Global Poker Index Unveils Its Fantasy Poker Manager Social Game

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Fantasy sports gaming is a worldwide billion dollar industry. Looking to potentially tap into that market, the Global Poker Index announced yesterday the development of their poker fantasy game which will make its debut with an upcoming international poker tournament.

The ownership behind the GPI, Zokay Entertainment, unveiled their game, “Fantasy Poker Manager,” which is offered over their Facebook account. The game is much like what players experience when playing fantasy football or baseball in that they begin with a virtual salary cap of $1 million. A participant then picks a team of as many as ten players (while staying within the cap), with the value of those players based on the poker professionals ranking on the GPI 300. When a player on your “poker team” finishes in the money in a tournament, you pick up points. Not only will fantasy players compete with others around the world, but there are also “one on one” contests and private leagues that can be set up.

“The Fantasy Poker Manager fills an important spot in the poker community, acting as a bridge between online poker, social poker, and live tournament poker”, stated Zokay Entertainment’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre Dreyfus. “It will help promote poker as the sport that it is and will bring the fans and professionals of poker closer together. The Fantasy Poker Manager is a natural extension for the GPI, which is the best and most well recognized ranking system of poker players worldwide.”

The first event that will be eligible for the “Fantasy Poker Manager” is the upcoming European Poker Tour stop in Deauville, France. Other tournaments, such as those on the World Poker Tour schedule as well as those at the World Series of Poker, are promised to come in the future, allowing poker fans around the world to compete against each other.

The “Fantasy Poker Manager” is set up so that players cannot just load up on the players at the top of the GPI. Marvin Rettenmaier (a player I chose), for example, is the #2 player on the GPI; as such, he costs over $430,000 to put on your team. While you can get two “big money” players on your team, the best move is to get as many players as your $1 million budget will allow you to get.

While it is beginning on Facebook, the potential for the GPI’s “Fantasy Poker Manager” is unlimited. There will be a mobile version that will come out over the next few months and additional features will also be unveiled, Dreyfus said. The move by Zokay Entertainment with this latest usage for the GPI is something that many might be able to get behind.

It is estimated that there are over 40 million people who regularly play fantasy sports games and, when you add in approximately 50 million people who play online poker on Facebook and other sites, there is a huge potential audience. There is also something that fantasy gaming has that can be tapped and perhaps Zokay Entertainment is looking at that potential.

In the United States, fantasy gaming has exploded as it has been exempted from any laws regarding online gambling. As such, many players participate not only in yearly leagues for their favorite sports but also in daily fantasy leagues. Millions of dollars have been handed out to the players in these two facets of fantasy gaming; as of yet, poker has yet to dive into the fantasy gaming world. With their “Fantasy Poker Manager,” we are seeing the first foray by an organization into a legal way to enjoy poker, albeit vicariously.

The first tournament eligible for the GPI’s “Fantasy Poker Manager” is the EPT Deauville, set to begin on Sunday. This leaves little time to get in on the action, so head to the Fantasy Poker Manager application on Facebook and test your skills against the rest of the world in choosing your team!

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