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Global Poker Masters: North American & European Nations round out 2015 contenders at Poker's 1st World Cup.

NEW YORK, January 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

The Global Poker Index (GPI), poker's ranking authority, has officially announced dates and full event details for the first-ever Global Poker Masters (Masters) - Poker's World Cup - taking place March 21[] - 22[sup.nd] at the Hilton Portomaso in Malta. A yearly event, the Masters brings together 8 National teams from the best overall Poker countries to compete for the title of Poker's World Champion Nation.

The 8 teams- together with their All-Star players - represent the cream of the crop in terms of Poker talent from all over the world. The qualification process for the Masters is performance based both in determining which 8 nations are eligible, as well as determining which players are invited to represent their countries in competition. The 8 most highly represented Nations in GPIs global rankings (consisting of over 400,000 ranked playersacross 95 countries, via 225,000+ qualifying events throughout 1,450+ casinos) qualify, with the best players from each nation according to national-level GPI rankings comprising each team.

A Legitimate World Cup

As Global Poker Masters director Alex Dreyfus notes, "This is Poker's first legitimate World Cup, made possible by an unbiased team and nation selection process carried out by GPI. We're grateful and excited to have the endorsement and support from both casual and professional players all over the world on this. The goal is clear: We want to #SportifyPoker and bring this mind sport to mainstream recognition for the game's 100+ million global fans."

The Masters' eight 4 player national team line-ups have been finalized. They are an accomplished group, and with a combined 1,789 cashes, 186 winsand 919 final tables between them there will be no shortage of world class competition on display. All confirmed players - whose total lifetime winnings total more than $135 million- will be at the tables together and each team will also be adding a 5th wildcard player to their ranks before competition begins to round out the event's list of 40 competitors.

Part of the success of Global Poker Masters' model rests in its GPI pedigree. "The legitimacy of GPI as a player ranking authority has given us a strong foundation to build sports-formatted events like The Masters which emphasize the enormous skill element of this game." explains Dreyfus, adding "another important step is our commitment to eliminating the financial risk from the perspective of the players involved - taking the financial gamble out of the equation as Poker continues to evolve into a genuine sport. There should be no barriers - Poker is a competition, plain and simple."

Real-time broadcast in 5 languages

GPI is putting together the framework to provide the best fan experience possible for GPM viewers too. Hosted by veteran journalist and poker media personality Kara ScottThe Global Poker Masters will be livestreamed globally in real-time - simulcast in 5 different languages - and broadcast on several leading digital platformsincluding sports media outlets, with specific broadcasters slated to be announced as the Masters moves closer. GPI will provide live betting options tied into the competition as well, inviting bookmakers from around the world to promote and livestream Poker's World Cup.

The Global Poker Masters has enjoyed an enthusiastic, warm reception from around the poker world, with iconic 2003 WSOP Champion Chris Moneymakernoting that "2015 is lining up to be a really exciting year for the promotion of poker as a sport, especially with the Global Poker Masters coming up. I'll definitely be cheering for #TeamUSA".

The game's most recent World Champion - 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson- has weighed in positively on the Global Poker Masters as well, commenting "I'm a strong believer that promoting poker as a sport is the future of the game and having this first legitimate World Cup is gonna be very exciting."

The full line-up of nations and players for the 2015 Global Poker Masters (Rankings as of December 31st, 2014) :
 1. United States
     Dan Smith
           GPI #2 (National #1)
    Jake Schindler
           GPI #7 (National #4)
    Bryn Kenney
           GPI #8 (National #5)
    Olivier Busquet
           GPI #34 (National #7)
    Wildcard: TBD
    2. U.K.
    Jack Salter
           GPI #19 (National #2)
    Simon Deadman
           GPI #35 (National #3)
    Oliver Price
           GPI #39 (National #4)
    Sam Trickett
           GPI #99 (National #5)
    Wildcard: TBD 3. Canada
    Amichai Barer
           GPI #3 (National #1)
    Sorel Mizzi
           GPI #9 (National #2)
    Andrew Chen
           GPI #16 (National #4)
    Jonathan Duhamel
           GPI #27 (National #5)
    Wildcard: TBD
    4. Germany
    Ole Schemion
           GPI #1 (National #1)
    Marvin Rettenmaier
           GPI #22 (National #2)
    George Danzer
           GPI #40 (National #3)
    Martin Finger
           GPI #50 (National #4)
    Wildcard: TBD
    5. Russia
    Anatoly Filatov
           GPI #28 (National #1)
    Vladimir Troyanovskiy
           GPI #49 (National #2)
    Ivan Soshinikov
           GPI #57 (National #3)
    Vitaly Lunkin
           GPI #77 (National #4)
    Wildcard: TBD
    6. France
    Erwann Pecheux
           GPI #58 (National #1)
    Benjamin Pollack
           GPI #72 (National #2)
    Fabrice Soulier
           GPI #147 (National #3)
    Sylvain Loosli
           GPI #169 (National #4)
    Wildcard: TBD
    7. Italy
    Dario Sammartino
           GPI #13 (National #1)
    Mustapha Kanit
           GPI #37 (National #2)
    Andrea Dato
           GPI #54 (National #3)
    Giuliano Bendinelli
           GPI #144 (National #4)
    Wildcard: TBD
    8. Ukraine
    Eugene Katchalov
           GPI #48 (National #1)
    Oleksandr Gnatenko
           GPI #186 (National #2)
    Oleksii Khoroshenin
           GPI #253 (National #3)
    Igor Yaroshevsky
           GPI #270 (National #4)
    Wildcard: TBD 

Event Details:

The Global Poker Masters will take place on March 21st - 22nd March 2015 - at the Hilton Portomaso in Malta (Europe).

For more information regarding the Global Poker Masters please visit:

For press inquiries (photos, interviews, player details, and etc.) please contact:

Media use disclaimer:

Media outlets are free to use player pictures, profile information, and statistics available on and in aiding coverage of the Global Poker Masters.

Alexandre Dreyfus, - +356 20 60 77 77

SOURCE Global Poker Index (GPI)
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Date:Jan 19, 2015
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