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GGMasters vs Sunday Million: Clash of the titans

Author: Vargoso Published: 17.02.22

The battle for players between PokerStars and GGNetwork has reached a new level: the latter has decided to hold the GGMasters anniversary freezeout with a massive $5M guarantee on the same day as PokerStars' flagship tournament, the Sunday Million 16th Anniversary $10M GTD. What are the main features of both events, and how justified is such aggressive marketing? Read on to find all the details.

GGMasters vs Sunday Million: Clash of the titans

Tournament war

Everyone knows about the competition between PokerStars and GGNetwork on the online poker “Olympus” during the last several years. It is expressed in different forms. The most important of them was the confrontation for the 1st place in the Pokerscout rating regarding the number of cash game players and the magnitude of the tournament series.

Moreover, the MTT strategy of GGNetwork is very aggressive. It is reflected not only in the growth of guarantees or “mirroring” the competitors after the announcement of their next series (by “suddenly” offering a similar festival on the same dates at GGPoker).

For example, in 2020, such a trick forced partypoker to postpone the Main Event of WPT Online. And in 2019, the Winter Holiday Series and High Rollers Week completely coincided with similar series from PokerStars. In fairness, it should be noted that PokerStars did not shun such steps when they launched EPT Online simultaneously as CPP Online from partypoker.

Anniversaries coincidence?

Recently, it became known about an even more obvious case of such a “coincidence”:

On February 14, 2022, GGNetwork and its ambassadors announced the launch of the GGMasters Overlay Edition $5M GTD ($150 buy-in) on March 20 to celebrate the brand's 2nd anniversary.

Earlier this year, on January 21, PokerStars scheduled the launch of the Sunday Million 16th Anniversary $10M GTD ($215 buy-in) on the same date. The end of March is the traditional time for this annual event. 

As for GGMasters, March 20 looks a little bit too late for the anniversary celebrations (this brand was launched two years ago on January 5). Apparently, the date chosen by the organizers is nothing more than an attempt to hurt a competitor by offering players a more attractive tournament. We’ll try to figure out how successful this could be.

Tournament comparison

We have compiled the main details of both events in the table below:

Description / Event

GGMasters Sunday Million
Guarantee $5,000,000 $10,000,000
Buy-in $150 $215
Rake 8% 7%
Entries required to avoid an overlay 36,232 50,000
Starting stack 10,000 (200BB) 20,000 (200BB)
Blind levels Day 1 - 15 min, Day 2 - 12 min 20 min (15 min after level 18)
Late registration period 4 hours 50 minutes 24 hours 5 minutes
Re-entries allowed No Up to 5
Start of satellites February 16 January 22

The GGMasters event will offer three flights for different regions on March 20:

  • Asia Flight – 13:00 CET.
  • Europe Flight – 18:00 CET.
  • Аmericas Flight – 23:00 CET.

The only Day 1 of the Sunday Million starts at 20:05 on the same day. Registration will be possible until the start of Day 2 on March 21 at 20:10 (Day 2 of GGMasters will start 10 minutes earlier).

The main difference between these events is re-entries. Just because the GGNetwork’s tournament is a freezeout, its name directly references the overlay, the probability of which is very high. 

The organizers directly tell the players that they are not afraid to add extra money to the event's prize pool, which should make it much more profitable than Sunday Million. Moreover, GGMasters seems to be more “fair,” considering poker as a game of skill, because all participants are entitled to only one entry.

Still, you should not forget that the overlay will most likely be compensated by affiliates whose players will get ITM. Also, according to the rules, the players will not be awarded loyalty system points for participating in such a tournament.

Satellites

Of course, it doesn’t seem the case that the confrontation between GGMasters Overlay Edition and Sunday Million 16th Anniversary will lead to a serious number of players not participating in one of them because of the other. 

There will be numerous opportunities to qualify into both events thanks to a wide variety of satellites:

  • PokerStars hosts over 30 daily MTT qualifiers with buy-ins ranging from freerolls to $22. Also, there are 4-max SnG’s ($55 buy-in) and Spins ($0.50 and $4).
  • GGNetwork offers step satellites with buy-ins starting from $2 and direct qualifiers (buy-ins ranging from $5.5 to $15). In addition, there are 5-max SnG’s ($31.5 buy-in) and Saturday freerolls (50 x $150 tickets GTD). Moreover, the winners of several regular MTT’s will be awarded $150 tickets.

Also, the so-called Mega-satellites with massive prize pools and affordable buy-ins will be held for both events.

Conclusions

We will not guess on the overlay amount in GGMasters (during a month, the event can pick up such a pace that its name will not be justified in the end), on the total prize pool of Sunday Million, and whether one event will somehow affect the popularity of the other.

The most important advantage for the players in the very possibility of such a situation - a total of 15 anniversary Sunday Million events were held in “proud loneliness” before that. And next year, PokerStars will have to reconsider its flagship tournament and come up with new original ideas to compete with GGNetwork.

Still, in the heat of competition, poker rooms should not forget the need for elementary tact. Of course, a deliberate holding of "anniversary" tournaments on the same day is a daring challenge to the old industry leader, but it can also be regarded as an attempt at not very correct “trolling.”

How do you feel about such actions in the leading poker rooms? Will they prevent you from participating in both tournaments?

Read our GGPoker review and enjoy the benefits of our affiliate service:

  • Private promotions and tournament tickets in our Telegram channel
  • Professional support for all inquiries seven days a week.

You can contact our manager for all the questions regarding GGPoker.

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