The Global Poker Index (GPI), the tournament ranking system owned by Alex Dreyfus, has just secured a media partnership with USA TODAY.
A major media outlet in the US, USA TODAY Sports covers every major sport from around the world which means poker will be aligned with the likes of football, basketball, soccer and hockey in the coming months.
Although many will still contest the notion that poker is a sport in the true sense of the definition, Dreyfus has been steadfast in his assertion that poker can be classed as a sport.
In fact, alongside his desire to make the GPI the leading poker ranking provider in the world he has adopted the manta: “We Sportify Poker.”
While he may have to convince a few more people before he can consider his mission a success, it seems he doesn’t have to convince one of the largest publications in the US.
In addition to being the most circulated newspaper in the US, USA TODAY boasts a number of self-branded and affiliated online platforms, including a dedicated sports portal.
Although Dreyfus and the GPI have been working with USA TODAY for a number of months, the relationship wasn’t official one.
However, after delivering consistent content and a clear vision, Dreyfus has managed to secure a multi-year contract with USA TODAY that will include a new poker-themed platform that will go live in January, 2016.
As well as playing host to news updates and stats from the GPI’s tournament ranking database, USA TODAY will stream the forthcoming Global Poker League.
Promising to “transform the world of poker”, the new tournament concept will feature 12 franchises and team members will compete against each other in a series of poker showdowns.
Trying to capture the same dynamics used by major American sports such as the NFL, Dreyfus hopes the new partnership with USA TODAY will further poker’s credentials as a sporting endeavor.
“The partnership will provide an essential platform to showcase our innovative new events and to promote the players ranked in the Global Poker Index,” said Dreyfus.
While many online poker companies are shifting their attention towards casual players, video gamers and those who already enjoy other forms of betting, the GPI is tackling the issue from a different angle.
Wanting to legitimize the skill aspect of poker, the company is planning to use its ranking system and tournament innovations to court more attention from mainstream media outlets and the latest deal with USA TODAY is another step in that process.