Global Poker League Expands into India

August 30th, 2017 | by Jason Reynolds

The Global Poker League’s (GPL) international expansion is set to take another step forward following a decision to move into the Indian market.

Alex Dreyfus GPL India.

GPL founder Alex Dreyfus is hoping to capitalize on the growth of Indian poker by launching GPL India. (Image: Global Poker Index/Mediarex)

According to a press release sent out on August 29, GPL India will feature six teams from the country’s “largest” and “most poker friendly” cities. The six teams will be put into a league structure where they must compete across a variety of tournament in a bid to win ranking points.

Local and International Interest

As well as teams vying for supremacy on a national level, the winner of the inaugural GPL India will get to take part in the organization’s World Championship.

Although a start date for the new competition hasn’t been set, teams will consist of India’s top ranked tournament players (according to the Global Poker Index) as well as satellite qualifiers.

When the action starts, GPL India will feature pros and amateurs from the following regions:

Delhi Diehards

Mumbai Jetsetters

Bengaluru Hackers

Chennai Sharks

Kolkata Creators

Ahmedabad Alphas

This is the first time the GPL will run one of its tournament competitions in India, but it won’t be the first time players have had the chance to take part in such an event.

Back in May 2017, the first Poker Sports League (PSL) wrapped up after the Delhi Panthers won the inaugural finale.

PSL Paves the Way for GPL

Taking inspiration from the GPL’s international event, the PSL featured 12 teams from various regions across India. Each team featured a combination of pros, amateurs and celebrity players, all of which played in a variety of tournaments over the course of four days.

Following the conclusion of the freezeouts, heads-up matches and turbo tournaments, the Panthers finished ahead of the Mumbai Anchors to take home the $225,000 top prize. In a bid to boost the popularity of the PSL, famous pros from the US and UK were drafted in to raise the profile of each time.

This tactic proved successful as reports showed that 2.8 million fans tuned in to the PSL’s Facebook stream. This level of interest is something the GPL will be hoping to achieve when it launches its first Indian event in the coming months.

The PSL has already shown that the concept of skill-focused tournament poker appeals to Indian players and fans, which clearly bodes well for the GPL.

Indeed, with the GPL brand gradually gaining momentum around the world, the new tournament event should add another interesting wrinkle to India’s ever-expanding poker economy.


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