Natural-GGSF: Over US$ 120M paid out; Connor Drinan with an epic win; Juan Pardo Dominguez ships NLHE Headliner; Mikita Badziakouski banks US$ 1.1M; Kosei Ichinose, Pete Chen, Abhinav Iyer go deep

Another week done and dusted at the GG Spring Festival 2021 and to cap it, the week-ender guaranteed over US$ 26.7 million across 20 games. This was the biggest day yet to bring the festival total payout to US$ 120,238,547 million across 231 games. Among the biggest winners were Belarusian pro Mikita Badziakouski who crushed the Sunday Five Million final table for a massive US$ 1.1 million takedown, and featured event champions Juan Pardo Dominguez and Connor Drinan. These were their first victories. For Drinan, it was a mind blowing performance going from less than one bb at three-handed to shipping it. Other top guns were Alex Papazian, Bio “JoaoSymon”, Salomao, and Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb who became the third player to win four events. Representing Asia, no wins for the region however several players reached the final table, namely Abhinav “OBellaCiao” Iyer, Ho Bao “Yummers19” Qiang, and Natural8 Team Hot’s Kosei Ichinose and Pete Chen. We’ve got those results for you and more including the Week 2 Series Leaderboard winners.

GGSF 2021 has entered its final week. Ongoing at online platform Natural8 since April 4, the series will run through April 25. It is the richest online event offered this spring season boasting a massive US$ 150,000,000 in guarantees across 336 tournaments. Join the hunt by signing up at host online platform Natural8. Exclusive promos and festival freebies are in store for all members. You can read up on those perks at the bottom of the page.

Join Natural8 – $100 in Free tickets with your 1st Deposit

And now for our GGSF Day 15 top stories.

GGSF Headliner-M $400 PLO-NL: CONNOR DRINAN – US$ 127,453.33

Of the many champions on Day 15, it was Connor Drinan’s triumph that deserved our top story. Drinan embodied the famous term “chip and a chair” at the featured GGSF Headliner-M $400 PLO-NL event. At three-handed, Drinan had less than one big blind, proceeded to double up five times, then eliminated his last two opponents to rein in the US$ 127,453.33 first prize. Also running well was Natural8 Team Hot Kosei Ichinose who finished in 4th place.

connor drinan poker
Connor Drinan. Credit: Paul Phua poker

Buy in: US$ 400
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 2,671
Prize pool: US$ 1,004,296
Day 2 qualifiers: 451
ITM: 300 places

Over eight days of entry heats running from April 12 to 19 drew 2,671 to just breach the guarantee. 451 players advanced to the next round led by hot running Uruguay’s Fabrizio Gonzalez. With cash starting at 300th place, it was a mad rush for the short stacks to double up. Falling early were Ryan Riess (446th ), Pete Chen (444th), Koray Aldemir (439th), Alex Foxen (417th), and Fedor Holz (378th), to mention a few. Two spots to the money, Rainer Kempe and Uruguay’s “yoellalaska” busted simultaneously.

With cash flowing, the second hour brought on a flood of eliminations to trim the field down to 105 players led by Andreas Torbergsen. Torbergsen eventually bowed out in 29th place, at his fall, Drinan was chip leader, Jin “JackLuck” Su ranked 4th, and Ichinose still high in the count in 6th rank. By the start of the sixth hour, 14 remained with Su leading, Amichai Barer and Rui Ferreira were at his heels. Eighth ranked Ichinose watched his stack swing wildly, doubling up Olli “JeffBloss” Ikonen to drop to shortest stack, quickly recovering with two fully paid shoves, decreasing again upon doubling up Mark Berente, then finally denying Ilari Tahkokallio in 8th place to form the final table ranked 6th.

Final table payouts

1st Connor Drinan – Canada – US$ 127,453.33
2nd Mads Amot – Norway – US$ 92,150.19
3rd Rui Ferreira – Brazil – US$ 66,626.42
4th Kosei Ichinose – Japan – US$ 48,172.22
5th Amichai Barer – Canada – US$ 34,829.51
6th Jin “JackLuck” Su – China – US$ 25,182.41
7th Mark Berente – Hungary – US$ 18,207.38

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GGSF Headliner-M $400 PLO-NL final table

Final table recap

Action kicked off with Su up top, Barer just behind, and eventual champion Drinan was ranked third. Ten minutes in, shortest stacked Berente fell to Barer to take the lead. This was followed by Su paying out three costly double ups, first to Ferreira, then Mads Amot, then Ichinose to be crippled down. Barer took the rest, bringing the field to 5 players led by Ferreira. Barer’s strong run however ended in 5th place at the hands of the leader with top pair flush draw missing the river for two pair to hold.

The four handed round was quite lengthy lasting an hour and twenty minutes until short stacked Ichinose fell to Drinan. Three left, Amot was ahead, Drinan next, then Ferriera. Fifteen minutes later, Ferreira scooped up two big pots to jump to a commanding lead, amassing 60% of chips in play. Next showdown arrived with Amot and Drinan facing off, Amot’s 9dKcAsKs improved to a full house to ship a double against Drinan’s 2cAc2sQs on a board 7dKd5d5s10s. This sent Drinan plummeting to less than one big blind.

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GGSF Headliner-M $400 PLO-NL final table

With no moves left but to shove, Drinan was all in three times, and leader Ferreira paid him fully each time. On his fourth shove, it was Amot coughing it up, then on the fifth, Drinan’s JhQh6dQd improved to a straight on a board 8h7s10d5d9s to overcome Ferreira’s Ks9h10sKd. This gave him a 2:1 lead against each of his opponents, Drinan went on to eliminate Ferreira with AhAcKs10c over 2dKh3dKd on a dry board to face Amot backed by a 3:1 advantage. It only took one hand to ship it with 10sKd5hAd outdrawing Qd4c9hQh on a board JhAh4d3d7s. Prior to this win, Drinan also reached two final tables, H-42: $2,100 Sunday Heater [ Bounty Turbo ] finishing 4th for US$ 24,502.83 and H-71: $1,500 Sunday Marathon taking 9th for 12,288.11.

GGSF Headliner-M $400 NLHE: JUAN PARDO DOMINGUEZ – US$ 381,668.08

At opening week, Juan Pardo Dominguez was seen at numerous final tables but failed to bring it past the goal line. His efforts finally reached success at the end of Week 2 when he overcame the 1,365 Day 2 qualifiers of the featured GGSF Headliner-M $400 NLHE event to bank a pocketful US$ 381,668.08. This was his biggest win at the series.

juan pedro dominguez poker
Juan Pedro Dominguez. Credit: World Poker Tour

Buy in: US$ 400
Guarantee: US$ 2,500,000
Entries: 9,051
Prize pool: US$ 3,403,176
Day 2 qualifiers: 1,365
ITM: 1,000 places

This event drew 9,051 entries across 8 days of multiple entry heats offered from April 12 to 19. At US$ 400 each, the US$ 2.5 million guarantee was exceeded for a closing prize pool of US$ 3,403,176. The top 1000 players earned a share.

Day 2 action opened with Belarusian Artsiom Prostak leading in the 1,365 runners, 45 minutes in, the bubble burst on China’s “zhangning” with Daniel AggroSeitan” Koloszar first to cash. Koloszar was quickly joined by numerous notable players, Juha Helppi (988th), Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (985th), and David Peters (970th) to name a few. Midway through the third hour, the field was down to 100 players led by Artem “Ar0wana” Vezhenkov with Natural8 Team Bling Daniel Dvoress ranked 3rd. Vezhenkov eventually fell in 22nd place followed by Dvoress in 20th place. Leading up to the final table, at 14 remaining Ivan Zufic delivered a doubled knockout to Laszlo Molnar (14th) and “Bacaloonnn” to take the lead. However, his rise was put to a harsh halt after losing a sizable pot to Juan Pardo Dominguez then the rest went to Anton Wigg to miss the final table by one spot.

Final table payouts

1st Juan Pardo Dominguez – Spain – US$ 381,668.08
2nd v_Nistelr00y – Russia – US$ 286,205.70
3rd Elliott “gr00thedegen” Peterman – UK – US$ 214,623.97
4th Daniel Smiljkovic – Austria – US$ 160,945.20
5th Byron Kaverman – USA – US$ 120,691.88
6th Anton Wigg – Sweden – US$ 90,506.30
7th 5Dinks4all – Andorra – US$ 67,870.16
8th Joshua IyasusSake” Gebissa – Germany – US$ 50,895.34
9th Hazes – Austria – US$ 38,166.08

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GGSF Headliner-M $400 NLHE final table

Final table recap

The final table kicked off with Dominguez at the helm, however, it was eighth ranked Elliott “gr00thedegen” Peterman who jumped out swinging his bat, knocking out three players in succession – “Hazes” (9th) with pocket Kings over pocket Jacks, short stacked Joshua “IyasusSake” Gebissa (8th), then five or so minutes later, “5Dinks4all” (7th) to slide into second rank just behind Dominguez. Shortly after, Wigg (6th) exited with AQo dominated by “v_Nistelr00y” with AKo, then the extremely short stacked Byron Kaverman (5th) fell to Daniel Smiljkovic.

The four-handed match ran nearly an hour before seeing a bust. Smiljkovic first doubled up through leader Dominguez but one orbit later, he was out in 4th place with AdJs outdrawn by Kc2h with a King on the flop. With 70% of chips in play at his disposal, Dominguez finished off Peterman (3rd). It was another good draw, Kc9h spiking the nine to beat Ah7s. Dominguez entered heads-up on an 8:1 advantage, “v_Nistelr00y” doubled up on the second hand, however on the next showdown, it was Dominguez shipping it to claim the US$ 381,668.08 first prize. The final hand was Dominguez Ac10c straight, “v_Nistelr00y” Kc7h, board 9hKsJs7sQd.

H-75: $25,500 Sunday Five Million – MIKITA BADZIAKOUSKI – US$ 1,105,678.72

Belarusian pro Mikita Badziakouski became the third player to win the Sunday Five Million to join Niklas Astedt and Natural8’s Guillaume Nolet in the exclusive millionaires club. Badziakouski crushed the final table, knocking out six of his 8 challengers, to collect the handsome US$ 1,105,678.72 first prize. This was his first festival win and fourth final table. He finished 7th at the H-23: $ 25,500 Super High Roller, 8th at the H-49: $25,500 Super High Roller, and just missed the win at H-57: $25,500 Super High Roller where he finished 2nd to Ronny Kaiser.

Mikita Badziakouski
Mikita Badziakouski. Credit: PokerStars Live

Buy in: US$ 25,500
Guarantee: US$ 5,000,000
Entries: 208
Prize pool: US$ 5,200,000
ITM: 31 places

The third and final installment of the Sunday Five Million attracted 107 uniques and a whopping 101 re-entries for 208 total. This was the largest draw of the three, generating a US$ 5,200,000 prize pool. Among the biggest spenders were Artur Martirosyan at 8 bullets, Wiktor Malinowski at 7, and both David Peters and Justin Bonomo at 5 each. Martirosyan and Peters reached ITM, however, they were still in the hole. The final table was formed at the fall of Darren Elias in 10th place.

Final table payouts

1st Mikita Badziakouski – Belarus – US$ 1,105,678.72
2nd Michele “CrossfireX” Dattani – Portugal – US$ 829,142.29
3rd Matthew “Nator” Hyman – Mexico – US$ 621,768.89
4th Elio Fox – USA – US$ 466,260.70
5th Timofey Kuznetsov – Russia – US$ 349,646.50
6th Sebastian “TheodoreRhye” Trisch – Germany – US$ 262,197.62
7th Sean Winter – USA – US$ 196,620.79
8th Ronny Kaiser – Switzerland – US$ 147,444.51
9th Michael Zhang – UK – US$ 110,567.86

Final table recap

The final table ran nearly three hours with 173 hands tabled. Bringing in the biggest stack was USA’s Elio Fox who was riding on a second bullet, Badziakouski was a close second rank, and to round out the top three was Timofey Kuznetsov. First hand saw Sebastian “TheodoreRhye” Trisch double up holding pocket Queens over Fox’s pocket threes. This sent Fox down to 5th rank and Badziakouski the lead. On the ninth hand, Michael Zhang tank called Badziakouski’s river push, only to fall in 9th place with KhQs two pair behind 8d8h full house on a board Js8cKd2cJd. Zhang was on his sixth bullet which meant he walked away still in the red. On the flip side, this takedown gave Badziakouski a massive lead of 121 bb with his closest opponent at just 60 bb. From there, he went on to crush the table, never relinquishing his lead.

Next two all ins were between Ronny Kaiser and Fox. On the first bout, Kaiser doubled up his short stack then on the second, he check-raised on a board KsJsAc3d with KdJc, Fox tank called with As10c top pair, the river Qs awarded Fox the straight to burn Kaiser in 8th place. Kaiser was on his third bullet for a US$ 71K profit. Leading up to the next elimination, Badziakouski lost a flip against Michele “CrossfireX” Dattani but made up for it by booting the ailing Sean Winter in 7th place. Nearly three orbits later, Fox finished off Trisch in 6th place.

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GGSF H-75: $25,500 Sunday Five Million

Five handed onwards was fully dominated by the leader Badziakouski. He climbed over 100 bb while the rest were sitting on 20 bb and below. He cleaned them out one by one starting with Kuznetsov (5th). At four-handed, Badziakouski’s unchallenged shoves met resistance with Fox risking it all holding Ad4s. Badziakouski’s Qd10c improved to a straight to deny Fox in 4th place (hand pictured above). Three-handed continued as before with Badziakouski shoving nonstop. Matthew “Nator” Hyman (3rd) and Dattani (2nd) eventually went down to award Badziakouski the third million dollar payout of the festival.

Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb on his fourth takedown

Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb became the third player to bag four events at the series. The other two were Niklas Astedt and Tim “BeardOilGuy” Rutherford. Gottlieb’s latest win was at the H-72: $5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event where he outlasted 316 other head hunters to collect US$ 316,691.68. Adding this to his other victory piles, Gottlieb has amassed over US$ 1.4 million in winnings. Listing his triumphs:

H-05: $10,300 Super MILLION$ – US$ 586,075.23
H-15: $10,300 Super Tuesday – US$ 320,728.78
H-35: $10,300 PLO-NL High Roller – US$ 199,770.92

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GGSF H-72: $5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event

Briefly recapping his latest victory, the event drew 317 for a prize pool of US$ 1,585,000. At the final table, Gottlieb was running second in chips to Gergely “Landon it!” Kulcsar. At 8-handed, he dropped in chips but recovered on a double up off Anton Wigg. He then delivered a triple knockout sending Anton Wigg (8th), Hannes “BlackFortuna” Spieser (7th), and Ottomar Ladva (6th) packing (hand pictured above). By heads up, it was between Gottlieb and Chris Klodnicki. Gottlieb won it with QdQc over 2c2s.

Asia Results

L-74: 250 Sunday Main Event

Guarantee: US$ 500,000
Entries: 2,928
Prize pool: US$ 673,440
ITM: 467 places
Winner: Barak WisbrodIsrael – US$ 79,718.12
2nd Pete ChenTaiwan – US$ 59,779

Two final tables for Natural8 Team Hot Pete Chen on Day 15. On his second bullet, he finished 9th at the M-74: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for US$ 18,549.91.

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GGSF M-74: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event

Other Asia final table finishers

3rd Wei ZhaoChinaH-76: $2,100 Sunday Heater [ Bounty Turbo ] – US$ 33,632.91
6th Abhinav “OBellaCiao” Iyer IndiaM-76: $210 Sunday Heater [ Bounty Turbo ] – US$ 3,983.94
8th Ho Bao “Yummers19” QiangSingaporeM-75: $525 Sunday 500 – US$ 11,285.32

Other Results

M-72: $525 Bounty Hunters Main Event

Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 2,499
Prize pool: US$ 1,249,500
ITM: 350 places
Winner: BillCuttingCroatia – US$ 105,134.59

This event exceeded its one million dollar guarantee.

M-74: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event

Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 1,121
Prize pool: US$ 1,121,000
ITM: 152 places
Winner: 27 cm – Austria – US$ 157,772.68

Natural8 Team NLG Fedor Holz finished in 5th place and Natural8 Team Hot Pete Chen took 9th on his second bullet.

H-73: $1,050 GGMasters High Rollers

Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Players: 1,142
Prize pool: US$ 1,142,000
ITM: 197 places
Winner: Bio “JoaoSymon” SalomaoBrazil – US$ 116,504.06*
2nd Alexandre “raking-even” RaymondCanada – US$ 121,269.52*
3rd Charles “TheMadQueen” La BoissonniereCanada – US$ 121,740.50*
* Three-way deal then played for ranking and Weekly Leaderboard points; this event exceeded its US$ 1 million guarantee

H-69: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event

Guarantee: boosted from US$ 250K to US$ 350,000*
Entries: 483
Prize pool: US$ 483,000
ITM: 71 places
Winner: Tom DelaineFrance – US$ 87,689.78

This event was given an added US$100K boost. Delaine shipped it for his second victory. On Day 5, he won the H-22: $525 Forty Stack for US$ 55,801.16.

H-71: $1,500 Sunday Marathon
Guarantee: US$ 500,000
Entries: 474
Prize pool: US$ 674,450
ITM: 71 places
Winner: Alex Papazian – Romania – US$ 122,881.16

Featured Events

The last two featured events are underway with multiple entry heats running daily from April 19 to 26. The GGSF Main Event-H NLHE comes with a whopping US$ 10,000,000 guarantee. This is the second guarantee of its kind scheduled. The GGSF Main Event-H: PLO-NL has a US$ 2,000,000 guarantee. Both events have a price tag of US$ 1,500. To try to secure a seat for less, step satellites are offered for as low as US$ 15 and satellites for as high as US$ 150.

Event Promos

Week 2 Leaderboard winners

The second week of the Series Leaderboard has been decided. A total of 100 players earned a share of T$ 300,000. Below are the top 3 winners per tier. Once again, Uruguay’s Fabrizio Gonzalez made out the most, earning T$ 42,500 for reaching top three across the board. Gonzalez won the Medium Tier and placed 2nd in both the High and Low tiers. Points towards Week 3 began on April 13. The pot has been bumped up an extra T$ 100K to make it T$ 400,000. The High Tier will award T$ 200,000 (up T$ 50K , the Medium Tier will award T$ 125,000 (up T$ 25K), and the Low Tier will award T$ 75,000 (up T$ 25K).

Week 2 – Top 3 winners – High Tier – 20 places awarded

Christian RudolphAustria – 1007.28 points – T$ 25,000
Fabrizio GonzalezUruguay – 887.89 points – T$ 20,000
Artur MartirosyanRussia – 872.62 points – T$ 15,000

Week 2 – Top 3 winners – Medium Tier – 30 places awarded

Fabrizio GonzalezUruguay – 1,182.77 points – T$ 15,000
Tim “BeardOilGuy” RutherfordCanada – 1,040.52 points – T$ 12,500
Amichai BarerCanada – 1,013.45 points – T$ 10,000

Week 2 – Top 3 winners – Low Tier – 50 places awarded

Tim “BeardOilGuy” RutherfordCanada – 1,135.81 points – T$ 10,000
Fabrizio GonzalezUruguay – 1,076.56 points – T$ 7,500
Alfred KarlssonNorway – 1,024.16 points – T$ 5,000

Exclusive Natural8 Promos

For players signed up on Natural8, expect plenty of GGSF freebies. Throughout the series, Natural8 will be giving away GGSF tickets via their hourly freerolls, VIP Club Freerolls, GG Masters Freerolls, and First Deposit Freerolls. For N8 players that participate in any of the GGSF 2021 events, you gain entry to exclusive Natural8 GGSF Flipouts with each entry beefing up your stack. Flipouts happen every Saturday on April 10, 17, & 24, with one flipout for each of the three tiers. Prizes per Flipout: US$ 10,000 (High) / US$ 5,000 (Medium) / US$ 2,000 (Low).

Another exclusive promo is the US$ 50,000 GGSF LiveX Sponsorship. In order to land this special promo, you’ll need to overcome a mountain of players and win the GGSF Main Event-H: US$ 1,500 NLHE, US$ 10 million guaranteed event. The sponsorship includes:

12 months LiveX Crew Sponsorship
US$ 15,000 Las Vegas Package ($10,000 to cover your buy-ins and $5,000 for expenses)
US$ 35,000 for live event sponsorships over 12 months

Join Natural8 – $100 in Free tickets with your 1st Deposit

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we continue to bring you recaps on the ongoing Natural8 – GGSF festival.

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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