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Global Poker League announces 2016 schedule

31 March 2016

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The inaugural season of the Global Poker League (GPL) kicks off next week with its first live matches taking place on Tuesday April 5, live streamed on GPL.TV and Twitch.

Over the course of the next six months, 12 franchise teams will go head-to-head throughout the season, culminating in a live playoff event in North America before heading to Wembley for the first ever GPL Finals from Nov. 22-23.

Inspired by initiatives developed by the likes of the NBA, eSports and the UFC, the GPL is attempting to bring together a fragmented audience of 100 million worldwide poker fans via 400+ hours of live-streamed content throughout the regular GPL season.

Season 1 of the Global Poker League will be broken down into four different phases:

-- The GPL Regular Season: April 5 to Sept. 26 – Three match days per week every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. All live streamed and following an eSports broadcast format with competitive online matches on GPL's own game platform.

-- The GPL Summer Series: June 6 to July 8 – 33 Days of daily Heads-Up battles filmed live on location in GPL's Las Vegas Studio.

-- The GPL Playoffs: (Dates TBA) – The Global Poker League's "Final 8" play down for four places in the GPL Finals.

-- The GPL Finals: Nov. 22-23 – Live from London at The SSE Arena, Wembley, where the first ever Global Poker League Champion will be crowned.

The GPL aims to shake up poker, with an innovative new approach to the game. There are no buy-ins with the players paid to play, the live matches feature players on their feet in The Cube (the League's signature arena is 20 ft. wide and made of glass) with the focus on fast-paced play and fan entertainment.

While the bulk of the Global Poker 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, Twitch.tv, DouyuTV in China and PokerCentral among many others. GPL is gearing up to increase its strategic partnerships after the launch of the league locally and globally, including simultaneous multi-lingual live streams.

"While there is a huge existing fan base for poker, it is largely fragmented because of the isolated nature of existing poker initiatives," said Global Poker League President Alex Dreyfus. "GPL has an aggressive vision to build new storylines and narratives to engage poker fans with the poker stars playing in the league."

Mediarex chose London as the Global Poker League Finals location in part due to its connection to the region – specifically TheHendonMob.com, the largest poker database in the world, which was initially born from the U.K. poker community. As a cosmopolitan city it also boasts a diverse population capable of representing all 12 of the global regions where GPL franchises are located.

"London, gives us the opportunity to build a fully immersive, interactive experience for the GPL Finals thanks to its regulated online sports betting environment. We are going to connect fans with one another as well as the GPL players at a leading entertainment venue. The experience is more than just 'sit and watch' – its full engagement," Dreyfus commented.

"[The SSE Arena], Wembley has so many great memories for me with all the gigs I've seen there, so I'm absolutely chuffed that poker's first eSports spectator event will be hosted at this awesome venue!" said poker star and London Royals manager Liv Boeree.

GPL matches and events will be hosted on weekdays so as to not compete with other large sports or eSports broadcasts. The goal is audience building, fan engagement and media support – shifting poker from a player experience to a fan experience, a strategy which should open up interesting opportunities for sponsors, sports betting operators and other league partners.

Tickets for the GPL Finals will go on sale in May, with sales dates to be announced in the near future.

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Global Poker League announces 2016 schedule is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.