GGPoker players with access to the global player pool won’t be the only ones competing for big prizes in this month’s tournament series.
Ontario poker players also have a lot to look forward to in May as GG schedules the GGPoker Ontario Festival (GGOF).
The Ontario-exclusive series starts on May 7 and spans until the first week of June, featuring hundreds of tournaments and culminating in a CAD $200,000 guaranteed Main Event. The cumulative guarantee for the series stands at CAD $3 million.
Though the series is not on the same levels as the GGPoker World Festival running for international players with a gigantic $200 million guaranteed prize money, the GGPoker Ontario version is quite ambitious considering that the player pool is limited to just one province.
The operator is touting the series as “Ontario’s biggest poker festival,” though, as per our records, GG has hosted an even bigger tournament series than this.
Like the series in the dot-com market, the tournaments are categorized into multiple tiers: Low, Medium, and High. Buy-ins start at CAD $2.50 and up to CAD $1500, but most are priced under $525. The $2.50 buy-in is heavily featured on the lower end, while at the higher range, $525 is dominant.
The full schedule has not been revealed yet, but the number of tournaments deployed till May 15 suggests there could be over 300 individual tournaments across the series.
Mystery Bounty Debuts on GGPoker Ontario
Several tournaments are named in honor of GG’s new provincial home, such as CN Tower Sunday Superstack, Maple Leaf Madness, Heater CN Rail Edition, Timmy H’s, etc. The series is highlighted by a $1500 buy-in GGOF 2023 Main Event boasting CAD $200,000 in guaranteed prize money.
The hottest craze in tournament poker — the Mystery Bounty format — finally makes its debut as part of the series, featuring four such tournaments. Each is structured as flight tournaments with buy-ins of CAD $5.25, $52.50, $210, and $525 — running throughout the series, each with multiple starting day flights. These four will have combined guarantees of CAD $425,000.
It is a reasonably new tournament poker format where half of the buy-in goes to the bounty pool. But unlike other knockout tournaments, bounties are randomized and are only revealed once a player has been eliminated. The bounty prizes could range from a few times the buy-in to as big as 1000 times.
Other notable tournaments include the operator’s signature freezeout brand, GGMasters, featuring multiple times on the schedule with guarantees from CAD $25,000 to $100,000. This includes a CAD $150 buy-in Grand Opening promising CAD $60,000, a Special Edition carrying a buy-in of $25 and $25,000 guaranteed prize money, another $150 buy-in GGMasters Ontario Festival boasting $50,000, and a High Roller edition with guarantees of $100,000 for an entry fee of $1050.
An Ontario MILLION$ High Rollers Edition is also included in the schedule, giving away $200,000 for a buy-in of $500 and a $50 buy-in Mini Main Event with another six-figure guaranteed prize money of $100,000.
The remainder of the series includes a variety of formats, including the old-favorite Progressive Knockouts, Turbos & Hypers, Superstacks, and more.
To incentivize players to put in volume, the series is accompanied by a leaderboard promotion — each for the three tiers, giving away CAD $75,000 in total prizes.
Is GGPoker Sidelining WSOP in Ontario?
The series’ name further indicates GGPoker sidelining the WSOP brand. Recently, the operator changed its domain from WSOP.CA to GGPoker.CA. It also shed the “WSOP, Powered by GGPoker” moniker and rebranded it as “WSOP @ GGPoker.”
This was confirmed by a GGPoker source to Poker Industry PRO stating that “some changes have been made to better align WSOP.ca online poker players with the rest of the GGPoker community worldwide.”
The source added that the changes will “make it even clearer that [players] are playing the same poker games and features and enjoying the same experience wherever possible as everyone else using GGPoker software.”
Almost all the previous tournament series on the platform were WSOP-branded, but the GGPoker Ontario Festival marks the first tournament series bearing the new GGPoker Ontario branding.
The GGPoker Ontario Festival runs from May 7 through June 4.