The 2021 GG Spring Festival has wrapped up and set several milestones. It was the second-biggest online poker festival of all times with more than $176 million in prize money awarded. That made it the biggest series the GGPoker Network has seen.
Both $1,500 Main Events contributed to that as they contributed more than $12 million in prize money to the overall tally. After all starting days wrapped up, the GGSF Main Event-H: $1,500 PLO-N and the GGSF Main Event-H: $1,500 NLHE conclude this past Sunday, April 25.
Below you can find a summary of both tournaments including the victory for a Natural8 player!
“KingKongJoel” Takes Down the GGSF Main Event-H: $1,500 NLHE
The flagship tournament of the entire series came with a massive guarantee of $10 million at a price tag of just $1,500. Throughout all available starting days, the event drew 6,803 entries and that caused an overlay of $305,725. Only 1,177 hopefuls returned to their seats and the top 700 spots were guaranteed at least $3,977.
It took just one hour to let the money bubble burst as the field was quickly mowed down. However, until a champion was crowned, nearly ten hours passed. Among those that fell along the way were such big names as the GGPoker ambassadors Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Fedor Holz, Mikita Badziakouski, Adrian Mateos, the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion Damian Salas, and Connor Drinan to name all but a few.
Down to the final two tables there were still plenty of big names left in contention. GGPoker ambassador Anatoly Filatov saw his hopes vanish when kings were cracked by jacks as Samuel Vousden nailed a set. Filatov fell in 12th place, followed by Helio “TeuCu” Neves, and David Peters.
Vousden’s fortune ran out when ace-ten was no good against the ace-queen of Benjamin Chalot. The Frenchman who calls Hungary his home base these days then hit the rail in fifth place for $376,934.85 after losing a flip with ace-king versus pocket tens. Mats “lockdownmode” Ullereng was the next to fall when his ace-seven found no help against the pocket tens of “Lucky-Lucky” to settle for $502,651.11.
The player from the Ukraine would bow out in third place and that set the stage for the heads-up duel between Zhuang Ruan from Japan and Austria’s “KingKongJoel”. With a lot of money up for grabs, the final two contenders decided to somewhat soften the blow. “KingKongJoel” had a bigger lead by then and eventually got there with five-four against the king-deuce of Ruan. That earned them a payday of $1,133,634.47 while Ruan will console himself with the juicy $952,195.60 consolation prize.
Natural8 Player Joachim “jochee” Haraldstad Wins the GGSF Main Event-H: $1,500 PLO-NL
The Omaha Main Event was played in the recently introduced new betting pattern, featuring pot-limit preflop and no limit after the flop. It came with the same entry fee of $1,500 and a guarantee of $2 million, which it surpassed thanks to 1,412 entries. The top 150 finishers earned at least $3,866 for their efforts and 233 hopefuls returned for the final day.
Among the four-card aficionados that made the final four tables were several well-known poker pros such as Ronny Kaiser, Niklas Astedt, Kilian “Birdie Power” Loeffler, Fabrizio Gonzalez, Rui Ferreira, and Ola Amundsgaard. They all bowed out prior to the final two tables in this six-max format and Natural8 player Joachim “jochee” Haraldstad was near the top after he doubled with top set of aces against the second set of kings by Bernard Larabi.
Connor Drinan was eliminated in ninth place when his queens ran into the kings of “Suhepx”. Soon after, Jason Koon missed out on the final table when he ended up with the second nut flush against the nut flush of Markus “Lenbert1” Schottes. That set up the final table of the last seven, which saw Jens “Tankanza” Lakemeier depart quickly against Schottes.
From there on, it was all about Haraldstad. The Norwegian pulled into a commanding lead and knocked out “Suhepx” to claim more than half of the chips in play. Arvi Vainionkulma bowed out in fifth and Schottes then sent over his chips to Haraldstad when his double-suited kings were cracked. Larabi also fell to Haraldstad after he was left drawing dead on the turn already.
With a big lead in heads-up over “Majki365” from Slovakia, Haraldstad agreed to a favorable deal to lock up nearly a quarter million USD. “Majki365” had started as the shortest stack into the final table and laddered thanks to the work of his heads-up opponent. But they would not mount the comeback and finished in second place for $210,693.27. Haraldstad earned his second Omaha title of the series and padded his bankroll with the top prize worth $240,026.29.
While this has wrapped up the biggest series on the GGPN to date, the next festival is already around the corner. A total of 20 WSOP Circuit Rings can be won as of May 1, 2021 during the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series.