The Global Poker Index (GPI) has secured its first mainstream commercial partner in the form of Roger Dubuis. The Swiss luxury watchmaker is a major brand in the timepiece world and thanks to some stiff negotiations by the GPI’s CEO, Alex Dreyfus, Roger Dubuis will now supply the winners of the 2014 GPI Player of the Year Awards with a custom watch each.
The deal marks the GPI’s first major partnership and another step forward for Dreyfus’s mission to “sportify” poker.
“I’m excited to announce a great partnership between Global Poker Index and Roger Dubuis. It has been a long journey to ‘sportify poker’ and in Roger Dubuis we’ve found an amazing partner who supports our vision,” said Dreyfus.
Since taking over the GPI, Dreyfus has worked hard to legitimize the tournament ranking system and make it “the” authority in the poker world. Although other leaderboards exist, Dreyfus seems to be pushing the hardest to have his brand as the go to resource for people both inside and outside of the poker community.
Aside from determining the best performing players across the world, Dreyfus believes the GPI can become a vehicle to help the poker industry grow. Seeing it as tool that can define the game as a sport, the former owner of ChiliPoker has expanded the company’s portfolio to include a range of international events.
In fact, in addition to the GPI’s deal with Roger Dubuis, Dreyfus has hinted that a host of companies are prepared to “franchise” owners when the Global Poker League launches in 2015. Although the details of Dreyfus’s next plan are being kept under wraps, he has said that the initial idea is to have between six to eight franchises (poker teams) that will compete against each other. Similar to NFL teams, each franchise will have an owner and there will be regular drafts to determine the makeup of each team.
For now, however, the GPI is focusing on the high-end watch market. As well as giving players a chance to win an exclusive La MonÃ©gasque watch, the GPI will be holding private events for wealthy Roger Dubuis customers in order to educate them about poker and, hopefully, attract more players to the game.
Roger Dubuis was founded by Carlos Dias and Roger Dubuis back in 1995. Today the company is headquartered in Switzerland and produces luxury watches ranging from $40,000 to $1,000,000. In 2008 the Richemont Group (owner of brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Dunhill) bought 60 per cent of the company. The new partnership with the GPI will see Roger Dubuis create a custom watch for the Player of the Year winner valued in excess of $50,000.