PokerStars will serve as the lead sponsor for the Global Poker League, Mediarex Sports and Entertainment announced from their headquarters in Malta Sept. 30.
According to a release from PokerStars, PokerStars is the exclusive poker sponsor of the league and will try to transition poker into more than a player experience, shifting to the fan experience. This is most evidenced in GPL’s arena, “The Cube.”
Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ director of corporate communications, said in the release that the GPL will bring an “innovative team-based twist to poker” and is looking forward to supporting Mediarex in bringing poker to new audiences.
Team PokerStars, namely Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier and ElkY, has supported the league through participation. PokerStars will work with Mediarex on promotional initiatives to bring more poker fans into the league.
“We are optimistic about this partnership, having the support of PokerStars is a crucial step forward on the road to fully establishing the GPL as a real blueprint for poker entertainment in the future,” said Alex Dreyfus, chief executive officer of the GPL, in a release. “PokerStars offers us a multitude of opportunities to grow our platform and continue developing our twofold strategy of connecting the league to the poker community and genuinely connecting poker to the mainstream entertainment sector on a large scale.”
The GPL starts Oct. 4 and will live stream on PokerStars TV.
Recent surveys from GPL suggest that 56 percent of poker fans would like to play in team tournaments and 41 percent would be interested in being a part of the GPL team.
The GPL will have 12 teams with 72 pros – whose combined live tournament winnings exceed $400 million – across two conferences and has zero buy-in. The second part of the first season started Sept. 20 and will build to the playoffs in Vegas at the end of November.