Natural8- GGSF: Festival closes in on US$ 150M guarantee; Day 16 to 18 results; Stephen Chidwick, Matthias Eibinger, Francisco Benitez, and Xuming Qi bag first wins; Sami Kelopuro on his fourth

The Natural8GG Spring Festival 2021 is nearing its completion with 18 out of the 22-day schedule in the bag. With the featured GGSF Main Event- H $1,500 buy-in games yet to be played, the festival is on course to demolish the promised US$ 150 million guarantee. As it stands, US$ 141.2M has already been paid out. Multiple entry flights are ongoing for the US$ 10 Million guaranteed NLHE event and the PLO-NL US$ 2.5 Million guaranteed event. Registration is also open for the US$ 3,000,000 guaranteed Super MILLION$ with buy-in at US$ 10,300 and for the US$ 1,500,000 guaranteed Bounty Hunters Main Event with buy-in at US$ 5,250. A total of 51 games left with buy ins from as low as US$ 5.25 to US$ 25,500. For players in Asia, 12 games offered during the region’s prime time.

Among the latest first time winners were Stephen Chidwick, Matthias Eibinger, Francisco “VaPaCooler” Benitez, Xuming “scplayer” Qi, India’s “EasyShips”, and Rodrigo Selouan who defeated GGSF Super MILLION$ ME-H champion Joakim Andersson at heads-up. Day 16 to 18 also witnessed Sami Kelopuro win a second Super High Roller event for his fourth win, Michael Watson shipped two events, and China player nicknamed “Joe Biden” denied Niklas Astedt a fifth win. We’ve got those stories for you and much more.

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Here are our Day 16, Day 17, and Day 18 top stories.

Sami Kelopuro wins his second Super High Roller for a massive US$ 572K

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GGSF H-84: $25,500 Super High Roller

The fifth installment of the US$ 25,500 Super High Roller event drew the largest turnout of 99 entries to break past the guarantee for a US$ 2,475,000 prize pool. Among the 13 players that reached the money, it was Finland’s Sami Kelopuro who once again crushed the competition to seize US$ 572,003.82, the largest first prize payout of all the installments. This was also Kelopuro’s fourth win, joining Niklas Astedt, Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb, and Tim “BeardOilGuy” Rutherford in the exclusive group. For runner-up Wei Zhao, the loss still earned him a handsome US$ 440,969.69 which was his largest known career score.

H-84: $25,500 Super High Roller

Guarantee: US$ 2,000,000
Entries: 99
Prize pool: US$ 2,475,000
ITM: 13 places

Final table payouts

1st Sami Kelopuro – Finland – US$ 572,003.82
2nd Wei Zhao – China – US$ 440,969.69
3rd Isaac Haxton – USA – US$ 339,952.82
4th Nick Petrangelo – USA – 262,076.73
5th Mattias Eibinger – Austria – US$ 202,040.40
6th Benjamin Rolle – England – US$ 155,757.33
7th Thomas Muehloecker – Austria – US$ 120,076.60
8th Zhuang Ruan – Japan – US$ 92,569.58
9th Michael Watson – Canada – US$ 71,363.67

In just wins alone, Kelopuro has amassed US$ 1,417,190.60. Below are his other triumphs:

H-49: $25,500 Super High Roller – US$ 520,003.49
H-59: $5,250 PLO-NL – US$ 135,998.08
H-68: $10,300 PLO-NL Bounty Hunter High Roller – US$ 189,185.21

The past three days, Kelopuro cashed in three other events with a sixth place finish at the last Super High Roller event for US$ 151,037.41. To date, he has collected over US$ 8.3 million in winnings on the GG network.

Stephen Chidwick flips for his first festival win

It took ten deep runs for England pro Stephen Chidwick to finally claim a win at the series. With five bullets fired at the H-93: $25,500 Super High Roller, Chidwick agreed on a three-way deal with Daniel Dvoress and Nick Petrangelo then flipped for ranking and leaderboard points. Chip leader Chidwick won it and brought home the larger US$ 442,339.23.

Stephen Chidwick Australian Poker Open ATA 3524
Stephen Chidwick. Credit: Australian Poker Open

Buy in: US$ 25,500
Guarantee: US$ 2,000,000
Entries: 96
Prize pool: US$ 2,400,000
ITM: 13 places

Final table payouts

1st Stephen Chidwck – England – US$ 442,339.13*
2nd Daniel Dvoress – Canada – US$ 435,831.89*
3rd Nick Petrangelo – USA – US$ 433,757.56*
4th Mikita Badziakouski – Belarus – US$ 254,135.01
5th Stephen O”Dwyer – Ireland – US$ 195,917.96
6th Sami Kelopuro – Finland – US$ 151,037.41
7th Sam Greenwood – Canada – US$ 116,437.92
8th Samuel Vousden – Finland – US$ 89,764.44
9th Andras Nemeth – Hungary – US$ 69,201.13
*Three way deal

This was the last Super High Roller event of its kind with Ottomar Ladva, Dario Sammartino, and Ronny Kaiser each bagging one, and Sami Kelopuro claiming two. To reach the final three, Chidwick went from shortest stack at six-handed to chip leader after eliminating Sunday Five Million champion Mikita Badziakouski in 4th place. The final three players tabled several hands before opting to deal. This was Chidwick’s largest career GG network score which comes nowhere near the US$ 5.3 million he won at the Triton Million for Charity event in August 2019. He also has a WSOP bracelet which he won in June 2019 at the US$ 25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller 8-handed event.

First time winners

H-88: $2,100 BountyFRANCISCO “VaPaCooler” BENITEZ – US$ 98,487.97

fransisco benitez poker
Fransisco Benítez. Credit: partypoker LIVE

After seven final table berths that included four runner-up finishes, Uruguay’s Francisco “VaPaCooler” Benitez finally landed a win. Playing mainly high tier events with the occasional big buy-in medium tier, Benitez outlasted the 259 entry field of the H-88: $2,100 Bounty event, defeating Sergei Denisov at heads-up. He pocketed the US$ 35,284.33 first prize and a hefty US$ 63,203.14 in bounty rewards for a combined US$ 98,487.97 payday. According to his GG profile, Benitez has collected US$ 3.1 million in winnings since his start in 2019. His largest GGSF score was at the H-06 $25,500 Sunday Five Million event where he placed 3rd for US$ 610,079.27. This more than dwarfed his largest live score of US$ 89,903 which he earned for finishing 3rd at the 2014 PCA US$ 5,300 No Limit Hold’em Turbo. Here are his other final table festival runs:

H-27: $2,100 Bounty – 2nd place – US$ 24,512.91
M-35: $1,050 PLO-NL – 2nd place – US$ 29,117.84
H-42: $2,100 Sunday Heater – 2nd place – US$ 45,241.30
H-50: $5,250 Half Price Super Tuesday – 8th place – US$ 31,473.73
H-63: $525 Turbo – 2nd place – US$ 12,793.22
H-79: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event – 9th place – US$ 8,452.65

H-78: $2,100 PLO-NL Bounty

Guarantee: US$ 150,000
Prize pool: US$ 268,000
ITM: 17 places
Winner: SAMULI SIPILAFinland – US$ 62,192.88

Prior to this win, Samuli Sipila also reached the final table at four other events, namely 3rd at M-25: $525 PLO-NL Bounty, 5th at H-35: $10,300 PLO-NL High Roller, 5th at M-59: $525 PLO-NL Bounty, and 6th at H-59: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty. After this win, he missed a second one at the H-91: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty by one spot.

H-91: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty

Guarantee: US$ 300,000
Entries: 117
Prize pool: US$ 585,000
ITM: 17 places
Winner: MATTHIAS EIBINGERAustria – US$ 126,793.41

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GGSF H-91: $5,250 PLO-NL Bounty

L-83: $125 Super Tuesday

Guarantee: US$ 250,000
Entries: 3,022
Prize pool: US$ 347,530
ITM: 503 places
Winner: NoWomenNoCryCyprus – US$ 40,648.79

A well deserved first victory for Cyprus’s “NoWomenNoCry” who overcame a deficit at heads-up, calling out two bluff shoves by Ramiro Petrone to eventually capture the win. At the hand pictured above, Petrone shoved on the river, NoWomenNoCry tanked for over five minutes before calling for everything. This was NoWomenNoCry’s first festival final table.

H-90: $1,050 6 Max

Guarantee: US$ 250,000
Entries: 459
Prize pool: US$ 459,000
ITM: 63 places
Winner: RODRIGO SELOUAN – US$ 89,423.59

Rodrigo Selouan defeated GGSF Super MILLION$ ME-H champion Joakim Andersson at heads-up. This was Selouan’s first festival win. He also finished 6th at events H-70: $2,100 Bounty and H-87: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event.

Asia Results

H-86: $525 Forty Stack – XUMING “scplayer” QI – US$ 54,016.36

xumming qi poker
Xumming Qi. Credit: PokerGuru.IN

Chinese high roller Xuming “scplayer” Qi overcame the 693 runners of the H-86: $525 Forty Stack event to ship the US$ 54,016.36 first prize. This ranks third in his GG network cashes with his highest of US$ 113,465 for 14th place at the WSOP 2020 Online $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event. Qi is also a very strong live tournament player with over US$ 1M in winnings. His biggest score was for US$ 212,098 at the Macau Poker Cup 26, finishing 2nd at the HK$ 80,000 buy-in High Roller event.

Multiple deep runs for Pulkit Goyal in Day 16

India’s Pulkit Goyal has been hot on the hunt for his second win having gone the distance on Day 2 at the H-17: $525 Turbo [6 Max] event. Since then, he has racked up a long list of cashes with several final table appearances. On Day 16, Goyal was on fire with three final tables and one 11th place.

H-81: $1,050 PLO-Nl – 4th place – US$ 16,730.83
H-82: $2,100 Bounty – 4th place – US$ 32,049.32
L-83: $125 Super Tuesday – 5th place – US$ 12,853.27
M-84: $2,625 High Roller – 11th place – US$ 7,072.56

Other Asia Wins

H-94: $1,050 Deepstack Bounty Turbo

Guarantee: US$ 150,000
Entries: 225
Prize pool: US$ 225,000
ITM: 31
Winner: Joe BidenChina – US$ 39,108.26

China player nicknamed “Joe Biden”, not to be mistaken with the 46th US president, defeated Niklas Astedt at heads-up to claim the US$ 15,669.77 first prize plus US$ 23,438.49 in bounty rewards. He denied Astedt a fifth festival victory.

M-85: $52.50 Bounty Turbo 6 Max

Guarantee: US$ 50,00
Entries: 1,682
Prize pool: US$ 84,100
ITM: 242 places
Winner: EasyShips India – US$ 7,895.67

M-77: $52.50 Bounty Hunters SE

Guarantee: US$ 150,000
Entries: 4,091
Prize pool: US$ 204,550
ITM: 512 places
Winner: pokerlijianChina – US$ 9,672.52

Multi Winners

H-83: $10,300 Super Tuesday

Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 182
Prize pool: US$ 1,820,000
ITM: 26 places
Winner: MICHAEL WATSONCanada – US$ 361,957.35

This was Michael Watson’s largest win this series (event pictured below). The next day, he shipped the M-93: $2,625 High Roller for US$ 144,130.59, and back in Day 6 he took down the H-28: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for his first win along with US$ 52,176.54. He now has three victories total.

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GGSF H-83: $10,300 Super Tuesday

H-92: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty

Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 157
Prize pool: US$ 1,570,000
ITM: 20 places
Winner: ARTUR MARTIROSYANRussia – US$ 326,273.34

This event breached its one million guarantee. Artur Martirosyan defeated Christian Rudolph at heads up to claim his second festival win (hand below). His first was at the H-54: $1,050 High Roller Main Event for US$ 83,530.81.

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GGSF H-92: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty

M-83: $1,050 Super Tuesday

Guarantee: US$ 1,050 Super Tuesday
Entries: 707
Prize pool: US$ 707,000
ITM: 98 places
Winner: CHRISTIAN RUDOLPH Austria – US$ 93,834.96 (heads up deal)
2nd Bruno VolkmannBrazil – US$ 100,700.48 (heads up deal)

After his third win, Christian Rudolph missed two chances at a fourth win. He finished second at the H-89: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty Hyper, busting out to Amichai Barer for US$ 16,504.57, and at the H-92: $10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty falling to Artur Martirosyan at heads up where he earned US$ 197,210.79 in combined rank prize and bounty rewards (hand above). Rudolph’s other two wins were at events H-27: $2,100 Bounty for US$ 58,033.04 and M-27: $210 Bounty for US$ 20,122.92.

H-89: $1,050 PLO-NL Bounty Hyper

Guarantee: US$ 50,000
Entries: 121
Prize pool: US$ 121,000
ITM: 17 places
Winner: AMICHAI BARER Canada – US$ 23,797.95

This was Amichai Barer’s third win. As mentioned above, he denied Austria’s Christian Rudolph at heads-up. His previous wins were at the M-67: $525 PLO-NL for US$ 31,290.38 and M-35: $1,050 PLO-NL for US$ 37,002.73.

M-87: $250 Daily Main Event

Guarantee: US$ 250,000
Entries: 1,456
Prize pool: US$ 334,880
ITM: 233 places
Winner: CourierGGUK – US$ 38,703.17 (heads-up deal)
2nd ohgdIsrael – US$ 38,840.65 (heads-up deal)

This was CourierGG’s second win with his first at the L-30: $25 Hyper 6 Max for US$ 3,597.81.

L-80: $5 6 Max

Guarantee: US$ 15,000
Entries: 3,090
Prize pool: US$ 15,000 (US$ 786 overlay)
ITM: 503
Winner: foldnuttzBrazil – 1,312.35 (three-way deal)
2nd C_R_E_A_MGermany – US$ 1,455.55 (three-way deal)
3rd GartmanRussia – US$ 1,291.14 (three-way deal)

This was foldnuttz’s second win with a first on Day 13 at the L-63: $15 Turbo for US$ 2,021.57. Foldnuttz missed a third win at the L-85: $5.25 Bounty Turbo [6 Max] finishing runner up to player “Toninhoo” for US$ 911,06.

Exclusive Natural8 Promos

GGSF 2021 is down to its final four days. If you are just tuning in, it’s time to sign up at host online platform Natural8. Exclusive promos and festival freebies are in store for all members such as 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. The last Flipout is on April 24, with one 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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