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What a Difference a Year Makes: How Global Poker Went From New Kids On the Block To the Hottest U.S. Poker Site

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jun 06, 2018


Isn’t it amazing the difference a year makes?

This time last year the Chicago Cubs were World Series Champions, Scott Blumstein could only dream of winning the WSOP gold bracelet and if people told you that Bitcoin would nudge $20,000 in the next few months they would think you were crazy… ok maybe not everything has changed!

One thing that certainly has changed though is Global Poker. Just 12 months ago it was a brand new poker site on the scene. Many hadn’t heard of the site having just opened their doors to poker players all over the United States. Fast forward until today and Global Poker has grown so much that they are now a staple of the American poker market. They started with a handful of players and have absolutely ballooned in size to become the biggest and best option for US poker players!

Recently, Card Player magazine caught up with the General Manager of Global Poker, Jonas Ödman to talk about the amazing 12 month rollercoaster that America’s fastest growing poker site has experienced.

Significant Growth

“The amount of players playing on Global Poker has grown exponentially,” Jonas told Card Player. “At any time of day there are literally thousands of players from all over America playing on our site. It doesn’t matter whether you are interested in playing multi-table tournaments, sit-and-gos, or ring games we have great action right around the clock”.

It is easy to see the growth on Global Poker. This time last year the largest ring game a player could find was for SC$1/SC$2. Fast forward to today when there are literally several SC$10/SC$20 games of both no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha going on twenty four hours a day, seven days a week!

With sit-and-go tournaments the story is the same. This time last year players could only choose from six or nine man regular sit-and-gos with the highest buy-in being SC$22. Fast forward until today and both of these are still offered as well as turbo and hyper turbo variants over a variety of stakes all the way up to SC$110!

The most telling sign of Global Poker’s growth however, is definitely in their weekly tournament guarantees.

Weekly Tournaments

If we look back 12 months ago we can see that the biggest tournament on the Global Poker Schedule was the SC$22 buy-in ‘Sunday Major’ with $5,000 in guaranteed cash prizes.

Look at this today and the figure has grown an amazing 10 times that amount!
The Sunday Scrimmage (Global Poker’s flagship Sunday tournament) now has a SC$218 buy in and a massive $50,000 in real cash prizes!

(Fun fact about the Sunday Scrimmage: Do you know how Global Poker came up with the name? They held a competition on their Facebook page and asked players to come up with a name! Their reason for doing this? The tournament is for the players so why shouldn’t they get to decide what it is called!)

It isn’t just the Sunday Scrimmage that has seen a massive boost on Global Poker though; it is all tournaments all across the board. There are games running around the clock and, while 12 months ago the amount of weekly guarantees added up to just SC$70,000, that figure is now a salivating SC$350,000! More tournaments available at more times with even more prizes to be won gives Global Poker players even more opportunities to get a big score!  

Big One Day Events

Global Poker has grown so much over the past year that what they once offered as guarantees over a whole week now has to be almost tripled to reach the guarantee of one single stand alone tournament!

The Global Poker Madness Event, which was held in April, had a SC$200,000 guarantee (which was surpassed). The tournament was a great success and feedback from players was overwhelmingly positive. Global Poker have confirmed that players can look forward to seeing more great events like this one on offer again in the near future.

Few people will be more happy to hear that then ‘Greeen’ who won the Global Poker Madness event. ‘Greeen’ won a satellite for just SC$77 and parlayed that into a massive SC$40,194 payday. ‘Greeen’s comments after winning the tournament sum up exactly what Global Poker are hoping to achieve with their recreational poker model.

“I’m honestly beside myself,” ‘Greeen’ said. “I’ve played poker for a year and a half and am a losing player, break even at best.

“Eight months ago I stumbled upon Global Poker and it has been a great place to play and get hands in for my mini bankroll.”

This must have been music to Global Poker’s ears who have made very clear from the get go that they want their site to be a welcome environment for casual and recreational poker players.

The prize pools on offer however show that there is plenty of action for you at Global Poker whether you are a recreational player or a serious grinder. Interestingly though, Jonas Ödman believes that it is the company’s recreational centric philosophy that has led to this success.

Making Poker Fun

“Everyone involved with Global Poker has been extremely clear from the start that poker should be fun,” Jonas continued. “We have made that the main focus of our business. We have spoken with our players and they have told us that for poker to be fun, it needs to be fair. We aim to provide a poker environment that is welcoming to recreational players, people who play poker for fun or people who have never played before and want to give it a go.”

Global Poker have truly lived up to this with their well documented zero tolerance policy towards HUDs and other third party tools used by players to give them an advantage at the tables. Jonas highlights the company’s position on third party tools very succinctly.

“We believe that if you can’t use it at a live poker table then you shouldn’t be able to use it at an online one.”

Global Poker are aware that there is risk associated with their growth. While the number of players grows on their site not every player is necessarily going to come with the right intentions, especially given some of the scandals that have rocked other poker sites over the past year. Because of this another major part of growth in Global Poker’s business has been in its game integrity and security teams. Global Poker have boosted the number of staff in these areas and brought in some people with major industry experience.  

This is only one part of Global Poker’s mission to deliver a poker game that recreational poker players enjoy. One of the more popular ways that they have given back to their players is by creating a series of unique and exciting tournament series over the past 12 months. The Global Poker Championships had not been heard of this time last year. Now they are the must have trophy for online poker players.

Global Poker Championships

“The Global Poker Championships really embodies what we try to do as a site to make poker fun,” Jonas said. “Thanks to our satellite tournaments players can enter a game for as little as SC$0.55 and have a chance to win some serious prizes. “As poker players ourselves, we understand just how hard it is to win a poker tournament and because of this we think it is something that should be celebrated. That’s why we post out the biggest trophy we can find to our players to say congratulations!”

Over the past year there have been three legs held of the Global Poker Championships, The Eagle Cup, The Grizzly Games and the Rattlesnake Open. Apart from giving away well in excess of $5 million in real cash prizes over these tournament series Global Poker have also sent out Champions Packs to winning players. Each pack contains a massive trophy of the tournament’s animal with your name and the tournament that you won engraved in it!

Their Hometown Heroes promotion has been an example of how Global Poker is not afraid to think outside the box in order to provide excitement to their players. Players receive bonus $weeps Cash just for taking a photo of themselves in Global Poker gear in front of landmarks in their hometown!

Game Variety

One of the great things with how much Global Poker tournaments have evolved over the past 12 months is the games that they offer. Yes there are standard limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and no-limit hold’em games for players but the team have worked on bringing different and exciting games to the site in order to let players test their skills over different game types.

The Big Ante and Ante Up tournaments have been particularly popular. The Ante Up tournament is a unique spin on normal tournament poker where instead of the blinds going up every level they stay the same and the antes increase. As you can imagine this brings a great new perspective to the game as players now need to play differently to their usual style to adapt to the change in rules.

Another new variant to the site is Crazy Pineapple, this quirky spin on no-limit hold’em deals players three cards before the flop and then asks players to discard one of the cards after the first round of betting.

The game variety fits in perfectly with what Global Poker players are looking for. All of the classic forms of poker that players love are available and there to be enjoyed on both their Gold Coin and $weeps Cash tables. However, if you are looking to try something different or just need a break and a bit of variety there are plenty of fun options to be enjoyed.

It truly has been a remarkable year for Global Poker. A year ago we were referring to them as the new kid on the block and now they have not only moved in but have built the biggest and most exciting house on the street. Who knows what kind of amazing things they have installed over the next year as they continue to grow.

We certainly can’t wait to find out! ♠