The inaugural edition of Global Poker League (GPL) has been responsible for generating a lot of interest in poker enthusiasts across the world with its innovative poker format. Managers of the 12 GPL franchisees picked their teams on the draft day held on February 25, choosing carefully from a global pool of over 200 players.
Two teams London Royals and the Moscow Wolverines feature some of the strongest poker players on the circuit today.
London Royals is led by team manager Liv Boeree, who has almost $3 million in live tournament cashes. Her biggest win so far has been at the 2010 European Poker Tour (EPT) Sanremo. She went with Igor Kurganov as her first choice. With total winnings of $10 million and an EPT win, the Russian player is known for his expertise in both offline and online versions of the game. Kurganov is also personally involved with Boeree which could have played a role in his selection.
As her second pick, Boeree zeroed in on Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst. With three WSOP bracelets to her credit and live winnings of over $11.6 million, Selbst is one of the most successful poker players today and is bound to draw much attention. British player Chris Moorman was Boeree’s next choice. He has a great track record in online poker, with total winnings amounting to $13 million and is successful in live tournaments as well as proven by his WPT title in 2014.
The fourth player to join the London team was Justin Bonomon who has $9.7 million in live tournament winnings, which includes 1 WSOP bracelet and 1 EPT win. Boeree picked Sam Trickett as one of the wildcards and herself as the other.
Anatoly Filatov is the team manager for Moscow Wolverines and he decided to largely focus on Russian players for his team. Dzimitry Urbanovich, who was his first pick, is the only non-Russian selection for the team and is one of the most promising players of today. The 20-year old young prodigy won over $4 million in 2015, his debut year as a professional poker player. He finished as runner-up in Season 11 of the EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller cashing in €1.45 million.
Filatov favored Vladimir Troyanovskiy for his next selection. Troyanovskiy known to be a high roller specialist is currently placed sixth on Russia’s all-time money list. Andrey Pateychuk came in next. Pateychuk with $2.53 million in online winnings and $2.945 million from live tournament winnings including a WPT and an EPT title has proven to be equally adept in online as well as live play.
The final pick for the team was Sergey Lebedev, ranked seventh in Russia and with $1.324 million in live winnings. Filatov also recently announced the wildcards to be himself and Igor Yaroshevsky.