The Berlin Bears emerged from the Eurasia Conference playoffs early Thursday morning by defeating the Moscow Wolverines in the best-of-seven series and will square off against the representatives of the Americas Conference, the Montreal Nationals, for the title.
The first-ever Global Poker League Championship will take place Thursday at 2PM PT / 5PM ET / 11PM CET at the GPL Arena in Las Vegas where the teams will compete in a best-of-eleven series for the $100,000 first place prize.
The matches will take place in The Cube, the soundproof signature arena of the GPL that allows fans to see in, but the players cannot see out.
“We spent the last 9 months working with 12 teams, with a lot of players who became our friends in this journey,” GPL founder Alex Dreyfus told pokerfuse. “It is always sad to see teams and players eliminated, but we are excited to be so close to naming the winner of Season 1, and we are already working on Season 2.”
The Eurasia Playoffs
The first match of the evening pitted the Moscow Wolverines against London Royals. Team captain Liv Boeree named herself, Igor Kurganov and Justin Bonomo to represent the #4 seed Royals while top seeded Wolverines team manager Anatoly Filatov tapped himself, Igor Yaroshevsky, Andrey Pateychuck and Polish star Dzmitry Urbanovich.
The managers faced off in the first match with Filatov emerging victorious, and the Wolverines took a quick 2-0 lead after Bonamo ran his flush into the full house of Yaroshevsky just 4 hands into the match.
Kurganov scored the first victory in the match for the Royals against Pateychuck but lost in the next match to Yaroshevsky. Pateychuck returned in game 5 and defeated Bonamo to send the Wolverines to the Conference Championship series.
On the other side of the Eurasia bracket, the #2 Hong Kong Stars sent Guo Dong into The Cube against the #3 Bears’ Brian Rast, but Rast’s Queens held up against Dong’s AT to give the Bears a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Randy “nanonoko” Lew defeated Sorel Mizzi in game 2, tying the series 1-1 and Stars team manager Celina Lin defeated billionaire businessman Bill Perkins in the next match to give the Stars a 2-1 series lead.
Rast once again defeated Dong to tie the series at 2 games apiece, but after Mizzi bested Lew, Perkins beat Lin to send the Bears to the Conference Finals against the Wolverines.
Rast continued to dominate in Game 1 of the Eurasia Conference Final defeating Pateychuck, but Yaroshevsky defeated Mizzi and Filatov overcame Perkins to give the Wolverines a 2-1 series lead.
But it was Rast to the rescue once again, as he got past Pateychuck to tie up the series.
Berlin had a shot to win the series in 6 games after Mizzi rivered quads against Yaroshevsky’s turned straight, but Filatov forced a Game 7 by beating Perkins.
But the Bears had Rast who defeated Filatov to go 5 for 5 on the night and send the Berlin Bears onto face the Montreal Nationals in the first-ever Global Poker League Championship.