The $100 million guaranteed WSOP Spring Online Circuit tournament series began this weekend at GGPoker, and it is fair to say that the big guns were present in force for the first events. The inaugural events were jam-packed with big names, but it was “Godofbaccarat” who emerged triumphant in the first of 18 WSOPC ring-awarding contests. In the following article, we will provide you with all of the highlights from the WSOP Spring Online Circuit so far. We will also talk about the recent announcement that GGPoker has partnered up with WSOP to launch online poker in Ontario, Canada, this April. Read on for further details.
Godofbaccarat Takes Home $325,000 and a WSOPC Ring
The first event was a $500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in which GGPoker guaranteed at least $2 million in prize money. With a total of 6,242, the guarantee has not only been reached but exceeded by an impressive $964,950. This was a wonderful outcome. There were 1,080 players who made it to Day 2, with 700 of them eventually finishing in the money and taking some cash home for their efforts/
The minimum cash prize was $1,177, while the least any of the finalists could win was $32,568. That award went to Canada’s “Pen15”, who was the first casualty of the final table.
Bertil “DonPepe” Samuelsson and Stoyan Obreshkov were the next players to be eliminated from the final table of the tournament. The former received $43,430, while the latter received $57,915 in prize money.
Then, it was Israel’s Alon “Alon Eldar” who had to hit the showers. Eldar took home the tournament’s last five-figure prize of $77,231. Vinnie “JerryYang07” Mohan from the United Kingdom took fifth place together with $102,990. This is Mohan’s highest-ever online tournament score, as well as his first six-figure score.
The wage raises kept climbing, and the prize money became increasingly life-changing. Johannes “Hazes” Straver won $137,339, while fellow Austrian “Memukul” had their GGPoker account balance increase by $183,145 when they finished third.
Danilo Velasevic faced up against “Godofbaccarat” in a heads-up battle for about $81,500 in prize money and the all-important gold WSOP Circuit ring. Godofbaccarat won the one-on-one match, earning Velasevic a $244,228 consolation prize and ensuring that the first tournament of the series had a Canadian champion who was now $325,684 richer than they were a few days before.
Here are the Big 500 NLE Spring Kick-Off Final Table Results:
|4||Johannes “Hazes” Straver||Austria||$137,339|
|5||Vinnie “JerryYang07” Mohan||United Kingdom||$102,990|
|6||Alon “Alon_Eldar” Eldar||Israel||$77,231|
|8||Bertil “DonPepe” Samuelsson||Andorra||$43,430|
Sammartino Takes Home $92,000 at $1,050 Sunday HR Main Event
Dario Sammartino has managed to achieve another victory in a major online poker event and $92,166 in prize money as he finished as the last player standing in the $1,050 Sunday HR Main Event against a field of 694. Sammartino would have won a six-figure reward if he hadn’t cut a deal with “UrineTrouble” and Pavlo Veksler during the three-handed play, who won $86,405 and $75,711, respectively.
Everyone at the nine-person final table has managed to walk away with five figures. The first finalists to be eliminated were Jason “Cracked_” Pritchard, Chris Klodnicki, and Fausto “Fantastik55” Tantillo.
Christian “2StcMode2” Bertu finished sixth before “BananenBencb789” and “Pok3rDi3m” crashed out, leaving only three players in contention for the title of champion. As mentioned previously, that trio reached a deal to distribute the prize pool and received payments ranging from $75,711 to $92,166, bolstering their bankroll ahead of the $100 million guaranteed tournament’s first weekend.
Here are the full $1,050 Sunday HR Main Event results.
|6||Christian “2StcMode2” Bertu||Slovenia||$28,357|
|7||Fausto “Fantastik55” Tantillo||San Marino||$21,695|
|9||Jason “Cracked_” Pritchard||New Zealand||$12,698|
Other WSOP Spring Online Circuit Champions So Far
Niklas Astedt won the top prizes in two GGPoker tournaments this weekend, totaling $105,044. Three other GGPoker pros won six-figure sums. Isaac Haxton won the $25,500 Sunday Super High Roller for another $291,155, Andre “Sperma” Marques won the $525 Bounty Hunters HR Main Event for $118,090, and Georgios Manousos won the $1,050 GGMasters High Roller for $117,473.
Here is the schedule of the remaining WSOP Spring Online Circuit Ring Events:
|Tue, March 29||18:00||$800||#3: $800 Pot-Limit Omaha Spring Championship [2-Day Event]||$500,000|
|Thu, March 31||18:00||$800||#4: $800 Bounty Hunters NLH Spring Championship [2-Day Event]||$1,000,000|
|Sat, April 2||18:00||$315||#5: $315 Bounty GIANT No Limit Hold’em [2-Day Event]||$500,000|
|Sun, April 3||18:00||$365||#6: $365 GIANT No Limit Hold’em [2-Day Event]||$1,000,000|
|Sun, April 3||20:30||$50||#7: $50 MILLION$ Mini Main Event, $1M GTD [Final Day]||$1,000,000|
|Tue, April 5||18:00||$800||#8: $800 Deepstack NLH Spring Championship [2-Day Event]||$1,000,000|
|Thu, April 7||18:00||$500||#9: BIG 500 PLO Bounty [2-Day Event]||$300,000|
|Sat, April 9||18:00||$525||#10: $525 MONSTER STACK Bounty NLH [2-Day Event]||$500,000|
|Sat, April 9||20:30||$210||#11: $210 MYSTERY BOUNTY, $1M GTD [Final Day]||$1,000,000|
|Sun, April 10||17:00||$1,050||#12: $1,050 GGMasters NLH Circuit Championship [2-Day Event]||$1,500,000|
|Sun, April 10||20:00||$2,000||#13: $2,000 High Roller 6-Max No Limit Hold’em [2-Day Event]||$1,000,000|
|Tue, April 12||18:00||$800||#14: $800 6-Max NLH Championship [2-Day Event]||$1,000,000|
|Thu, April 14||18:00||$105||#15: $105 DOUBLE STACK Bounty NLH [2-Day Event]||$500,000|
|Sat, April 16||18:00||$1,111||#16: $1,111 Red Cross Charity Event NHL [2-Day Event]||$500,000|
|Sat, April 16||20:30||$2,100||#17: $2,100 MYSTERY BOUNTY HR, $2M GTD [Final Day]||$2,000,000|
|Sun, April 17||20:30||$525||#18: $525 Main Event, $5M GTD [Final Day]||$5,000,000|
GGPoker Partners Up With WSOP to Launch Online Poker in Ontario
GGPoker has also recently revealed intentions to establish online poker in Ontario in collaboration with the World Series of Poker to launch WSOP Ontario. Just after the “successful execution of an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario,” the partnership plans to start WSOP.CA “in early April.” It had previously been revealed that GGPoker’s parent company, NSUS Labs, had obtained an operating license in Ontario and will launch under the WSOP.CA domain. The current press statement confirms this collaboration and gives a preliminary launch date. However, it still has to be approved by the iGO (iGaming Ontario) before it can go live.
Ty Stewart, the executive director of the WSOP, has made the following comments:
“This partnership combines the best poker brand with the top poker software and we’re thrilled to launch this online poker room for Ontario players. We look forward to seeing Ontarians qualify for the live WSOP in Las Vegas this summer and challenge native son Daniel Negreanu for a gold bracelet.”
GGPoker has also teased some of the “extensive” launch promos and bonuses, as well as the operator’s ambitions to offer online satellites to the live WSOP series this summer in Las Vegas. However, it stops short of committing to legitimate bracelets being available on WSOP Ontario.
Daniel Negreanu, GGPoker Ambassador, has told the following in the latest press release:
“As a proud Ontario native, I’m thrilled that poker’s two greatest brands have come together to launch WSOP.CA and offer the Ontario poker community the perfect place to play online. You’ll be seeing exclusive WSOP rewards and tournaments, running on GGPoker’s amazing app — what’s not to love about that?”
Around a dozen companies have already filed their plan to operate online gambling in Ontario once fully legal and regulated online casinos, sports betting, and poker becomes available on April 4. There are some of the world’s major iGaming businesses in this list, including BetRivers, FanDuel PointsBet, and Unibet. BetMGM, a partnership between MGM Resorts and Entain, gained its permission just a few weeks ago.
Officially, GGPoker is the second operator to officially announce that it intends to launch its online poker operations in Ontario on or around April 4. GGPoker has also received approval for such actions from Ontario’s regulator, the AGCO.
888 was the very first iGaming operator to put out a statement in early March. In that statement, 888 revealed that on April 4th, it will be “ready to offer its leading, innovative and content-rich casino, sport, and poker products to players located across the province.” 888 has also made sure to contact their Ontario customers to inform them about the upcoming platform change. However, many other operators are planning to launch poker in Ontario as well. For example, PokerStars was one of the first poker operators to announce its intentions to establish online poker in Ontario. However, PokerStars is yet to be approved by the AGCO.
Currently, there are around seven operators all trying to offer their online poker services in Ontario. Five of them seem reasonably likely to be approved by AGCO. These operators are 888Poker, WSOP, PokerStars, partypoker, and Bet365. Unibet and Run It Once Poker has also been rumored to launch their operations in Ontario, but currently, the chances of that happening are relatively low.
It is clear why partypoker is interested in offering online poker, while Bet365 has a history of offering online poker in all of its territories, when possible. Their long-time platform partner Playtech has said that its poker software (which runs the worldwide pools of the iPoker network) is Ontario-ready, therefore Bet365 may potentially be a member of an iPoker Ontario network.
Unibet is a longe shot though. It has its own online poker platform in the worldwide market, including France. However, it has not expressed much interest in operating in the North American Market. Run It Once Poker was recently purchased by Rush Street Interactive, which won’t necessarily focus on expanding to Ontario, but it is definitely achievable. Here is what Jason Senti, head of Run It Once Poker had to say about launching operations in Ontario:
“While our primary focus is on the US, provinces in Canada with regulated online poker, such as Ontario, will also be considered. Rush Street Interactive has a great track record of entering and developing new global markets as they regulate. While it is very early in our integration process, there is no reason to rule out incorporating the RIO poker offering into their larger strategic global expansion plans if both commercially feasible and legal.”
As mentioned previously, online gaming will go live in Ontario on April 4th. Current offshore operators will be able to continue their services, while their AGCO applications are being processed. Platforms are expected to start migrating their players to the new regulated Ontario sites in the following weeks or even days.
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