Posts Tagged ‘China’

Chengdu Pandas Win Inaugural GPL China Championship

 Chengdu Pandas Win Inaugural GPL China Championship

The Chengdu Pandas came back from near elimination to advance through the playoffs and win the inaugural season of the Global Poker League (GPL) China. The team won one million Yuan – approximately $ 151,000 – and donated five percent of it to charity.

The twelve teams participating were as follows (listed alphabetically):

• Beijing Great Dragons
• Chengdu Pandas
• Guangzhou Pioneers
• Hangzhou Legends
• Hong Kong Treasure Ships
• Kunming Phoenix
• Macau Lions
• Shanghai Golden Tigers
• Shenzhen Eagles
• Taiwan Black Bears
• Tianjin Guardians
• Xi’an Warriors

It was a long road to the title for the Pandas, as the team had to survive the early stages just to make it to the playoffs.

First was the Online Knockout stage. Here, the GPL China was divided into three groups of three teams. Two representatives from each team were selected to compete, each playing in separate four-handed Sit-and-Go’s against players from the other three teams in the group. Points were distributed based on order of finish, with first place at each table receiving 3 points, second place getting 2 points, and third place receiving 1 point. The first player knocked out at each table did not win any points for his or her team.

Next was the Live Knockout stage. It was similar to the online portion, but instead of one player from each team at each table, there were two. Additionally, there was one extra Sit-and-Go, for a total of three eight-handed tables. The top four players at each table earned points for their teams: 16 points for first, 11 for second, 8 for third, and 5 for fourth.

The point totals from both stages were added up and the top two teams from each group automatically advanced to the playoffs:

Group A: Taiwan (86 points) and Shanghai (71 points)
Group B: Tianjin (84 points) and Xi’an (69 points)
Group C: Kunming (71 points) and Hong Kong (60 points)

As you can see, the eventual champ, Chengdu, was not one of the automatic playoff qualifiers. As such, they and the other four lowest scoring teams played in a Resurrection round, with the top two points earners gaining the final two spots in the playoffs.

Round 1 of the Resurrection stage had three players from a team sit at a nine-handed table against players from two other teams. Four tables were in play simultaneously. Scoring was the same as in the Live Knockout stage.

Round 2 consisted of three six-handed tables with one player from each team at each table. First place earned 15 points, second place earned 10 points, and third earned 5 points.

Round 3 consisted of interesting two-versus-two heads-up matches in which pairs of teammates shared hole cards. Each team played against just one other team, three tables total. Heads-up winners got 15 points, the losers got 5 points.

In the end, Chengdu earned 88 points in the Resurrection stage and Beijing earned 77 points to clinch the final two playoff spots.

In the playoffs, the eight teams were split into two groups, competing in similar matches to the preliminary rounds. The online matches were four-handed as they were before, while the live rounds had the same eight-max, six-max, and two-versus-two heads-up matches as there were in the previous rounds.

Chengdu, Hong Kong, Kunming, and Shanghai advanced to the semi-finals where the same match formats were again featured. Chengdu dominated, scoring 88 points, and faced off against Hong Kong – which earned 55 points – in the finals.

The finals featured got rid of the four-handed online matches and swapped in a traditional heads-up match for the eight-handed game. This time, though, the points across all games weren’t added up to determine a winner, but instead, it was a sort of double best-of-three.

The team that won two of the six-max, two-versus-two, and heads-up matches would win a round. Win two rounds and you’re the champ. Hong Kong took the first six-handed game, but Chengdu stormed back to win the two-versus-two and heads-up matches to clinch the first round. In the second round, Chengdu won the two-versus-two and Hong Kong won the heads-up, so it came down to the six-max to either nail it down for Chengdu or keep Hong Kong alive.

In crazy final hand, one Chengdu player was all-in against two Hong Kong players, who also both shoved on an 8-A-2 flop. The Panda had A-3, virtually dead to rights against one of the Treasure Ship player’s A-T (the other player had just 9-4). But a 3 fell on the turn and a Queen landed on the river to give the Panda the best hand, knocking out both rivals, and earning the inaugural GPL China championship for Chengdu.

The post Chengdu Pandas Win Inaugural GPL China Championship appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Global Poker League Second Season Waits While Expansion Occurs in China, Other Areas

 Global Poker League Second Season Waits While Expansion Occurs in China, Other Areas

It was thought by this point that the Global Poker League, the burgeoning team poker organization created by the Global Poker Index and its head honcho Alex Dreyfus, would have already started its second season. However, Season 2 of the GPL has been held up while Dreyfus moves forward with other endeavors.

Chief among Dreyfus’ current interests are the start of the eight-team GPL China. For that league, Dreyfus has been able to sign a major deal with JuzhongJoy, a Beijing operation that will assist Dreyfus with operations, distribution, and sponsorships inside the Communist (but still quite capitalist when it comes to business) nation. “We want to…become the NBA of poker in China!” Dreyfus enthusiastically stated in an e-mail announcing the partnership.

This isn’t the end of regionalized GPL outlets either. “I am happy to tease that GPL will support other regional initiatives such as the GPL Heads Up Challenge in France,” Dreyfus mentioned in the e-mail. “Alongside GPL China, we are currently preparing the rollout of GPL India and GPL Latin America also. Our goal is to connect poker fans and help them be a part of the GPL adventure, regardless of where they are.”

The India market is one that has been particularly red-hot of late. In February two outlets, the Poker Sports League and the Online Poker League, opened for business in the second largest nation in the world. It must be thought that Dreyfus, whom it appeared that both organizations were mimicking with the introduction of their leagues, is wanting to take on these upstarts and become the definitive regional league when it comes to poker.

The fate of the original GPL is one that has come up on a few occasions. Since the Montreal Nationals defeated the Berlin Bears in December in a series that went the maximum 11-game distance before the Nationals took down the title 6-5, there has been absolutely nothing that has come up regarding the GPL. There are reasons for this, however.

In an exclusive discussion with Poker News Daily, Dreyfus has said that “there were issues” with the inaugural season of the GPL. “In no way did we envision the season going nine months long,” Dreyfus commented and he is accurate. Few sports leagues can function on such an elongated schedule because keeping the attention of the fans is paramount. Dreyfus has said that he wants a shorter season and is working towards that goal.

As a part of that shorter season, Dreyfus says that there are changes afoot for the entire way the GPL operates. “I don’t think anyone want to see the same exact format of last year, with hundreds of matches played, long delays and such,” Dreyfus commented. “We know what we want to do based on the feedback from the audience and the mistakes we made…we will make the GPL a better product.”

Part of that new approach probably will not include changes to the online format that the GPL used in 2016. The online matches were found by newcomers to the Twitch streams to be a bit of a disappointment as they were expecting to tune in to watch the players actually sitting around a table under live circumstances. The online format of those matches, however, allow for players from around the world to be a part of the action rather than requiring them to be in a set location. There might be some changes made to the “Summer Series” – which basically were the online matches but with the participants standing inside “The Cube” to play while the World Series of Poker was running in Las Vegas – but Dreyfus would not elaborate on what changes would be made except to say they would be announced “soon.”

Dreyfus isn’t letting the GPL sit idle, as shown by his actions in India, France, and China. But it would be good to see something on the international circuit – even if it were just a start date – so that those who have become fans of the GPL know when it will return.

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