It's too early to tell if the Global Poker League can be called a success. As with most new businesses, or ideas, it usually takes a few years to see true results. The fact that it has lasted half way through the first season is a testament to the dedication of its players, and owners.
Richard Dreyfus is quickly becoming a pioneer in a sport that many said couldn't get any bigger, and was in fact, in decline. He took his Global Poker League seriously, despite the critics and has put together one of the better poker products on the market today.
Sure, he's in this to make money, but the one difference that will make the GPL a success is the true intent to create a great product – not simply cash in on a fad. At least that's my opinion.
In order to achieve success, you need to listen to your market, fix what's wrong, and implement those changes. That's exactly what the GPL is doing. And instead of waiting until the next season, they are doing it now.
Currently the GPL is on its scheduled break, which makes these changes a perfect time to test the waters. Although one of those changes is set to delay the original return of the GPL. Initially, it was slated to pick back up the first week in September, it's now been pushed back until September 20th.
This move comes with good reason. Dreyfus realized he was getting “Smashed” by the larger tournament series such as the SCOOP. Trying to compete against the world's largest poker room is never a good idea, and they realize this.
Their initial re-start was scheduled to take place right as the EPT Barcelona, Poker Stars WCOOP, and other major tournament series are set to take place. This would make it difficult to gain any new viewers during a time when everyone is playing themselves.
Not only will the new start time change, the final series location has changed. Playoffs were originally planned to take place in San Diego during TwitchCon, will now take place in Las Vegas.
You may think this is the natural move, but TwitchCon is the GPL's main avenue for viewers. Well, Twitch.tv that is. TwitchCon is a ComicCon like event to promote Twitch.tv and will have a huge gathering of live streamers, gamers and poker players – basically their target audience.
Some exhibition events will still be played at TwitchCon, and the GPL plans to have a strong presence at the event – as they should.
The final event to crown a champion is also changing locations. Wembley Stadium in London was the scheduled destination to live stream the final championship, but now will also be held in Las Vegas.
One of the main reasons for this move is the logistics of getting all the players in one spot. Many who participate in the league will already be in Vegas, so it made sense to hold it there. And while their signature series – “The Cube” was seen as a success, they realized the difficulties of trying to fly everyone in to one place when they are scattered throughout the world.
In the end, this is all for the better of the league. Dreyfus states he wants to have a more refined product to showcase to the world before live streaming from one of the world's biggest stages. All of the changes reflect a smart outlook on the future of the league. We can expect the GPL to be around for a long time, and hope to see it succeed.