Global Poker League Playoffs

[RR] “Did you guys watch the GPL playoffs?” Roderick the Rock wondered.

[LL] “Yes, I watched after they were posted on YouTube, which was pretty quickly”,1 Leroy the Lion answered. “I found that combining fast playback with jumping ahead with the right arrow key (5 seconds) and the ‘L’ key (10 seconds) was almost as fast as watching a YouTube recording.”2

[RR] “I had the Twitch stream on in the background most of the time, so I could switch to the video whenever the announcers sounded excited.”

[SS] “I also watched on YouTube, because I wanted to be able to pause and rewind”, Stan the Stat said. “Probably took me a lot longer to watch than Leroy but still much less than Rod.”

[FF] “So, what happened?” Figaro the Fish asked.

[SS] “How much time do you have?”

[FF] “Can you give me a five-minute summary?”

[SS] “Okay. As you know, eight teams made the playoffs. For a ‘home field’ advantage, the higher seeds were given more chips to start each game, so when the 1-seeds played the 4-seeds it was 130,000 to 100,000, and when the 2-seeds played the 3-seeds it was 120,000 to 110,000.”3

[LL] “Best of seven matches.”

[SS] “Unlike every major sporting event, each conference played down to a winner in one day instead of having both semifinals one day and both finals the next. This was a very practical, logistical decision, as it meant less travel and evened out the number of matches played on each day.”

[LL] “Day One would have been brutally long otherwise.”

[SS] “In the Americas division, the regular season champ Nationals fell behind the San Francisco Rush 2-0 and 3-2 but came back to take the match. Phil Galfond went 2-0 for the Rush, while Mike McDonald won two games

  • 4.
  • for the Nationals.

    The 2-seed L.A. Sunset also went the full seven against the Sao Paulo Mets, with Olivier Busquet making up for his opening game loss with two wins, including the clincher over Thiago Nishijima, who also had two wins.

    In the conference finals, the favorite won again, with Marc-Andre Ladoucer winning both games 5 and 6 to put the Nationals in the GPL Finals.”

    [SS] “In the Eurasia division, The top-seeded Moscow Wolverines crushed the London Royals in five games, with Igor Yaroshevsky winning twice.

    The 3-seed Berlin Bears provided the first upset of the playoffs, taking out the 2-seed Hong Kong Stars in six, with Brian Rast winning twice and Bill Perkins taking down the clincher.

    In the Eurasia finals, the Bears pulled off another upset, as Brian Rast won games 1, 4, and 7, like a stud Major League Baseball pitcher in the World Series. Anatoly Filatov won two games for the Wolverines, but fell shot in the decider.”

    In the GPL finals, the Bears won the first match, but played from behind most of the rest of the best-of-11 match. The Nationals Pascal LeFrancois won three of his four games (5-1 in the playoffs), including the decider, while Sorel Mizzi won three of four (5-3 in the playoffs) for the Bears. Mike McDonald and Brian Rast both went 1-3.”

    [FF] “So what did they win?”

    [SS] “$100,000 for the team, a trophy, and eternal fame.”

    [RR] “The fame might be worth the most to them, since $17,000 each, or however much the split was, is pocket change for these pros. But a well-deserved title for Montreal, as they were also the best team in the regular season.”

    [LL] “That was more heads-up poker than I’ve watched in my lifetime, total. But I definitely enjoyed it, and I think I learned a few things.”

    [RR] “Like poker can work well as a team sport!”

    Footnotes:

    1. Unfortunately, a couple of the videos were cut off, including the end of the fifth game (Lew/Mizzi) in the second Eurasia Semis and the first three and a half games and the end of the eighth game of the GPL Finals. Hopefully those will be fixed soon. {December 2, 2016 Update: The video of the GPL Finals now has all but the end of the eighth game.}
    2. The corresponding keys are left arrow to go back 5 seconds and ‘J’ to go back 10 (the up and down arrows also work, which seems redundant but are probably better for some people). You can remember the letters as ‘L’ for “leap ahead” and ‘J’ for “jump back”. ‘K’ pauses or plays the video, just like the space bar does.
    3. The exception to this was the Montreal Nationals, the winner of the GPL Americas, because one of their players was late. They ended up playing two games with no chip advantage against the San Francisco Rush, which the teams split.
    4. McDonald ended up playing four games, which included subbing in for the late Pascal LeFrancois.
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