In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Natural8 – GGNet’s GGOC trumps PokerStars’ SCOOP in prizes
The online poker scene has been buzzing with excitement these past few weeks with two of the industry’s biggest platforms offering great value tournaments left and right. Running through the end of the month, both PokerStars and Natural8 under the GGNetwork are hosting their homegrown festivals – Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) and GG Online Championship (GGOC) respectively. While PokerStars’ SCOOP has been a highlighting festival annually for over a decade, GGPoker network is taking some of the attention away with a massive $150 million guaranteed series running alongside it.
This year’s SCOOP features $78.5 million in guarantees and while much smaller than that of GGOC’s, its average buy-in of $726 also relatively amounts less than GGOC’s $1,687 average entry fee. At the same time, GGOC hosts a more extensive schedule of over 100 tournaments on top of SCOOP’s 318 event lineup. The fairly new festival in addition, is rocking 46 events with a seven-figure prize pool as compared to SCOOP’s only ten $1M prized tournaments.
Following right after is also the leading network’s GG Spring Festival scheduled through April 2022 for another bout of $150 million in guaranteed prizes. Kicking off on the 4th, 335 events fill the schedule, 39 of which will again have a prize pool of at least $1 million.
888poker’s The Knockout Games series crushes overall guarantee
The recently concluded Knockout Games on 888poker smashed its overall $1.26 million guarantee by roughly 12% throughout its 44-tournament lineup. The online festival which ran from April 24 – May 10 awarded a total of $1.4 million in prizes to its lucky winners. Canadian runner “LuckyGuy62” claimed the biggest payout across the series, bagging $40,515 in winnings after outlasting the 1,658-entry field.
Aside from the Main Event champion, Ukraine’s “RaPaPaPaPam” also secured a notable score of $20,885 in total for emerging victorious in the $150,000 GTD Tune Up PKO event. However, it was Brazil’s players that locked in the most number of titles, pocketing eight wins with Romania right behind with five titles. In total, over 20,000 unique players joined the games with the operator breaking a six-figure profit in fees overall.
PokerBaazi & Spartan Poker host record-setting events
With major international platforms drowning in action, India’s online poker scene is also not one to miss with its largest client PokerBaazi kicking it off with the third edition of its flagship tournament, End Boss. This month’s festivities boasts a record-breaking prize pool guarantee of INR 5 crore (~US$ 650,000), surpassing the previous record of Spartan Poker’s INR 3 crore guaranteed tournament. The thrilling event is currently underway with two days left where the crowning champion will take home a whopping 1 crore (~US$ 128,680) payout.
“Innovation has always been in PokerBaazi’s blood and we have always come up with industry-defining tournaments. EndBoss will be no different, We are sure that the tournament will attract existing and new players with its prize pool, structure, and affordable buy-in. We are looking forward to crowning India’s biggest-ever winner!”, Marketing Director of Baazi Games, Varun Ganjoo told PokerGuru.
Just over a week after the End Boss celebration, players can shift their grind to Spartan Poker’s 13th edition India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) running from June 2-19, 2022. The latest series is set to feature 33 crore (~US$ 4.2 million) in prize guarantees, slightly higher than its two prior editions. This will also be the second time the operator will be hosting the IOPC for this year with last January’s festival having covered 30 crore in guarantees across 116 tournaments.
“We are excited to host the India Poker Championship live this year and follow it up with our very successful India Online Poker Championship that will be hosted on the Spartan Poker platform, along with other streaming partners like AIO Games, Blitzpoker, PokerHigh, and PokerDaddy. We know how incredible the level of play in these competitions can be! We aim to offer an even better experience for players & fans, and even more opportunities for skilled players to raise their games and win huge prizes.”, said CEO of Spartan Poker Group, Amin Rozani.
2022 WSOP satellites on major platforms
The annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is back on track this May 31st with many players already getting ready for the festival’s premium buy-ins. Luckily, major online poker rooms have begun offering satellites to a number of events for as low as $1. Whether you are looking to buy-in for the full amount or test your luck in smaller tournaments, cashing in on these great value qualifiers will be a great way to expand your bankroll and potentially bag a whopping score as well as a coveted gold bracelet. Below are some of the sites currently awarding packages to the esteemed games.
Natural8 – GGNet
Considering GGNetwork’s close ties with WSOP, it’s no surprise that the leading site offers packages to the most prestigious Main Event this coming July. Entries for the satellites range from $1 to its highest $1,050 for a chance to win a qualifier package which includes: $1,200 for round trip tickets to Las Vegas, 7 nights stay at Bally’s, and a $10,000 entry to the WSOP Main Event. In addition, satellite winners will also have access to Natural8’s exclusive platinum lounge, Natural8 merchandise and gift package, and a WSOP Europe prize for the last one standing.
Winning Poker Network (Americas Cardroom, PokerKing, Black Chip Poker)
US-friendly Winning Poker Network has so far awarded ten WSOP packages valued at $12,500 each for the past two Sundays. Those looking to catch the network’s satellite games need not fret as its biggest one yet is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday, May 22. Another ten WSOP packages which include $10,000 for the buy-in, and $2,500 for travel expenses will be awarded to this weekend’s winners with an option to trade in its value for cash. Buy-in for the qualifying games is at a steeper price than the first two, posted at $215 per entry.
While 888poker has already awarded their share of WSOP packages across a $1,050 satellite, two more lucky runners will get a chance to claim the $13,000 valued package. One is set to go to a StreamTeam member while the other will go to a Twitch viewer who is tuned in via draw. 888poker’s Road to Las Vegas package includes the $10,000 tournament buy-in, $1,500 for the accommodation of your choice, $1,500 for travel & expenses, and an 888poker LIVE kit.