New Poker League Details Revealed Amidst Criticism

The newly named commissioner of FS+G’s planned poker league, Annie Duke, sat down with the good people over at Poker News this week to offer additional insight into the recently announced professional poker league. While Duke was enthusiastic about every aspect of FS+G’s plans, some members of the poker industry are still speculative. Here’s what both sides are saying.

In an effort to differentiate FS+G’s proposed league from what would seem to be its closest competition, chairman Jeffrey Pollack (who is coincidentally a former commissioner of the WSOP) insisted that his company’s league is “not in competition with the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour.” Then Pollack went on to say that their league does in fact want those series’ best players to also compete in the new professional league, making it hard to see an obvious difference in intent.

As far as we can tell from Tuesday’s press release and both Pollack and Duke’s later statements, the primary difference between the new FS+G league and other, already established poker tours is 1) that the new pro league is only open to the top 200 qualifying pros and 2) that all five of the new league’s tournaments will take place at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

Some critics have compared the new league to a glorified version of the already popular single-table invitational tournaments featured on shows like Poker After Dark. Others are saying it’s a rebranded version of the WPT’s ill-fated Professional Poker Tour, which went belly up after just one unsuccessful season. Still other opponents of the proposed league say that it is designed to protect poker’s Good Ol’ Boys club from having to compete with (and lose to) the new breed of young aggressors that are flooding in from the online poker rooms.

To their credit, the FS+G camp has been quick to refute most of these claims. Duke herself addressed the PPT comparisons in the aforementioned interview. She was even diplomatic enough to praise the short-lived series, insisting that its failure was more about poor management than a lack of demand while hinting that the more exclusive nature of the new league would drive interest.

Speaking of exclusivity, Duke also revealed that while the majority of its members would receive two year, three year, five year or lifetime memberships depending on a combination of recent and lifetime performance statistics, the league does plan to offer some Pro-Am events that would offer exemptions to the best and most deserving of the new pros. Sounds like they’ve got all their bases covered. More will be revealed in the months to come, so stay tuned!

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