Earlier this week, the record-setting 2021 GG Spring Festival concluded and it was one for the ages. With nearly $177 million in prize money awarded, it has become the second-biggest online poker festival of all times and missed the number one spot by around $10 million. Many Natural8 players were among the winners as accounted for 43 champions out of 335 total events.
GG Spring Festival Stats at a Glance
The biggest series on the GGPoker Network contained 40 events with at least $1 million in prize money and offered more than $142 million in guarantees from the get-go.
- Events with eight-figure prize pools: 2
- Events with seven-figure prize pools: 38
The biggest ever $10,300 Super MILLION$ high-stakes tournament attracted 1,089 entries and paid out $10.89 million in prize money. Only one other event came close to this number and that was the $1,500 NLHE Main Event NLHE, which drew 6,803 entries. However, it was also one of 18 events that resulted in an overlay ($305,725) but that deficit was easily recovered by the collected rake.
- Number of Events: 335
- Total Entries: 585,614
- Total Guarantees: $142,665,000
- Total Prize Pools: $176,724,947
- Events With Overlay: 18
- Total Overlay: $579,711
- Rake collected: $8,168,154
With so many big numbers available, lets take a closer look at how the Natural8 players fared during the busiest month in the history of online poker.
The High Stakes Crushers
Several well-known poker pros have found their home on Natural8 and the biggest individual prize was awarded to French-Canadian Guillaume Nolet. After qualifying through a satellite for Event H-06: $25,500 Sunday Five Million, Nolet went all the way in a field of 198 entries. For his efforts, he collected the massive $1,084,892.28 top prize.
Three other Canadian High Roller regulars were among the Natural8 winners and Mike Watson took down not one, not two but three tournaments throughout the festival. His combined first-place prizes totaled more than $557,000 as he ended up with all the chips in play in Event H-28: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event, Event H-83: $10,300 Super Tuesday, and Event M-93: $2,625 High Roller.
Stephen Chidwick also topped one of the joint most-expensive tournaments of the entire festival and took down Event H-93: $25,500 Super High Roller for a payday of $442,339.09. Likewise, fellow high stakes regulars on Natural8 managed to secure wins in 3 other GGSF Events. – Sam Greenwood: Event M-23: $2,625 High Roller for $144,263.46 – Stefan Schillhabel: M-37: $300 Sunday Marathon for $51,864.87 – Joao Simao: Event M-110: $525 Festival Closer for $53,918.89
Friend of Natural8 and Raise Your Edge founder Benjamin Rolle had several deep runs in high-stakes competitions during the festival. Among them was also one outright victory in Event H-50: $5,250 Half Price Super Tuesday, which attracted a field of 222 entries and $1,110,000 prize pool. Rolle was the last man standing and collected $236,019.97.
Nine Omaha Winners
Isaac Haxton is widely considered as one of the top pros on the international poker scene and he also added a victory during the festival. In Event H-101: $10,300 PLO-NL High Roller, he claimed the top prize of $230,885.57 in a field of 83 entries.
WSOP Bracelet winner Richard Gryko added a GGSF title to his resume and topped Event M-25: $525 PLO-NL Bounty for a payday of $27,007.23. Norway’s Joachim “jochee” Haraldstad even snagged two PLO titles! In Event M-91: $525 PLO-NL Bounty, he earned $23,164.74 including bounties to then finish the festival on a high. Haraldstad came out on top of 1,412 entries in the Main Event-H: $1,500 PLO-NL for another ‘$249,926.09.
Gergo Nagy and “IPUNT_UCALL” recorded victories and Joshua McCully joined them by taking down Event L-103: $52.50 PLO-NL Bounty for $4,681.82 in combined prizes. Brazil’s Marcelo Asensio earned the top prize worth $35,009.81 after he made it to the top at the start of the series in Event H-18: $1,050 PLO-NL. Last but not least, “ultrafish” scored a payday of $11,308.55 in Event M-18: $250 PLO-NL to round up the Omaha champions.
Other Notable Winners
Marc-Andre Ladouceur can usually be found in all major live events but his online victory came in Event M-12: $210 Bounty, for which he earned $32,332.17. Bao Qiang “Yummers19” Ho, well-known in the Asian poker scene, went all the way in Event M-38: $525 Bounty Hunters Main Event and turned his investment in a payday of ‘$119,501.70.
German poker pro Stefan Schillhabel entered the winner’s ring by taking down Event M-37: $300 Sunday Marathon for $51,864.87. Likewise, Tomas “CoronaMyAss” Jozonis walked away with the top prize of $45,102.06 in Event H-61: $2,100 Bounty.
There was also a Natural8 winner in one of the weekly signature events. The GGSF Opening Act-L: $80 NLHE drew a huge field of 20,516 entries for a stunning $1,509,977.60 prize pool. When all was said and done, “RealGanjaBoy” earned $129,297.17 for his efforts!
Last but not least, there were two Natural8 players who won two events. “Elbruxo” shipped Event L-44: $25 Mini Main Event and L-104: $25 Hyper (6-Max) for more than $17,000. “foldnuttz” did the double in two bargain events as he cashed for more than $4,200 by finishing as the last player standing in the Events L-63: $15 Turbo and L-80: $5 6-Max.
With more than 10% of the series ending with a Natural8 player as a champion, the festival can certainly be considered as a big success for Asia’s leading online poker site. And with the next big series just around the corner, there will be plenty of exclusive promotions to give even more poker enthusiasts the chance to join the action.