. PokerStars.tv will also be streaming the event, as will other local sites, such as PMU and Winamax in France.
The GPM will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Malta on March 21-22. The event will feature eight national teams of poker players, most of whom were chosen based on their standings in the GPI Player of the Year rankings for 2014.
The participating nations include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.