On June 12, the Global Poker Index (GPI) announced the launch of the GPI Challenger Cup, a brand new leaderboard dedicated exclusively to low- and mid-level buy-in tournaments.
"The GPI Challenger Cup is another new milestone," said GPI's CEO Alex Dreyfus in a note sent to the media. "This Cup is designed to reward consistent performance and results in this specific tournament buy-in range with more than just a title, but a real reward as well."
The new leaderboard, which runs alongside the GPI's traditional ones, aims to spice up tournaments with buy-ins under $2,000 giving low- and mid-stakes players the chance to compete for some remarkable prizes.
"The GPI Challenger Cup will reward three winners: one from North America, one from Europe, and one from Asia," Dreyfus told PokerNews. "They will be celebrated during our American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards, and they will also win a package to play at the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event."
Following the same formula already in use for the GPI Player of the Year leaderboard, the Challenger Cup will count points from some 65,000 different events held in more than 1,430 brick-and-mortar casino rooms from all over the world.
"We want the whole poker community, players, and industry stakeholders to work together to bring poker to another level. We need to build new avenues for competition, and create more recognition for players at every level, not only just the very top," Dreyfus added to explain why he believes in the importance of an event dedicated to regulars of the low- and mid-stakes scene.
"Twenty percent of the players in the GPI 300 are also in the Challenger Cup," Dreyfus continued. "Names such as Allen Kessler or Barry Greenstein are also in it as they run very well in tournaments under $2,000."
According to the first update of the rankings published by the GPI at the launch of the new leaderboard, this new initiative is going to see many big names competing against each other in the three continents it focuses on.
If the North American leaderboard sees in it's top 15 spots players Weeds producer and 2012 World Poker Tour Player of the Year Matt Salsberg and WSOP bracelet winner as Jeff Madsen or Greg "Fossilman" Reimer, Europe's one has also great names such as Italy's WSOP bracelet winner Max Pescatori, France's poker icon Roger Hairabedian, and Belgium "serial qualifier" Pierre Neuville fighting to get to the top of the leaderboard.
Things are similar on the Asian leaderboard, as this one includes players such as the winner of the largest ever Macau Poker Cup Main Event Terry Fan together with China's Celina Lin Pei Fei and Hui "Kitty" Chen Kuo.
"[The Challenger Cup] is just the latest of many more exciting announcements we’ll be bringing the poker community this year," continued the note published by the GPI that comes only one week after the launch of the American Poker Awards and the Global Poker Masters.