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.
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
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR #GGPoker COMMUNITY!
3,051 players competing at this weeks #GGMasters 🤑.
All fighting it out for a share of $421,038 🥳.
Good luck everyone!
— GGPoker (@GGPoker) March 22, 2020
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.