Natural8-GGSF: Dario Sammartino ships SHR for over US$500K, Hat trick for Niklas Astedt, Chris Rudolph bags two; Asia games begin tonight

Online platform Natural8 completed another three days of GG Spring Festival 2021 games. Among the many winners, several stood out, namely Dario Sammartino, Niklas Astedt, Christian Rudolph, and Andrii Novak. For Asia, China’s Wei Zhao missed his first series glory, however he did reach three final tables; the same for Taiwanese poker club owner David Tai who finished 3rd at one of the low tier events. On stats, three events reached their maximum 5000 entries while five events witnessed overlays. We’ve got all those stories for you.

If you are just catching wind of GGSF 2021, it’s time to suit up and join the party. The festival boasts the biggest guarantee this season of US$ 150,000,000. Games opened on April 4 and will run until April 25 inclusive. Lined up are 336 tournaments across three tiers – Low, Medium, High – with buy ins from just US$ 5 to a pricey US$ 25,500. As always, all events advertise guarantees from US$ 5,000 to a jaw dropping US$ 10,000,000.

The first six days has already paid out over US$ 43.2 million across 91 events. More games and bundles of cash still up for grabs. For newcomers, make sure to sign up on Natural8 to avail of exclusive promos and freebies. You can read up on those perks at the bottom of the page.

Before we recap the action, we’d like to remind everyone that tonight’s schedule includes Asia time friendly tournaments – the Bounty Hunters Asia (1805 HKT) and the Asia Major (2005 HKT). Both offer one tournament per tier. Buy ins range from US$ 10.50 to US$ 525. Also on the virtual felt tonight is a special event, the US$ 10,000 GG Legends Bounty featuring Canadian DJ “deadmau5”. Winner receives an authentic “mau5head” and other autographed merchandise. For a budget price of US$ 5.25, players have a chance at knocking out the famous deck master. Game begins on April 10 at 20:00 (GMT) / April 11 at 04:00 (HKT).

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And now, here are our top stories for GGSF Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6.

Hat trick for Niklas Astedt

Often seen playing the biggest tournaments online, Swedish player Niklas Astedt became the first player of the festival to ship three events for a combined take of US$ 279,247.37. Astedt’s first win was on Day 2 at the H-14: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty for US$ 39,974.81; the next two were on Day 4 and Day 5, the H-19: $2,100 Bounty [ 6 Max ] for US$ 98,807.81 and the H-25: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty for US$ 140,464.75.

Niklas Astedt
Niklas Astedt – Photo PokerStars

For those who aren’t familiar with Niklas Astedt, in January 2020, Astedt was recognized as the biggest MTT online winner in history with over US$ 21 million earned across multiple sites. Prior to his recent GGSF wins, he already boasted US$ 8.1 million in winnings on the GG network alone. His latest wins may pale in comparison to his largest career payouts however they display Astedt’s continued dominance on the virtual felt.

Niklas Astedt WIN
Niklas Astedt

Reviewing his festival wins, at the H-14: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty, Astedt outlasted the 250 entry field, denying Kazakhstan’s Shyngis Satubayev at heads up.

H-14: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty
Entries: 250
Prize pool: US$ 250,000
ITM: 35 places
1st prize: US$ 39,974.81

At the H-19: $2,100 Bounty [ 6 Max ], it took three bullets to rise above the 298 entry field and retire Cosmin “pawwowbam” Petrica in 2nd place.

H-19: $2,100 Bounty [ 6 Max ]
Entries: 298
Prize pool: US$ 596,000
ITM: 44 places
1st prize: US$ 98,807.81

Then at the H-25: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty, Astedt shipped it on his second bullet to earn the US$ 40,431.90 first prize plus an astounding US$ 100,214.85 in bounty rewards for a combined US$ 140,464.75 payout. He defeated Dario Sammartino at heads up.

H-25: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty
Entries: 105
Prize pool: US$ 525,000
ITM: 15 places
1st prize: US$ 140,464.75

Aside from wins, Astedt was also the first player to cash at the H-06: $25,500 Sunday Five Million pocketing US$ 48,576.89 for 27th place. With plenty of games ahead, it is highly likely we will see more deep runs from this Swedish ace.

Dario Sammartino wins the H-23: $25,500 Super High Roller for over US$500K

Dario Sammartino
Dario Sammartino – Photo

Emerging the richest of the past three days was Italian pro Dario Sammartino who triumphed at the H-23: $25,500 Super High Roller event for a massive payout of US$ 508,447.84. This has now become his largest score on the GG network. Like many before him, Sammartino won his seat via a satellite. He bought in twice to the US$ 1,050 Mega which eventually turned into a half a million paycheck. In comparison to his achievements on the live felt, Sammartino’s runner up finish at the WSOP 2019 Main Event still holds the personal record payout of US$ 6,000,000. 

To reach the top, Sammartino overcame a powerhouse lineup of 88 entries that included finalists Nick Petrangelo (6th), Mikita Badziakouski (7th), and Joao Vieira (9th). At four handed, Sammartino cracked Michael Watson’s aces (pictured below) then railed Anatoy Filatov (3rd) with pocket Nines over pocket Eights for a showdown against two time WSOP bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski. A quick eight minutes in, Sammartino shoved with Kh7h, Dzivielevski risked it all with Ad2d, the cards landed KsKdQc4s9h for a winning three of a kind.

Aces Kracked Sammartino
Sammartino cracks ACES

Buy in: US$ 25,000
Entries: 88
Prize pool: US$ 2,200,000
ITM: 13 places

Running simultaneously was the H-25: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty with Sammartino going head to head against Niklas Astedt. In the end, Sammartino had to settle for 2nd place and an additional US$ 48,928.06 in winnings. To date, Sammartino has reached ITM at 13 festival events.

Two wins for Christian Rudolph on Day 6

WSOP bracelet winner Christian Rudolph was another player having tremendous success at the series. The past two days were especially memorable. On Day 5, Rudolph finished 5th at the H-23: $25,500 Super High Roller for US$ 179,591.47 and 6th at the H-24: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty for US$ 70,832.40. On the following day, he joined the multi winners club after taking down two events, the H-27: $2,100 Bounty and the M-27: $210 Bounty for a combined take of US$ 78,155.96. These four events together gained him a hefty US$ 328,579.83.

Christian Rudolph Photo partypoker
Christian Rudolph – Photo partypoker

Recapping Rudolph’s wins, at the high tier event, he was on his fourth bullet and had the lead at three handed. He nearly dropped to shortest stack when he was dominated all in with AhQc by Malaysia’s “TheWrigler” AdKs however, a queen landed on the turn to scoop it up and face Francisco “VaPaCooler” Benitez at heads up with a 5:1 chip advantage. On the third hand, it was over. Rudolph’s JdJh held against Kh10s that missed.

Christian Rudolph
Christian Rudolph

The medium tier event lasted a bit longer with Rudolph knocking out WH4ALEK1LLER to capture the back to back win. Heads up ran around twenty minutes with Rudolph initially ahead until WH4ALEK1LLER won a big pot to take point. WH4ALEK1LLER pulled away to a 4:1 advantage, Rudolph doubled up twice then dragged in the next six hands to reclaim the chip lead. The final hand soon arrived, on a board 9dQs2h5s, both were all in with Rudolph on a draw As4s to WH4ALEK1LLER’s AcQd top pair. The river 3c was one of Rudolph’s outs to land the straight and the win. (pictured above)

Biggest Bounty: ANDRII NOVAK – US$ 352,068.09

One of the million dollar guaranteed prize pools of Day 4 was the H-24: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty with 154 entering to bulk up the pot to US$ 1,540,000. Keeping his head intact was Ukraine’s Andrii Novak, defeating Finland’s Sami Kelopuro at heads up. Novak shipped the US$ 111,599.33 first prize and an enormous US$ 240,468.76 in bounty rewards for a combined US$ 352,068.09 in winnings. As is the trend, Novak won his seat via the US$ 1,050 Last Minute satellite, firing two bullets before turning it into his largest score on the GG network. He also ran deep in Day 5 at the H-26: $1,050 Turbo, finishing in 6th place for US$ 14,352.63. Novak has accumulated over US$ 4.3 million on the site alone. 

Screen Shot 2021 04 11 at 1.28.38 AM

Buy in: US$ 10,300
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 154
Prize pool: US$ 1,540,000
ITM: 20 places

Final table payouts

1st Andrii Novak – Ukraine – US$ 352,068.09
2nd Sami Kelopuro – Finland – US$ 122,696.01
3rd Amichai Barer – Canada – US$ 138,023.78
4th Bruno Volkmann – Brazil – US$ 84,841.79
5th Renan Bruschi – Brazil – US$ 91,154.87
6th Chris Rudolph – Austria – US$ 70,832.40
7th Wei Zhao – China – US$ 58,106.98
8th Enrico Camosci – Luxembourg – US$ 56,064.75
9th Timothy Nuter – Canada – US$ 38,266.18

Other big winners

M-23: $2,625 High Roller
Guarantee: US$ 500,000
Entries: 307
Prize pool: US$ 767,500
ITM: 44 places
Winner: Sam Greenwood – Canada – US$ 144,263.48

M-24: $1,050 Thursday Thriller Bounty [ 2 Day Event ]
Guarantee: US$ 500,000
Entries: 894
Prize pool: US$ 894,000
ITM: 134
Winner Jargo Alavali (streamer) – Estonia – US$ 115,004.54

Asian players run deep

The past three days witnessed numerous players from Asia go very deep. Listed below are champions and finalists flying under Asian flags:

Kristof “ultrafish” Segers – Taiwan – M-18: $250 PLO-NL – 1st – US$ 11,308.58
Jean Robert “pulsar83tw” Autran – Cambodia – M-26: $125 Turbo – 1st – US$ 18,319.93
BIG HAI – China – H-29: $1,050 Bounty Turbo – 1st – US$ 33,440.21

Wei Zhao – China – M-23: $2,625 High Roller – 4th – US$ 65,111.54, H-24: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty – 7th – US$ 20,215.79, H-30: $525 Hyper [ 6 Max ] – 2nd -US$ 17,581.85
Pulkit Goyal – India – M-24: $1,050 Thursday Thriller Bounty [ 2 Day Event ] – 7th – US$ 20,215.79, H-24: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty – 14th – US$ 23,002.66, M-28: $250 Daily Main Event – 7th – US$ 4,538.68
PieOMy – Vietnam – M28: $250 Daily Main Event – 3rd – US$ 13,622.38
David Tai – Taiwan – L-29: $52.50 Bounty Turbo – 3rd – US$ 2,451.62
The_Phoenix – India – L-28: $25 Mini Main Event – 4th – US$ 4,693.36

Overlays and Maximums

While players have been filling up the tables, several events still witnessed overlays. The past three days saw five events added to the list making that 7 in total amounting to US$ 84,527.80

On capacity, three events reached their limits on Day 4 to bring the total to 9 events at 5000 maximum. However, the L-13: $5.25 Bounty event was able to break past the barrier with 5,768 entries. To date, this was the largest festival field.

Multi event winners

The list of multi event winners has grown from just one – Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb – to five players. At the moment, Niklas Astedt reigns with three victories.

Niklas Astedt: H-14: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty, H-19: $2,100 Bounty [ 6 Max ], H-25: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty
Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb: H-05: $10,300 Super MILLION$, H-15: $10,300 Super Tuesday
Chris Rudolph: H-23: $25,500 Super High Roller, H-24: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty
Fabrizio Gonzalez: H-12: $2,100 Bounty, M-13: $125 Hyper [ 6 Max ] Kazanova2020: H-13: $525 Bounty, L-24: $105 Thursday Thriller Bounty

Featured events underway

In addition to the above mentioned events, the first two of seven featured events are underway, the GGSF Opening Act-L NLHE US$ 1 million guaranteed and the GGSF Opening Act-L PLO-NL US$ 500,000 guaranteed. Daily entry flights are ongoing leading up to Day 2 which takes place on April 12.

Open: GGSF Opening Act-L: US$ 80 NLHE, US$ 1,000,000 guaranteed
Dates: April 5 to 12
Cumulative entries: 11,868
Day 2 qualifiers: 1,714
Average stack: 171,595

GGSF Opening Act

Open: GGSF Opening Act-L: US$ 80 PLO-NL, US$ 500,000 guaranteed
Dates: April 5 to 12
Cumulative entries: 3,026
Day 2 qualifiers: 462
Average stack: 160,772

Open GGSF Opening ActPLO

Upcoming Featured Events

Dates: April 12 to 19
GGSF Headliner-M: US$ 400 NLHE, US$ 2,500,000 guaranteed
GGSF Headliner-M: US$ 400 PLO-NL, US$ 1,000,000 guaranteed
GGSF Super MILLION$ ME-H US$ 10,300, US$ 10,000,000 guaranteed

Dates: April 19 to 26
GGSF Main Event-H: US$ 1,500 NLHE, US$ 10,000,000 guaranteed
GGSF Main Event-H: US$ 1,500 PLO-NL, US$ 2,000,000 guaranteed

Event Promos

US$ 1,000,000 Series Leaderboard Update

As always, the festival is not complete without the Series Leaderboard. Players that money at any of the events will automatically earn points towards the Series Leaderboard. A combined 100 players per week earn a share of US$ 1 million in tournament credits. The race began on April 4. Prizes are awarded per tier.

Week 1: US$ 50,000 (L), US$ 100,000 (M, US$ 150,000 (H) = T$ 300,000 total
Week 2: US$ 50,000 (L), US$ 100,000 (M), US$ 150,000 (H) = T$ 300,000 total
Week 3: US$ 75,000 (L), US$ 125,000 (M), US$ 200,000 (H) = T$ 400,000 total

Week 1 update – Top 3 – High Tier

Niklas Astedt has now taken over the top spot with 943.41 points, Fabrizio Gonzalez dropped to 2nd rank with 924.05 points, and in 3rd rank is Andras Nemeth with 890.78 points. Top 20 in this tier win shares of T$ 150,000 credits with first place awarded T$ 25,000.

Week 1 update – Top 3 – Medium Tier

Fabrizio Gonzales continues to hold top rank in the medium tier with 1,149.40 points, two time winner Christian Rudolph has taken over 2nd rank with 797.22 points, and dropping down to 3rd rank is Tim “BeardOilGuy” Rutherford with 777.49 points. The top 30 win shares of T$ 100,000 credits with first place awarded T$ 15,000.

Week 1 update – Top 3 – Low Tier

In the low tier, Androm3da maintained the top spot with 785.34 points, TSK 121212 also held rank in 2nd position with 774.69 points, in 3rd rank is gidon_rul with 709.99 points. The top 50 win shares of T$ 50,000 credits with first place awarded T$ 10,000.

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

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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