The slow grind of the Epic Poker League

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 01, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

What started out as a simple announcement in January that Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack would be forming a professionals-only poker league–which at the time seemed like an absolute disaster in the making—has taken a long strange trip to where it is today, with the Epic Poker League now looking like the stone-cold-nuts of poker leagues!

Between January and today the Epic Poker League –the official name it received only recently—has taken a slow, methodical, approach, which has seen the league send out dozens of press releases in that time. In this article I want to take a look at a few of the important details that emerged in these press releases and present a timeline of sorts for the Epic Poker League with the inaugural tournament right around the corner.

The Initial Announcement: The initial announcement of an Annie Duke/Jeffrey Pollack led “professional” poker league was met with varying opinions in the poker world. And considering the scant details that were released at the outset people’s concerns seemed extremely legitimate.

The Tournaments: Once a tournament schedule and structure was released the poker world started to take a closer look at the FS+G Poker League –as it had become to be known. With $20k, rake-free, buy-in Main Events, Pro-Ams, and charity tournaments the league started to take shape. And with $400k added to each Main Event and a $1 million freeroll at the end of the year, even the pros started to follow the news coming out of the league.

The Eligibility Process: Shortly after the tournament schedule was unveiled the FS+G Poker League –still no official name!—released its eligibility criteria and the list of players who had made the cut, as well as a short-list of players that could qualify before the tour cards for Season 1 were given out.

The Branding: Finally, just a few months before the first tournament the league officially got a name and a logo: The Epic Poker League.

The Global Poker Index: Another new innovation created by the Epic Poker League was the Global Poker Index (GPI), which ranks the top 300 tournament players on a sliding scale based on their results over the past three years.

The Production Company: The next announcement from the Epic Poker League was the hiring of 441 Productions, a 23-time Emmy award winning company, who produced the WSOP from 2003 until 2010.

The Television Deal: The final piece of the puzzle was which station would the Epic Poker League be televised on, and this past week we learned that CBS and Velocity will air 20 hours of footage during the first season of the Epic Poker League.

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