GGPoker's third-anniversary edition of its flagship freezeout tournament brand, GGMasters, is currently falling short of its ambitious $10 million guarantee by a whopping $2 million.
Across all its Day 1s held so far, the tournament has drawn over 56,000 players, taking the total buy-ins to $7.7 million. With two Day 1s still remaining — one of which has already underway — the question is: will the event end up being the costliest for any operator in poker history?
While it may appear that the organizers may have made organizational errors setting the guarantee, the fact is, the tournament was designed to have a guaranteed overlay of $1 million — hence the title Overlay edition.
“I’m confident that the overlay will be over $1,000,000. If I’m wrong, I will use my own money to increase the final overlay to $1,000,000!,” said Daniel Negreanu, the global ambassador of GGPoker.
- Or get up to $100 worth of rewards
- Available in many regulated markets
- Great MTT schedule including WSOP events
The event has been running since February 19, featuring a total of nine Day 1 flights. The Flight Day 1A, Europe on Sunday, February 19, has thus far been the biggest crowd puller, drawing nearly 11k entrants to generate $1.5 million in buy-ins. Last Sunday, the same Europe flight attracted over 10k entrants, adding another $1.39 million to the prize pool.
The Americas flights catering to the Latin American and Canadian markets have been the smallest — pulling in 3032 and 5261 entrants, respectively, for a total prize pool of $1.1 million. Meanwhile, the Asian flights, catering to one of GGPoker’s biggest markets, have done well, producing nearly $2 million.
Across all the flights, the tournament has generated $7.7 million in prize money. The event has also broken the record for the largest turnout for any tournament in GGPoker’s history, beating the previous record of 51k entries which came during the WSOP online bracelet series.
GGMasters 3rd Anniversary Turnout So Far
|Day 1A, Asia||Feb 19||7654||$1,056,252||$91,848|
|Day 1A, Europe||Feb 19||10,924||$1,507,512||$131,088|
|Day 1A, Americas||Feb 19||3032||$418,416||$36,384|
|Day 1B||Feb 25||8385||$1,157,130||$100,620|
|Day 1C, Asia||Feb 26||6546||$903,348||$78,552|
|Day 1C, Europe||Feb 26||10,087||$1,392,006||$121,044|
|Day 1C, Americas||Feb 26||5261||$726,018||$63,132|
|Day 1D||Feb 27||4000+||$550,000+|
|Day 1D, Last Chance||Feb 27|
|total so far||$7.7 million+||$670k+|
With two flights remaining, the question is whether the tournament will end up having the biggest overlay in the history of online poker. Currently, that record belongs to PokerStars: In December 2020, the $109 buy-in, $5 million-guaranteed Big Blowout tournament fell short of its ambitious guarantee by a jaw-dropping $1.23 million.
But the operator isn’t afraid of that spotlight. The operator thinks that “giving back to the poker community is essential for the long-term success of our platform and the game,” it stated.
“By investing in our players, we are investing in the future of the game we all love. We want to create a community that is loyal, passionate and committed, and we believe that by giving back to our players, we can achieve this goal,” the operator further wrote, in a recent blog post.
Indeed, guaranteeing a $1 million overlay means the operator will have a guaranteed loss of about $200k — even after taking the tournament fee into factor.
The tournament is being run to celebrate the third anniversary of the GGMasters tournament, launched back in January 2020. Last year, the same event had a $5 million guarantee. It eventually drew 33,806 players, generating $4.6 million of the $5 million guaranteed prize pool.
This time around, the operator upped the ante further by doubling the guarantee. To get close to the ambitious figure, the operator expanded the number of Day 1 flights from three to nine and also allowed players to play multiple flights. It also gave away lots of free tickets via promotional giveaways.
Even so, guaranteeing $1 million in the form of overlay is a bold move — and it looks like it could miss by an even wider margin.
Top Six Biggest Poker Tournament Overlays
|2014||Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open||Live||$2.5M||$10M||$5,300|
|2020||PokerStars The Big Blowout||Online||$1.23M||$5M||$109|
|2018||PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary Edition||Online||$1.2M||$10M||$215|
|2018||partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event||Live||$925,000||$10M||$5,300|
|2022||WPT Global $1-for-$1 Million Tournament||Online||$900,000+||$1M|
|2012||Partouche Poker Tour||Live||€700,000||€5M||€8,500|