The Draft: Americas Conference
The players competing in the Americas conference of the inaugural Global Poker League Season were confirmed last night during the GPL Draft at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
Marc Andre Ladouceur was able to secure a strong roster for his Montreal Nationals, opening with Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald, before adding former world Champion Martin Jacobsen, and rounding off with fellow Canadians Pascal LeFrancois and Xuan Liu. The New York Rounders will be extremely satisfied with proceedings after manager Bryn Kenney was able to secure the services of big hitters Jason Mercier, Tom Marchese, Kevin MacPhee, and Jason Wheeler, prompting the analysts to put New York amongst the early favourites.
Faraz Jaka’s San Francisco Rush opted for online stalwart and Runitonce founder Phil Galfond for his opening pick, followed up by Tony Gregg and Kitty Kuo, popular choices amongst the team of analysts, before tossing a coin and selecting Swede Anton Wigg as his final pick. Chris Moneymaker, looking to reignite the poker boom he set off in 2003, drafted Anthony Zinno, Jake Cody, and Jonathan Little, as well as Jonathan Duhamel in round 2, plucking the Montreal native from the grasps of Nationals manager Marc Andre Ladouceur.
Andre Akkari, looking to garner the support of poker mad Brazil whilst overseeing the Sao Paulo Metropolitans, drafted Americans Darren Elias and GPI POY Byron Kaverman, before reverting to hometown picks Thiago Nishijima and Joao Pires Simao for his 3rd and 4th selection. Rounding off the Americas Conference at the draft was LA Sunset, with Maria Ho giving the West Coasters a strong chance in the opening season with the selection of Fedor Holz, Olivier Busquet, Eugene Katachalov and in form Chance Kornuth.