Alex Dreyfus is a man who made poker what it is today. He owns the HendonMob database in poker and also the Global Poker Index, which is operated by him under Zokay Entertainment.
Dreyfus has been doing his best to promote online poker in America and he is well aware of the markets in the Europe too. He is carving his name in the big world of poker and everything he does is going right for him.
According to Alex Dreyfus, poker has to be exposed for making it successful. This is achieved by exposing the players through a ranking system. When players move up and down the ranks, that is when people will talk about them. The GPI comes into picture here which makes the media to discuss poker.
The other thing that is the need of the day is to produce poker stars, not through sponsorship but by rankings. Instead of remembering the bygone stars, new players need to be made celebrities.
When enquired about the association with PocketFives, Dreyfus explained that they share ranking and the data. For example, if anybody visits a profile on the GPI, they can view the latest results. Also, when somebody visits a particular page on PocketFives, they can find the live results here too. Dreyfus doesn’t believe that online and offline rankings can be mixed. He reasons it out saying online based rankings are not dependable because of the anonymity factor. A particular player plays by different names on different sites, which cannot be merged to make a realistic ranking. Thus online results are not taken into consideration by the GPI.
Business Model for GPI
Dreyfus’ organization’s primary business prototype is selling advertising. They sell advertising to traditional casinos, rather than to online poker. They make good amount of money through this and the secondary thing is they have started to make money from data as well, by summing up results of all casinos.
Dreyfus revealed that most casinos don’t possess their own results on their web site. His company provides them the results and he is paid for it. Most of this money goes into investments.
When Dreyfus was asked about the driving force behind his passion, he says he is an entrepreneur and the love for poker makes him to take things to the next level.
He says if online poker is made legal in California, it will have a huge impact on the poker industry. Because California is at the centre of things, with a market of around $400 million, a good number of casinos, it is the only place where money can be spent and recovered.
Asked about the recent barring of some players from the list, Dreyfus said that he doesn’t want people to point fingers at him saying that live poker is fixed. He doesn’t want players who cheat in his team, to bring bad name to the whole company.
He didn’t reveal much about the future developments.
Twitch and GPI
The teams at Twitch and the Global Poker Masters both share the same vision towards poker. The GPM included Twitch banner in their matches, the Twitch poker head was involved in a press conference and these events created a bond which led to GPM being aired on Twitch. The page drew 1.2 million+ views in a span of 2 days.
But Dreyfus still thinks that it was not the success that he aimed at since most of the views came from people visiting the home page and having no idea about what they were viewing. Alex Dreyfus on PokerMediaPro expressed his desire to generate an eSports experience. He wants crazy poker fans on Twitch as well for which an exclusive platform is needed.
Dreyfus understands getting more views is not the answer but engaging the Twitch population creating suitable content is more important.
Aaron Paul playing at GPL
Regarding the reception the GPL is receiving, it is more than what Dreyfus expected. In his opinion, one of the major factors playing a crucial role for the response the League has got, is to do with the visibility – the players and their reactions on the webcam. It reminds one of online play. When they started out, the managers wanted the players too to interact with one another but Dreyfus was against that. He wanted the players behind the camera and talking to the audience, to increase the involvement.
As of now, Dreyfus is satisfied with the viewership that GPL has gathered. He knows that it will be a lengthy process and the stakes will become larger as teams get eliminated.
The format also is made interesting. Initially, there had been a lot of hate but of late it is turning into kind of loyalty. Sportifying poker is all about fans supporting one team and hating another team, says Alex Dreyfus .
Players themselves have started to get involved in the promotions, because of their own interest levels. Aaron Paul was chosen since he is a current generation guy playing video games, he is a celebrity and showed his commitment to poker, as a player. Though this is a professional League, Dreyfus admitted that he wants it to be the talk of the town, so he made an exception with the Breaking Bad superstar.
Dreyfus is going to throw some more surprises, be ready for the action.