Re-Entry Event Push Back Helps GGPoker’s Image but Hurts Masters MTT

January 31st, 2020 | by Kaycee James

The online poker industry may have ended 2019 on a high but that hasn’t helped GGPoker avoid a month of overlays.

GG Masters

GGPoker’s Masters is striking a chord with players but not enough to prevent a series of overlays. (Image: Twitter/GGPoker)

Launched at the start of 2020, GG Masters is the site’s first serious stab at a Sunday Major. Costing $150 to enter and boasting a $300,000 guarantee, the weekly MTT has all the makings of an industry hit.

However, after four weeks of missed targets, the tournament team at GGPoker may have to rethink its strategy.

High Expectations Not Met

When the first event took place on Jan. 5, the guarantee was set at $250,000. A total of 1,160 players paid the $138 entry fee (plus $12 rake), meaning prizepool before GGPoker’s contribution was $222,180.

Despite being on the hook for $27,820 after the opening event, GGPoker doubled down in week two. Upping the guarantee to $300,000, it succeeded in attracting more players. However, 1,901 entrants couldn’t prevent an overlay.

This pattern continued in weeks three and four. Although each individual shortfall has been far from catastrophic, GGPoker has propped up the four prizepools to the tune of $153,364.

While rake charges have offset a large part of the loss, the online operator is still struggling to meet the weekly.

Of course, missed guarantees are nothing new in poker. Even well-established majors like the Sunday Million have fall short of the mark in recent years. What’s more, GGPoker’s Masters is a fledging MTT. However, any loss in business can still hurt.

In an effort to generate more interest, GGPoker’s promo team has been running a series of offers. From daily satellites to social media competitions, the team is doing everything possible to avoid another overlay.

In fact, to sweeten the pot further, GGPoker is running a Player of the Year leaderboard. The top player at the end of 2020 will join Daniel Negreanu, Felipe Ramos and Bryn Kenney as a brand ambassador.

GGPoker Siding With Popular Opinion

The problem, however, may lie in the tagline: one event, one entry, one POY. By making the MTT a freezeout rather than re-entry, GGPoker is taking a gamble. Even with interest in poker on a high, re-entry tournaments have become a necessary evil over the last five years.

Although players, including Negreanu, have pushed back in recent months, many operators still use them. Indeed, with margins tighter than they once were, squeezing as much value from every player is seen as the only way to keep guarantees high.

GGPoker is clearly taking a different position. Continued losses may prompt a change of heart at some point. However, for now, it’s walking the line between player satisfaction and not losing any more money.


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