Springtime has arrived and with it the biggest online event of the season. Buzzing last night on computer screens around the world was the highly anticipated US$ 150 million guaranteed GG Spring Festival 2021, hosted by online platform Natural8 on the GG Network.
The series opened with 24 tournaments running in succession with buy-ins for as low as US$ 21 to a pricey US$ 25,500. In the aftermath, the results were impressive. Day 1 drew a combined 49,135 entries and collected US$ 19,664,000 in prize money. In addition, at least nine players pocketed over six figures and five tournaments reached their 5,000 player maximums. Coming out the wealthiest was Russia’s Konstantin Maslak after he denied WSOP 2020 Main Event champion Damian Salas at the Bounty Hunters Main Event. For Asia, India’s young gun Neel Joshi was among the victorious. Also running red hot was Spain’s Juan Pardo Dominguez who reached two Super High Roller final tables. We’ve got those stories and more for you down below.
If you’re just getting wind of GGSF 2021, the series is only one day in. The festival runs until April 25 with a total of 336 tournaments spread across three tiers – Low, Medium, High. Assuredly, there is something for everyone. Buy-ins range from US$ 5 to US$ 25,500 with event guarantees from US$ 5,000 to a massive US$ 10,000,000. 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.
To kick off the festival, a pre party was held on April 3 at GGPoker’s YouTube channel with famous Canadian DJ “deadmau5” on deck. Running alongside was a US$ 100,000 Freeroll Houseparty where thousands of players battled for one of the four coveted GGSF Main Event-H: $1,500 NLHE [Day 1] Tickets.
Biggest winner: Konstantin Maslak – US$ 229,531.42
Our top story for Day 1 was the incredible performance by Russia’s Konstantin Maslak at the H-03: $5,250 Bounty Hunters Main Event. Maslak overcame the 325 powerhouse field to collect US$ 229,531, making him the richest winner of the day. This was Maslak’s third largest known tournament score. In November 2018, he pocketed a cool US$ 600,000 for his 5th place finish at the US$ 5,300 partypoker LIVE Caribbean Poker Party Main Event. Three years prior, he clasped his first ever WSOP bracelet at the US$ 2,500 Omaha / Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better and won US$ 269,612. With his latest win, Maslak has accumulated over US$ 1.7 million in recorded tournament earnings.
Recapping the action from the final table, Maslak entered as the shortest stack with 23 bbs. He stayed in the shadows while WSOP 2020 Main Event champion Damian Salas dominated the table delivering multiple eliminations. At four handed, Maslak went on a rush, railing Natural8 Team Bling’s Daniel Dvoress (4th) when his spiked a three to outdraw then cleaned out Urmo Velvelt (3rd) to face Salas at heads up.
Up by 11 big blinds, Maslak proceeded on the offensive resulting in a failed bluff that sent Salas into the driver’s seat. Salas’s rise however was short lived with Maslak resuming the barrage of attacks to claim the next eight pots and the win. The final hand was over on a board . Maslak shipped the US$ 103,125.15 first prize, in addition, he earned an even larger US$ 126,406.27 in bounty rewards. For runner-up Salas and 4th placer Dvoress, both pros also earned six figures in combined winnings and bounty rewards. Salas claimed US$ 150,385.03 and Dvoress claimed US$ 106,767.25.
Final table payouts
1st Konstantin Maslak – Russia – US$ 229,531.42
2nd Damian Salas – Argentina – US$ 150,385.03
3rd Urmo Velvelt – Estonia – US$ 83,393.94
4th Daniel Dvoress – Canada – US$ 106,767.25
5th HEIZENBERG_G – South Africa – US$ 92,600.18
6th Aliaksandr Hirs – Belarus – US$ 54,813.02
7th J Andersson – Sweden – US$ 55,762.84
8th Astor – Brazil – US$ 38,454.29
9th David Peters – USA – US$ 27,943.82
Players earning six figures
Joining Maslak, Salas, and Dvoress with six figure payouts each were six players, all of them listed below. Spain’s Jon AV Santos must also be acknowledged as he came very close. Santos earned US$ 99,258.56 on a four way deal for his victory at the H-01: $1,050 Bounty Kickoff. Good fortune as well for staker Hlingo8 who purchased 40% of Santos’s action.
H-07: $2,100 PLO-NL Bounty – 244 entries – US$ 488,000 prize pool
1st Rui Ferreira – Brazil – US$ 108,522.63
M-03: $525 Bounty Hunters Main Event – 2,666 entries – US$ 1,333,000 prize pool
1st rapStyler – Brazil – US$ 121,831.48
Belarus’s “Yataro” wins the GGMasters High Rollers for US$ 155,843.48
At the Freezeout events, the high tier held a $1,050 buy in GGMasters with a guaranteed US$ 1 million. The event drew 1,127 players to breach the guarantee for a slightly larger US$ 1,127,000 prize pool. After 13 hours, Belarus’s “Yataro” emerged as champion after catching a lucky flush on the river to defeat Timothy Adams. He shipped US$ 155,843.48 which was the second largest first prize payout of Day 1. This was also Yataro’s first known victory on the network.
Final table payouts
1st Yataro – Belarus – US$ 155,843.48
2nd Timothy Adams – Canada – US$ 116,865.52
3rd Elio Fox – USA – US$ 87,636.69
4th Peter Turmezey – Hungary – US$ 65,718.26
5th Octavio “Camisa15” Braga – Brazil – US$ 49,281.74
6th Babi-Pangang – Luxembourg – US$ 36,956.15
7th pokercode-1 – Austria – US$ 27,713.19
8th SUPERLOW – Canada – US$ 20,781.92
9th Renan Bruschi – Brazil – US$ 15,584.28
Neel Joshi wins the M-08: $210 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo]
On his second bullet, India’s rising young star Neel Joshi held his head high at the M-08: $210 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo] event. Joshi crushed the final table to pocket US$ 21,927.71. This amount included an impressive US$ 13,476.83 in bounty rewards.
Joshi has fared well at events on the GG Network. Last summer, he cashed at an impressive 14 WSOP Online events with his largest of US$ 59,878 at the US$ 1,500 FIFTY STACK No Limit Hold’em for 6th place. This remains his largest known tournament payout. Since his first post in 2018, he has accumulated over US$ 150K.
Brief rundown of the action, Joshi entered the final table running 7th in chips with 34 bbs. Forty-five minutes later, with six remaining, Joshi took the lead and never relinquished. At four handed, he went on a shove spree that led to the fall of J Mendoza (4th) with pairing the six to dust . With sixty percent of the chips at his disposal, he continued to pressure his two challengers resulting in Dylan “gr1nd3rrr” Lambert doubling up then crashing out (hand above). Up 7:1 at heads up, it only took two hands to close it out with dominating Everbrun1’s .
Five events reach 5,000 maximum
With an extensive line up of tournaments offered, and an eager crowd to match, Day 1 saw five tournaments reach capacity. Each tournament had a 5,000 player maximum and before registration closed, every slot was filled. Undoubtedly this was very good news for the organizers with guarantees exceeded and an abundance of players in the money. A total of 827 players cashed at each of the events listed below.
M-04: $150 GGMasters – US$ 690,000 prize pool
Winner: Vitor “CoutoNuts” Coutinho – Brazil – US$ 74,454.19 (pictured above)
L-02: $30 Sunday Marathon – US$ 138,000 prize pool
Winner: giselda99 – Brazil – US$ 12,790.95 (three way deal)
L-03: $52.50 Bounty Hunters Main Event – US$ 250,000 prize pool
Winner: Polygedron – Russia – US$ 19,572.72
L-04: $25 GGMasters – US$ 115,000 prize pool
Winner: TSK121212 – China – US$ 12,412.88
L-06: $50 Sunday Big 50 – US$ 230,000 prize pool
Winner: Noam “lamalo21” Garama – Israel – US$ 24,281.77
2-Day Events on break
A few of the richest tournaments on opening night were scheduled as 2-Day Events. We will have the results and recap for you once those complete in a day or two.
H-06: $25,500 Sunday Five Million
Guarantee: US$ 5,000,000
Prize pool: US$ 5,000,000
ITM: 27 places
1st prize: US$ 1,084,891.90
*Paused at final 9 players
The H-06: $25,500 Sunday Five Million event is one of the most expensive tournaments in the lineup and as expected it attracted the heavy hitters and the creme de la creme. After six hours of late registration, the tally was 198 entries for a small overlay of two buy-ins. Among the long list of re-entries were Wiktor Malinowski and Michael Addamo, both firing seven bullets each and both failing to reach the money. The event paused at the fall of Pedro Garagnani in 10th place. The race resumes on April 6 at 3:05am HKT. Expect nothing but top notch action as the final 9 chase down the drool worthy US$ 1,084,891.90 first prize, the first seven figure payout of the festival.
Leading the hunt is decorated pro Andras Nemeth with 119 bb which is over double his closest opponent Guillaume Nolet with 51 bb. In third rank is hot running Francisco “VaPaCooler” Benitez who cashed at five Day 1 events including 11th place at the Super MILLION$. At his heels is Elio Fox who finished 3rd at the H-04: $1,050 GGMasters High Rollers. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski is in 7th rank and bringing up the rear is Juan Pardo Dominguez who reached two Super High Rollers final tables. The race to the million will no doubt be filled with brutal top notch poker action.
Final 9 players
H-05: $10,300 Super MILLION$
Guarantee: US$ 3,000,000
Prize pool: US$ 3,120,000
ITM: 35 places
*Paused at final 9
At the H-05: $10,300 Super MILLION$, the remaining 9 players will return on Tuesday, April 7 at 2:00am HKT. Each is guaranteed US$ 73,259.49 however what they will be shooting for is the US$ 586,075.23 first prize. With a majority of the finalists well known for their ample achievements, fans are in for a very thrilling race. If you have a hunch on who will ship it, you can place your bet for as low as US$ 1 via the Final Table Betting option on the tournament page.
Final 9 players
M-05: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,0000
Prize pool: US$ 1,091,000
ITM: 152 places
1st prize: US$ 153,550.14
*Paused at final 37 players
At the M-05: $1,050 High Rollers Main Event, WPT multi winner James “PHJ10” Carroll leads the final 37 players. Among the top ten are bracelet winners Juha Helppi and Julien Martini. Game resumes on April 6 at 2:05am HKT.
Top 10 in chips
In addition to the above mentioned events, the first two of seven featured events kicked off on opening night, the GGSF Opening Act-L NLHE US$ 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: 1,158
Day 2 qualifiers: 170
Average stack: 168,529
Top 10 in chips
Open: GGSF Opening Act-L: US$ 80 PLO-NL, US$ 500,000 guaranteed
Dates: April 5 to 12
Cumulative entries: 362
Day 2 qualifiers: 52
Average stack: 170,943
Top 10 in chips
Special Event: US$ 10,000 GG Legends Bounty feat. DJ “deadmau5”
On April 10 at 20:00 (GMT) / April 11 at 04:00 HKT, is the US$ 10,000 GG Legends Bounty event with a very economical buy-in of US$ 5.25. For this budget price, players have a chance at knocking out famous Canadian DJ “deadmau5”. Registration begins on April 3 at 20:00 (GMT) / April 4 at 04:00 (HKT).
Asia Time Zone Tournaments
For players in Asia, Natural8 has you covered with tournaments right on the region’s prime time. Games begin at 18:05 and 20:05 (Hong Kong time) and are open to everyone.
Buy ins: US$ 10.50 to US$ 1,500
Guarantees: US$ 20,000 to US$ 500,000
Games: Bounty Hunters Asia, Asia Major, Asia Superstack Classic
*All games are offered in each of the three tiers
US$ 1,000,000 Series Leaderboard
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 begins 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
Leaderboard – Day 1 – Top 10 – High Tier
Leaderboard – Day 1 – Top 10 – Medium Tier
Leaderboard – Day 1 – Top 10 – Low Tier
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.