Zokay Entertainment has announced it has purchased the Global Poker Index (GPI) from Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc for an undisclosed amount. Malta-based Zokay is a venture founded by Alex Dreyfus, ex-CEO of ChiliGaming.
The popular patent pending tournament poker ranking system was obtained by Pinnacle in June via a court-supervised bankruptcy auction along with the other assets of Federated Sports & Gaming, parent company of the now defunct Epic Poker League.
The GPI is widely considered to be the best poker tournament ranking system in the industry, aggregating a player’s performance in qualifying tournaments over a 36 month period.
“The GPI is the best poker ranking system in the world, and we plan to make it even better,” said Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Zokay Entertainment.
GPI is another addition to Dreyfus’ growing portfolio of poker-related businesses. Under Zokay, he manages the French Deep Stack Open poker tournament series, owns media businesses iGamingFrance and MadeInPoker.com, still holds the Chiligaming brands (the B2B platform was sold to Bally’s and the online poker room was merged with Poker770) and owns the MyPokerApp mobile tracking application.
There are plans to improve the GPI brand, including the expansion of the Player of the Year award to a full-blown awards ceremony designed to celebrate “a variety of accomplishments in the live tournament poker world.” In addition to honoring players with awards such as Poker’s Rising Star, players ranked at the top of the GPI will nominate and vote for Best Tournament Director, Best Event, and Best Venue.
Expansion plans also include the implementation of a National Rankings system. Players from at least 17 different countries will be ranked alongside their fellow compatriots, in an bid to enhance the local appeal of the ranking system.
Players ranking on the GPI leaderboard will also become members of the GPI VIP Club which will include “a variety of membership perks and discounts useful for the GPI 300 Elite globally and locally,” according to Dreyfus, and a concierge-style service via a dedicated VIP representative.
Dreyfus is looking to raise the public-facing profile of poker and “bring it in line with other competitive contests of skill and sports industries.” The GPI has already cracked the mainstream media with its distribution via the USA Today Sports print edition on a weekly basis.