GGPoker is set to reveal an exciting new 100-man sit and go variant, dubbed Battle Royale, pokerfuse can exclusively reveal.
The game—Battle Royale: Sit & Go Survival, to give its full title—will be available initially in four different low-stakes buy-in levels. Each will play with 100 players who will work their way through three stages of elimination.
The game borrows various successful concepts from other poker games—fast-fold, knockout bounties, all-in mechanics, differing table sizes, time-gated play—to make a truly unique format that is high in skill, high in adrenaline and low in rake.
GGPoker’s Battle Royale is neatly packaged, with slick branding and design. It leans on the ultra-successful battle royale video game concept in first-person shooters, and GGPoker is utilizing Dan Bilzerian as the face of the game. While a controversial figure, his personal brand is a good fit for the format.
Given the unique concept and high level of polish, the game is set to be a big hit for GGPoker and a potentially transformative new game variant that will reward players who can develop new strategies and adjust to the format.
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GGPoker describes the new competition as “a fierce, hour-long battle.” There is a 100-player cap in place for each Battle Royale tournament, which will be available only in No-Limit Hold’em format only upon launch.
The entire game is played in progressive knockout (PKO) format, where half the buy-in goes on each player’s head as a bounty, awarded to the opponent who knocks them out.
It is the first time that GGPoker has used Dan Bilzerian as part of the branding besides a standalone birthday competition and deposit bonus promotions. The controversial ambassador features in the lead banner of the new game type right above the slogan “Who will be the last one standing?”
GGPoker’s Battle Royale: In a Nutshell
- 100 player SNG format with three stages.
- Available Buy-Ins: $0.25, $1, $3, and $10.
- 15-minute time limit for first two stages.
- Stage 1: Fast-fold pool during first stage down to 50 players.
- Stage 2: Shootout with all-in mode if time limit is exceeded.
- Final table: Regular knockout with 5-minute “chess clock.”
- All players on FT earn a portion of the cash prize pool.
How GGPoker’s Battle Royale Works
Four buy-in stakes are available upon launch: $0.25, $1, $3, and $10. Its lowest tier is subject to 4% rake whereas all higher buy-ins will feature a rake of 5%.
This is a very low fee given the 1 hour duration of the game; so-called “lottery” or jackpot sit and gos normally have rake between 6% to 8% (GGPoker’s Spin and Gold rake at 7%), and these last only a few minutes.
The new SNG variant contains multiple different layers throughout the entire competition.
Battle Royale: Three Stages to Victory
|Stage||Players||Table size||Duration||Ends how?|
|1 – Rush Zone||100||6||15 minutes||Bottom 50 eliminated|
|2 – Shootout Zone||50||5||15 minutes||All-in until one player per table remains|
|3 – Final Table||10||10||Approx 30 mins||Last one standing|
During the first stage of Battle Royale, 100 players will take their seat at 6 per table—but played in a fast-fold pool, meaning that players jump to another table immediately after folding or when a hand ends.
This first stage will last 15 minutes. If over 50 players remain at the end of this time, those outside the top 50 spots ordered by chip count will be eliminated.
The bounties of eliminated players under these circumstances will go towards the overall prize pool. In case of a tie in chips, players with more knockouts and more hands played will rank higher, encouraging players to play as many hands as possible to accumulate enough chips to progress.
50 players then progress to Stage 2. This is played until “one player is left standing at each table”. Once again, there is a 15-minute time limit in place.
This time, if the clock runs with more than one player on a table, the contenders on each enter an automatic all-in mode until only one player remains.
The Final Table: Last One Standing
Finally, 10 players progress to Stage 3—the final table. This is a single, 10-handed table.
All remaining players are guaranteed a prize at this stage, and they will also compete for some juicy bounties—all finalists will have accumulated large bounties throughout their progress in earlier stages, which should make for some exciting showdowns.
The below table shows the percentage payouts for the final 10 players, and the minimum cash prize for each of the four buy-ins. Note that this can increase—the prize pool grows with the bounties of any player eliminated in Stage 1.
GGPoker Battle Royale: Final Table Cash Payouts
|Position||Award||$0.25 game||$ 1 game||$3 game||$10 game|
Mechanics from GGPoker’s usual MTTs are in place, such as manual seat selection. In fact, the operator states that those who get through Stage 2 fastest get preferential treatment when it comes to seat selection, encouraging aggressive play.
Unlike traditional featured events, the seat selection is not based on the amount of chips but how quickly each finalist completed stage two.
The operator is also utilizing its “chess clock” system—all players have a total of five minutes to make all decisions at the final table. This assures that play does not last long; the operator says all games should last at most an hour, meaning this final table could last up to 30 minutes—enough for players to flex their skill advantage, but not so long that games drag on.
Blind are no longer time-based; instead a specific number of hands is played for each level. The operator also will not allow final table deal making, ensuring some exciting finales.
Inspirations for Battle Royale
The name Battle Royale itself refers to the ultra-successful video game format of the same name, popularized by games like Player Unknown Battlegrounds and Fortnite. In these first-person shooters, players drop onto an island and fight until one player remains—making for exciting endings. The format is especially successful among live-streamers.
GGPoker will be hoping to tap into some of this excitement with its poker-version of Battle Royale. Survival is of utmost importance for success, a fundamental aspect of SNG and tournament poker, and it should also make for an excellent game to stream on Twitch.
While a unique format, we have certainly seen operators innovate around this space in the past. In particular, PokerStars has tried various formats over the last five years to try to find another breakout hit.
In 2016, it revealed Beat the Clock, a time-gated SNG where those that make it to the bell are rewarded a prize in proportion to their stack—Battle Royale’s first stage will play similar to this. Games were four-handed and initially five minutes long, though the operator did experiment with other times. However, it was withdrawn within a year.
A year on, and it then launched a jackpot SNG variant Spin and Go Max, which combined five different elements—including a countdown timer, variable table sizes, and automated an all-in period. The operator later added Grand Tour to its growing list of SNG variants, featuring four-handed knockout action during which players accumulate prizes across several stages.
Again, various aspects of these have made their way into Battle Royale, though not quite in the same cohesive package as GGPoker’s offer.
GGPoker Continues to Innovate in Poker Product
Meanwhile, GGPoker continues to roll out further innovations regularly. At the start of 2021, it introduced the Flip & Go tournament format in which a first automated knockout stage sends all survivors into the money. Similar to Battle Royale, the top 10% of finishers earn a portion of the cash pool.
The operator recently revamped its built-in heads-up display (HUD) by adding further statistics to Smart HUD. Furthermore, Five-Card Omaha was added to the poker platform in the current year and GGPoker also expanded its popular lottery sit and go (LSNG) product with the addition of six-handed variant of Spin & Gold tournaments.
Whether or not GGPoker will also launch fast-fold MTTs in the near future, which were previously available on the now defunct Full Tilt Poker, remains to be seen. The general functionality appears to be given since that aspect is implemented in the first stage of the new SNG variant.