With the start date for the inaugural season of the Global Poker League (GPL) nearing, almost all the 12 franchisees have finalized their wildcard entries.
The only team yet to do so is the Los Angeles Sunset franchise which is managed by female poker pro Maria Ho.
Most of the team managers opted to name themselves as one of the wildcard entrants.
The exceptions were Philipp Gruissem from Berlin Bears and Brazilian Andre Akkari of the Sao Paulo Metropolitans.
Liv Boeree, the London Royals manager, picked Sam Trickett and herself for the wildcard entries. A strong player who is known to be a little on the emotional side, Trickett is likely to attract the attention of poker fans.
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The Paris Aviators manager Fabrice Soulier picked himself and Alex Luneau. Soulier has over $6 million in live play earnings and a WSOP gold bracelet to his credit while Luneau has the reputation of being a high-stakes cash game specialist in online poker.
Moscow Wolverines manager Anatoly Filatov also opted to select himself as a wildcard. The other spot went to Igor Yaroshevsky. With almost $1.7 million in live tournament winnings, Yaroshevsky tops the Ukranian GPI ranking and is known for his aggressive playing style. Filatov on the other hand is known for his flamboyant and colorful dressing style which is bound to grab the attention of the spectators.
Berlin Bears team manager Gruissem opted to pick Bill Perkins and Dan Cates. Perkins has made a lot of news in the poker world these past few months with his prop bets to Dan Bilzerian and Antonio Esfandiari. Dan Cates is a high stakes online specialist who made a splash when he threw his chips at a fellow player after being eliminated. Max Pescatori of the team Rome Emperors made a surprising choice of Todd Brunson apart from himself.
Given his stardom, it was no surprise that Chris Moneymaker chose himself as a wildcard for the Las Vegas Moneymakers. The other wildcard pick was Scott Ball, who is a community manager at Twitch which will surely add to the popularity of the team. The team manager for Hong Kong Stars Celina Lin chose online specialist Randy Lew and herself.
Marc-Andre Ladouceur of the Montreal Nationals went with Jason Lavallee and himself as the wild card entrants. The manager for New York Rounders Bryn Kenney picked himself and then chose to stick to family, selecting his younger brother Tyler Kenney for the other wildcard pick.
Faraz Jaka of the team San Francisco Rush chose himself and Jonathan Jaffe. Jaka’s creative playing style featuring outrageous moves could prove to be a crowd-puller. Sao Paulo Metropolitans’ manager Andre Akkari chose Felipe Ramos and João Bauer. While Ramos is well-known as a friend of PokerStars who works as a coach for Neymar Jr, Bauer is not very popular outside of Brazil as most of his success has been in his native country.