The Global Poker Index (GPI) has established itself as one of the top companies in the poker industry and has made headlines by creating a number of exciting events on the poker circuit including the Global Poker Masters. The GPI is owned by Mediarex Sports & Entertainment (MSE) which is led by Alexandre Dreyfus.
Dreyfus has made his intentions clear that he wants to promote poker as a game of skill and not a game of chance. He believes that poker is a sport and must be treated and promoted in such a way to build a bigger global poker audience and also to bring in a new wave of poker players.
Dreyfus believes that is golf can have the Ryder cup and tennis can have the Davis cup, then there must be a special tournament for poker professionals. The GPI intends to promote the Global Poker Masters (GPM) as the most prestigious poker league in the world and will look to attract some of the biggest poker players around the world.
Dreyfus has campaigned successfully to raise $4.9 million from private investors in Series A funding. Some of the investors who took part in the funding round include Xavier Niel, France’s telecom tycoon and co-owner of LeMonde; Dr. Stanley Choi, Hong Kong businessman and poker player; John Gleasure, Chief Commercial Officer at Perform Group and a private equity fund from Beijing, China that preferred to be anonymous.
In a statement, MSE CEO Alex Dreyfus said
Poker is an old game, but a young industry. It’s a game that continues to grow. Poker’s global growth from 2012 and 2013 was 17%, as well as a 9.4% increase in 2014 live competition entries. Digital interest in the game continues to grow as well up 12% in 2013, 25% in 2014 and 31% in the first half of 2015. It’s a large audience and the best way to aggregate it is to promote poker as a sport.
MSE plans to use the $4.9 million to ‘sportify poker’ by marketing and promoting the game in a manner that educates individuals across the world about the skills required to play a good game of poker. The MSE believes that there are over 100 million people across the globe that have an interest in poker and by creating a framework to sportify poker; MSE believes that poker will soon have a bigger global market.