GGMasters came during a time of increased scrutiny over the role of re-entries in poker tournaments. Daniel Negreanu, GGPoker’s main ambassador, had been quite vocal on tournament re-entries, wanting more freezeout-style tournaments.
On January 5, 2020, GGMasters made its debut, with Negreanu announcing the event on Twitter, highlighting that no re-entries would be available.
The tournament came with a buy-in of $150, running every Sunday at 17:00 GMT allowing each player a single bullet to cash in the tournament.
The tournament was accompanied by a GGMasters Player of the Year leaderboard, the winner of which had the chance to become an ambassador for the operator worth $500,000.
Pokerfuse has been tracking the tournament since its launch and with one year of data, we take a look at how GGMasters performed one year in.
The tournament has been a phenomenal success for the operator, doubling in size in a matter of months despite the huge overlays the operator had to bear.
It was one of the most talked-about events of 2020 as it turned out to be extremely valuable for players during the first half of the year.
Even when the tournament was launched, it was quite ambitious: It guaranteed $250,000 – a tall task given that the tournament had no re-entries. The inaugural edition would attract 1610 players, meaning GGPoker had to add nearly $28,000 to the prize pool.
Even in face of the overlay, the operator upped its guarantee to $300,000. The tournament continued to miss its guarantee for weeks until on March 15, it surpassed its $300,000 guarantee for the first time. In response, GGPoker bumped its guaranteed again to $400,000 and once again to $500,000, soon after its new $400,000 guarantee was met.
The tournament even ran as part of the WSOP 2020 Online bracelet series held on GGPoker with a doubled-size guarantee of $1 million. It ended up attracting nearly 10,000 players to build a prize pool of $1.3 million.
Responding to its huge popularity, GGPoker upgraded the GGMasters brand, adding a daily $25 buy-in and a $1000 High Rollers edition promising $1 million in guarantees.
Today, GGMasters is at the core of the operator’s weekly tournament schedule, running every day with a different set of buy-ins.
The $150 buy-in still maintains the $500,000 guarantee, attracting over 4000 players every Sunday. The $1000 High Roller edition attracts just enough to cover its ambitious $1 million guarantee.
Interesting Facts about GGMasters in 2020:
- GGMasters permanently doubled its original prize offering of $250,000 to $500,000 in just 12 weeks.
- The first five months, GGMasters overlaid every week barring a couple of weeks, making it one of the most valuable tournaments for players. During the same period, the operator increased its guarantee thrice despite falling short of its guarantees.
- The last time GGMasters fell short of its guarantee was back in July. Since then, the tournament has surpassed its guarantee each time it ran.
- A total of 184,542 entries have been tallied across all the GGMasters that ran in 2020 featuring buy-ins of $150.
- The inaugural edition drew 1610 players. By the end of 2020, the tournament nearly tripled in size, with the last edition of 2020 attracting 4497 players.
- GGPoker collected $2.1 million in rake and netted $3.9 million from GGMasters’ tournament fees throughout 2020.
- GGMasters in 2020 was won by 51 different players from various nationalities.
- “M Dziubdziela” won the GGMasters Player of the Year Leaderboard. He along with the other top nine performers won free tickets to the 2021 GGMasters tournament each worth $7800. However, it is unknown whether “M Dziubdziela” won the ambassador sponsorship worth $500,000 as per the original terms.
- On August 9, GGMasters ran as part of the WSOP 2020 Online Bracelet Series. On that one-off occasion, the tournament guaranteed $1 million for the first time. Not surprisingly, that edition saw the biggest prize pool ever and the most number of players participated.
- There have been two occasions in which GGMasters ran as a knockout edition. On October 18 and 25, the freezeout tournament came with bounties as part of the operator’s Bounty Hunter Series, with the buy-in set at $157.50 then the usual $150.
- The only time GGMasters did not run was on August 23. On that day, the tournament got canceled due to technical difficulties.
- Following its massive popularity, GGPoker expanded the GGMasters brand in September. The operator upgraded the tournament to run it daily with a very affordable buy-in of $25 promising an impressive $50,000 guarantee. The only exception is Sunday which retains the original $150 buy-in, but the expansion also came with a new High Roller edition, guaranteeing a massive $1 million for a $1000 buy-in.
- More than $50 million was awarded across all editions of GGMasters in 2020.
Key Statistics about $150 Buy-in GGMasters in 2020:
- Total Times Ran: 51 (1 cancelled)
- Total Guaranteed: $23,650,000
- Total Prize Money Paid Out: $26,211,288
- Average Prize Pool: $513,947
- Biggest Prize Pool: $1,357,230 (August 9 – WSOP Bracelet Event)
- Total Players Participated: 184,542
- Average Players per Tournament: 3618
- Biggest Turnout: 9835 (August 9 – WSOP Bracelet Event)
- No. of Times Overlaid: 20 (39.2%)
- Total Amount of Overlay: $650,628
- Biggest Overlay: $69,302 (April 5)
- Rake Collected: $2,179,305
- Net Profit: $3,916,665