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First Week at the GG Spring Festival

By Christian Z
Published in Events
April 13, 2021
7 min read

Big Winners During the First Week of the GG Spring Festival at a Glance

The inaugural GG Spring Festival has entered the second week, and eight days of online poker action on the fastest growing network have concluded. Within the first eight days, more than $64 million in prize money has been generated, and two millionaires have been crowned in the high-stakes contests.

Just one-third of the series is completed and below are some overall statistics including Sunday, April 11.

The Statistics of the Series so far:

  • Prize Pool Generated so far: $64,434,609.00
  • Overlays: $261,153.40
  • Total Entries: 242,622

While not all scheduled tournaments were able to meet the guarantees, the vast majority easily surpassed their target amounts. The festival is still on track to potentially generate more than $185 million in prize money, which would make it the biggest festival in online poker so far. Guarantees are boosted daily by the network operator as the festival goes on.

The Two Opening Act Events

The biggest overlay thus far happened in the GGSF Opening Act-L: $80 PLO-NL, which came with a $500,000 guarantee. With nearly 40% in overlay, things looked dire until the final day, when the overlay was cut down to $82,025.60. Only 1,002 players out of 5,679 entries survived their starting day to battle for their share of the prize money, and the top 600 finishers earned at least $227.55.

Among those who cashed prior to the final table were Michiel “Easterdamnz” van Elsacker, Pedro “WhyNotChili” Ivars, Murilo Milhomem, Shawn Buchanan, Yu Chung “WNCouple” Chang, Leonid Yanovski, the GG Omaha Squad members Minthon and Sasha “Poker Sasha” Liu, Jessica Teusl, and Adrian “BuckStopHere” Buckley.

The six-max tournament then switched to a nine-handed final table after the elimination of Gintaras Lazauninkas, and Patrick “Egption” Tardif was the first casualty thereafter to collect $3,511.20. Farid Jattin made it to 5th place for $15,740.45 while Luke “lmar54” Martinelli finished as the runner-up, collecting $41,645.32 for his effort. German player “TOTOROOO” earned the biggest slice and took home $57,602.50. Opening Act PLO-NL Results

In the NLHE edition of this event, a massive field of 20,516 entries emerged and that boosted the prize pool to $1,509,977.60. Day 2 included 3,268 returning players and the top 2,200 finishers earned at least $193.96 for their efforts. Several highlighted poker pros cashed and No Limit Gaming’s Julian Thomas made it the furthest as he busted in 39th place for $2,280.68.

Some of those that fell after and prior to the final table were Jerome “gorgiAAs” Finck, Justin “LappyPoker” Lapka, Seungmook “7high” Jung, Ran “Pearblossom” Koller, and “futomaki”. The final nine contenders were all guaranteed a five-figure payday, and Dimitrios “R3V3N83 04” Michailidis was among them to bank $46,799.87 for 5th place.

Two six-figure prizes were awarded in the tournament as a heads-up deal was cut between Norway’s “25dollscom” and Brazil’s Vinicius “RealGanjaBoy” Miranda. The former earned $129,689.56 and Miranda was crowned the winner but took home the slightly inferior sum of $129,296.24. Opening Act NLHE Results

Weekday Highlights

The first live stream of the series concluded on Tuesday, April 6, and what followed were three busy days at the tables in the Low, Medium, and High stakes.

Several notables reached the final table in Event H-20: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event, which drew a total of 550 entries. Ivan Zufic, Sergei Denisov, and Viktor Ustimov were among the first four players to leave the final table. Portugal’s Rui Bouquet reached the podium and earned $54,357.02. In heads-up, Igor d’Ursel ($84,886.93) and Dominykas “MickeyMouse” Mikolaitis ($84,261.53) cut a deal, with the latter then accumulating all the chips.

Pavel “EzzzGame” Plesuv was crowned the Bounty Hunter in Event H-21 with a price tag of $525 and took home $46,041.86. Bouquet ($25,567.61) and Ustimov ($43,018.55) also reached the final table of Event H-22 with the same buy-in on April 8. Tom Delaine accumulated all the chips and won $55,801.16 for his efforts.

The same day also featured one of the most expensive events of the entire schedule. Jerry “Chokeee” Odeen topped a field of 1,903 runners in Event L-23 $250 Mini High Roller for $55,002.70. The $2,625 Medium edition drew 307 entries and ended in a deal between Isaac Haxton ($125,927.02) and Sam Greenwood ($144,263.48).

Both Haxton and Greenwood were active in the High edition at the same time and invested $25,500 to do so, but neither of them made the money. Meanwhile, the biggest names in the world of poker battled for six-figure winnings. A field of 88 entries emerged, and GGPoker ambassador Anatoly Filatov finished third for $302,180.28. Yuri Dzivielevski missed out on another GGPN victory to finish second for $391,973.06, and Dario Sammartino earned the top prize of $508,447.84. Event H-23 Super High Roller Results

At the same time, the Thursday Thriller attracted 894 entries for the $1,050 buy-in. Estonia’s Jargo Alavali earned a massive prize of $115,004.54, more than two times the prize of the second-place finisher “VENERA2019”. The $10,300 High tier was won by Andrii Novak for $352,068.09 as he prevailed in a field of 154 entries, defeating the likes of Bruno Volkmann, Amichai Barer, and Sami Kelopuro.

Just four and a half hours passed in Event H-26: $1,050 Turbo before Leonard “LottoLarry” Maue topped 295 entries and took home $60,524.63. Notable finalists included Kelopuro, Novak, Aliaksei Boika, and Claas Segebrecht.

On Friday, April 9, Francisco “VaPaCooler” Benitez and Christian Rudolph fired four bullets in Event H-27: $2,100 Bounty. It took under seven and a half hours to see them tangle in heads-up as Benitez bowed out for $24,512.91, leaving Rudolph with the top prize of $58,033.04.

Several Turbo Events followed in the evening, and the two-day Event H-28: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event concluded in three and a half hours on Saturday. Andras Nemeth finished third for $29,340.90, “DaiMing141319” took $39,126.70, and Mike Watson secured the top prize worth $52,176.54.

Weekend Winners to a Nutshell

Saturday featured some of the high-anticipated PLO-NL action, and it was made even more exhilarating with the Bounties on top. In Event M-33: $525, 291 entries emerged, and the final table included, among others, Joseph Cheong, Daniel Colpoys, and Arie Muller. Muller reached heads-up and took home $11,158.06 whereas Latvian player “Biezpienelis” topped it all for $24,086.80.

The four-card aficionados also emerged in the $5,250 High tier, which brought in a respectable field size of 123 entries and a prize pool of $615,000. Konstantin Maslak fired an incredible nine entries to end up as the cash money bubble boy. Joao Vieira narrowly missed out on the nine-handed final table while GG OmahaSquad member Fernando “Jnandez87” Habegger converted a second entry into $25,719.66, excluding bounties. Event H-33 $5,250 PLO Results

China’s Wei Zhao fired four bullets and made a profit as he finished in 3rd place for $57,597.45. Joachim “jochee” Haraldstad finished as the runner-up for $61,471.52. Eelis Pärssinen scored a humongous payday of $180,439.06, excluding the prize money that he won in bounties, which was already more than what the runner-up and third place earned combined!

It was no surprise that Pärssinen was also among the finalists in Event H-35: $10,000 PLO-NL High Roller. Alongside fellow countryman Sami Kelopuro ($75,506.28), who also fired four bullets, the Finn finished in 3rd place for $104,431.80. Christian Rudolph received $144,438.31 for second place, and WSOP Online Bracelet winner Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb earned another GGFS victory for a $199,770.92 payday.

In Event H-34: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event, a heads-up deal was cut between Farid Jattin ($79,771.42) and Sergei “Graf Tekkel” Koliakov ($75,582.92). They shared the lion’s share of the $488,000 prize pool, and notable finalists also included “QuantumKey” and Joshua McCully.

Sunday was the busiest day of the entire week with millions upon millions of guarantees up for grabs.

Event M-38: $525 Bounty Hunters Main Event drew a staggering 2,745 entries and paid out $1,372,500 in prize money. Fabrizio Gonzalez and Victor Begara were among the finalists. Natural8 player Bao Qiang “Yummers19” Ho earned a stunning top prize of $119,502.15 after defeating “Xyc888” ($65,560.37) in a heads-up.

The H-38 edition with a $5,250 buy-in commenced with 357 entries and a total prize pool of $1,785,000. Pärssinen added another final table to his resume for the series and finished in 4th place for $84,661.33. He was only beaten by Preben Stokkan, Andrey Derzhypilskyi, and Polish player “INSERTC0IN” ($293,548.55).

Another seven-figure prize pool of $1,183,000 awaited in Event H-39: $1,050 GGMasters High Rollers. Joshua McCully finished as the runner-up for $120,781.75, and “DDimancescu” walked away with the top prize of $161,066.17 after nearly 13 hours of play.

The same prize pool emerged thanks to 1,183 entries in Event M-40: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event, which only determined a champion the following day. That happened to be Canadian player Jamil Wakil, who earned $170,809.64 for his efforts, overcoming the likes of Steven van Zadelhoff, Alex Greenblatt, and “raven symone” on the final table.

Niklas Astedt Wins Second Seven-Figure Prize of the Series

Last but not least, the eyes of the high-stakes regulars were set on Event H-41: $25,500 Sunday Five Million. The joint most-expensive event on the schedule was the second tournament with a $5 million guarantee, and it got there thanks to 202 total entries. “xyzpoker” bubbled the cash prizes. Other big names such as Fedor Holz, Michael Zhang, Darren Elias, and Artur Martirosian also fell short of the money.

Daniel Dvoress and Wiktor Malinowski were among the featured players to bust prior to the final table. They were joined by superstars such as Samuel Vousden, Juan Pardo, Ole Schemion, Connor Drinan, and Nick Petrangelo.

Amichai Barer and David Peters were the last two players to bust on Sunday and that sent the remaining eight players on a break, as the final table was streamed the following Tuesday on the GGPoker.tv Twitch channel.

The nine contenders had $109,574 locked up for their efforts, and that’s what China’s Wei Zhao had to settle for after returning with just three big blinds. Next to fall was Brazil’s Pedro Garagnani. Niklas Astedt notched up his second elimination of the final table when he sent Sam Greenwood to the rail with pocket sixes versus ace-four.

Sami Kelopuro missed out on another $25,500 victory and fell in 6th place, followed by David Yan who ran with king-queen into the aces of Astedt. Up next was Joao Vieira who came up short against Shawn Daniels. Astedt then got the last few chips off Jason Koon to set up the duel against Daniels with a massive lead.

It ended quickly as ace-six found no help against ace-ten, thus Daniels was eliminated at second place for $821,689.32. Astedt, who started as the chip leader and knocked out six opponents, earned the top prize of $1,095,740.82 as well as the second seven-figure prize of the festival. Event H-41 $25,500 Sunday 5 Million Results

Several $25,500 High Rollers games are still ongoing, and the first flights of the $10,300 Super MILLION$ have also started. For the second time ever, the weekly high-stakes event will take place as a special edition and boasts a gargantuan $10 million guarantee.


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GG Spring Festival Off to a Strong Start

Christian Z

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