Recent poker news posted on CardsChart reveal that the Global Poker league might be having a few legal woes. CardsChart’s Jon Sofen also suggested in his article that GPL may not be such a popular event with global poker players as Global poker Index CEO Alexander Dreyfus hyped it out to be.
Sofen who dubbed Dreyfus as a ‘controversial businessman’ described GPL as an innovative event whose primary intention is to ‘sportify’ the game this way in order to make it more alluring to the non-poker playing audience.
For this year’s GPL tournament, private investors have put up a whopping $5 million. The event will host 12 international poker teams picked from different cities sprawled out across the globe. Each team will have 5 poker players who will be picked out in drafts and it will run through for 14 weeks. Each team having its own manager will battle it out in a stadium and all the games will be fully televised with accompanying commentary.
In his defense, Dreyfus strongly believes that GPL tournament will salvage poker from its slowly decaying glory and rejuvenate it as a fun and intense game. However, given the circumstances of the event and all the fine lines that Dreyfus alleges to put the spank back in poker, most would arguably view this event as more of a gambling forum as opposed to a pure old fashioned game of poker.
It may seem that Dreyfus’s enthusiasm to up the poker game ratings might have blinded him to a few legal issues. Since players on the team will each receive a salary during the season, Dreyfus could argue that GPL is not a gambling ring and everyone is getting paid what they are owed. However, according to US poker laws, games that are hosted outside of licensed establishments are deemed illegal hence gambling. While Dreyfus still maintains that he is doing everything within the law, many beg to differ with him on this. Should the US law enforcement find that the GPL does not conform to the rules and regulations set, the league will have to be cancelled for further investigations.
To add salt to an injury, the timing for GPL tournament couldn’t be worse seeing as the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry is under investigation for allegedly hosting gambling games. However, DraftKings and FanDuel have vehemently denied these accusations saying that the list of fantasy sports are not included in the banned gambling games listed out in the poker laws. Moreover, Nevada has recently officially banned fantasy sports websites from running without proof of a license which leaves room for the federal government to step in at any given moment and declare fantasy sports as indeed gambling games. Imposing more scrutiny on the GPL, the federal government might even rule that running that entire league is against the law.
To make matters worse, Dreyfus is not a popular figure in the poker world. Part of the reason why poker players are not fond of him is because his formula for ranking players in the Global player index is often thought to be unfair. And for a few other players they just don’t like Dreyfus and there is no apparent reason for their dislike for the man. Bottomline, Dreyfus has his work cut out for him. Not only does he have to convince law enforcement agencies that his league is indeed legit and law-abiding, but he has to gain the trust and goodwill of the entire poker community. One cannot do without the other, otherwise the entire league will come crumbling down.