GGMasters Success As Coronavirus Gives Weekly Major New Lease of Life

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A new format, some input from Daniel Negreanu and, perhaps, a bit of help from the new coronavirus all helped make the latest GGMasters a success.

GGPoker has seen a surge of activity in its Sunday GGMasters thanks to coronavirus and a new $400,000 guarantee. (Image: Twitter/GGPoker)

The Sunday major from GGPoker went live in January 2020. Despite the site’s recent rise to prominence, the initial run of GGMasters was costly.

GGPoker initially guaranteed $250,000 for the $150 MTT. Following its Jan. 5 debut and a $27,820 overlay, GGPoker increased the guarantee to $300,000. However, that didn’t stop the losses.

Turning Negatives to Positives

Over a 10-week period, the event had an average overlay of $25,000. With costs mounting, GGPoker enjoyed a reprieve on March 15. Thanks to 2,260 buy-ins, the guarantee was beaten by $11,880.

GGPoker parlayed that victory into a 35% week-on-week upswing on March 22. Riding the previous week’s high, the organizer increased the guarantee to $400,000.

With the online poker industry going through a purple patch due to coronavirus lockdowns, it proved to be a shrewd move. When the numbers came in, the latest GGMasters paid out $421,038 in prize money. That will be considered a significant win for a site currently trying to establish itself on an international scale.

Part of the GGNetwork, GGPoker got its start in Asia. Going live in 2014, the poker network built up a solid base in China and South East Asia before expanding into Canada and Europe.

In 2019, GGPoker was listed as the fifth-largest online poker network in the world. Daniel Negreanu, Felipe Ramos, and Bryn Kenney were subsequently called in to create an international roster of ambassadors.

Time for GGMasters to Shine

As the brand evolved, so too has the platform. Innovations such as artificial intelligence-based “smart betting” and table caps have given GGPoker a USP in a crowded market.

All these adjustments have contributed to the recent success of GGMasters. However, the impact of self-isolation can’t be ignored.

On what’s been dubbed Super Sunday, PokerStars also reached new heights with its 14th-Anniversary Sunday Million. With people around the world self-isolating, online poker has become a go-to source of entertainment.

GGPoker is benefitting in the short term. However, with a history of missed targets, the decision to increase the guarantee to $400,000 may sting. Indeed, if the site can’t sustain its recent momentum once the coronavirus crisis is over, the rush to exploit an opportunity could come back to haunt GGPoker.

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