New record and first overlay
As of 2021, the flagship tournament The Venom of the US-friendly site Winning Poker Network remains the largest MTT event for US poker players online in two formats - classic and PKO, but it does not live up to the expectations of the organizers. First and foremost, it does not show consistent growth in the number of entries.
It saw a decline in the number of participants in the winter for the first time and was held with a tiny overlay this August. However, the last yielded a new record:
The Venom $10M GTD gathered 3,930 entries and a record prize pool of $ 9,825,000.
We have collected data on how the tournament statistics changed (excluding two PKOs) in this table:
|$5M GTD||$6M GTD||$7M GTD||$8M GTD||$10M GTD||TOTAL|
|Guarantee increase||28%||12%||38%||18%||1,75% overlay|
That is, during the past year, The Venom has maintained roughly the same level of popularity, and its period of exponential expansion appears to be over.
According to the tournament's long-standing pattern, the final table was dominated by poker players from the American continent. However, one of the two Europeans, Ireland's "Sw33ney," advanced to the final as the chip leader.
Players were knocked out in the following order:
- Felipe "Ketzerfelipe" Ketzer - $130,000 (Brazil) - First, the South American shoved 21BBs on the button with JT suited in the first hand of the day and lost to the British "TALKINABOOT?" pocket queens.
- Tommy "BTCBlade" Chen - $185,000 (US) - lost most of his stack in a preflop hand against "BabyBowser" AA-66, with both players getting a three of a kind on the board. And just 10 minutes after the start of the game, he was eliminated in 7th place - his preflop all-in with 44 was crushed by a poker player from Great Britain with KK.
- “Cruel” - 265,000 (Canada) - finished the fight exactly according to his position in the chip count. The Canadian played very tight and pushed A6 hearts from the button after his stack reached 10BB. BabyBowser knocked him out of the tournament with pocket tens.
- Eduardo “M CUNHA G” Silva - $375,000 (Brazil) - followed the pattern of pushing from the “button” and bet all of his chips (18.5BB) with 88 in response to the open-raise of “BabyBowser”. The American's AK got the needed ace on the river.
- "Lordfish" - $504,000 (Canada) - started the final with the 2nd largest stack, but by the second half had only 9.5BB. He was knocked out with A7 against 66 by the only US representative remaining in the tournament to make his third knockout in a row. This time he got an ace on both the turn and the river.
- "TALKINABOOT?" - $694,000 (Great Britain) was able to reach 3rd place, although he started this final with the smallest stack. He became a victim of the American as well with AQ against 99. Pocket nines helped “BabyBowser” get a three of a kind on the flop.
Large stacks during heads-up (94 and 53 large blinds) did not cause a lengthy battle. It took a little more than 20 minutes to determine the winner. First, Ronan "Sw33ney" Sweeney lost over half of his chips in two hands without showdown, succumbing to the opponent's re-raises, then handed up a sizable pot to the American, who only got 3rd pair with Q5.
The final hand was quite memorable. The Irishman made a preflop mini-raise and “BabyBowser” called. Sweeney bet 40% of the pot in response to his opponent's check on the K62 flop and was again called by the American. A 3 appeared on the turn and Ronan decided to push in response to a large bet. The number of chips in the pot made it impossible for him to fold his AAs, but his opponent had two pairs with K6. The 4 in the river made no difference.
US regular known as "BabyBowser" became the winner of The Venom $10M GTD, with a total prize of $1,514,000. Ronan "Sw33ney" Sweeney ($1,015,000) became the tournament's second millionaire.
Who is “BabyBowser”
We were unable to find the American's true name. But he is regular without a doubt. “BabyBowser” has almost 21 thousand tournaments played at WPN in one and a half years, with an average buy-in of $80! His total profit is $104,455, but the graph reveals that the poker player has had a long downstream trend since the end of 2020.
His nickname has an interesting meaning. It belongs to a character in the Mario Bros series (the son of the main antagonist). So, most likely, "BabyBowser" is a gamer with great experience and, besides poker, loves gaming consoles.
As previously stated, The Venom has nearly hit the top of its popularity, and players should not expect a rise in its guarantee over 10 million. The next tournament in this series will be held in the fall of 2021, most likely in PKO format, with a prize pool of around $7 million (a comparable spring event raised $7,160,000).
Of course, there are numerous objective causes for this tendency in this brand's development. First and foremost, there is the necessity to compete for players' attention with other TOP poker rooms, particularly GGNetwork. Second, the level of WPN capabilities as measured by the number of gamers drawn to The Venom.
The last factor may be aided by restructuring the satellite system - their period can be extended to more than a month, and, following the lead of other sites, ticket raffles in Spins and regular rake races can be introduced. An increase in the quantity of Day 1s will also be beneficial. We'll find out very soon whether the American network will take such a move.
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|Rakeback||up to 90%|
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