The top 8 poker nations in the world, as determined by the Global Poker Index battled in the Global Poker Masters World Cup held in Malta. It was Team Italy in the end clinching the trophy after beating Team Russia in the heads-up. As per the official press release, it was the all-star Italian line-up of Dario Sammartino, Mustapha Kanit, Rocco Palumbo, Andrea Dato and Giulliano Bendinelli that took advantage of their 4 to 1 chip lead heading into the Finals to lock up the victory & title of World Champion Nation at the Global Poker Masters.
Team Italy had anything but an easy path to the crown as they entered the Quarterfinals near the middle of the pack, trailing #1 Playoffs finisher Team USA, eventual Finals opponent Team Russia and Team France. France couldn’t hold onto its momentum through the Quarterfinals though – losing all 3 heads up rounds against Team Russia and falling short of the Final 6 with Italy again seemingly unsuspecting in the rundown to the Finals. The buzz surrounded Team USAs chances, but with early exits in the Semifinals by Team Canada and Team Ukraine, followed by Germany – and a surprise exit by Team USA at the hands of Italy 3 handed the final face-off was set.
Nearly 1 million viewers tuned in over the last two days on Twitch.tv – a partner of the event – as well as countless others from around the world via Sports.fr, Sport1.de, PokerStars.tv and dozens of partner outlets broadcasting the competition in five different languages.
Referee-in-chief Thomas Lamatsch was thrilled with the proceedings, commenting, “It was an honor for me to participate in the first ever Global Poker Masters. I’ve fallen in love with the challenge of developing new formats in my business and I’m impressed with the overall team spirit this event was able to create. It seemed genuine. Im also sure that presenting poker in this format and in this medium is one of the biggest tools we have to keep this industry growing.”
Alexandre Dreyfus, Global Poker Index (GPI) Chief Executive Officer added: “I believed that we managed to create the first legitimate Poker’s World Cup, endorsed by Players and the Poker community. Now we need to use this event as a foundation and continue building towards our mission to Sportify Poker; this weekend’s competition has certainly helped us further our vision. I was so thrilled to see players from each Nation meeting and discussing team strategy day in and day out, taking notes, checking where they stood in the standings in hopes of making it to the next round. In the end, Team Italy arrived as 5 individuals but they won as a team, congratulations to them.”
2015 GLOBAL POKER MASTERS
- United States of America
- United Kingdom