First GGPoker Spring Festival Draws Big Numbers, Big Names

Three weeks of the GGPoker Spring Festival lead to $176M in total prize pools and five players banking more than $1 million.

The 330-event, $150 million guaranteed GGPoker Spring Festival wrapped up earlier this week and while there were 13 overlays, total prize pools soared past $175 million and five different players each walked away with a million-dollar score.

Not surprisingly, the High buy-in category made up the bulk of the prize money. The 110 High buy-in events had $115,051,800 in prize money, for an average prize pool just north of $1 million each. Those events had a total of 44,677 entrants. The Medium buy-in events drew 157,691 total entrants and had prize pools totaling $44,558,725. Unsurprisingly, the Low buy-in events had massive turnouts, with 382,000 players all vying for their share of the $17,026,062 in prize money.

Frequent Visitors to the Winner’s Circle

If winner photos were required for the GGPoker Spring Festival, former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt would have gotten a suntan from all the flashes going off. Astedt won a series-leading five events including Events #14-High ($1,050 PLO-NL Bounty), #19-High ($2,100 Bounty [6-Max]), #25-High ($5,250 PLO-NL Bounty), #41-High ($25,500 Sunday Five Million), and #95-High ($2,100 Bounty) for a total of $1,432,201.51. He also narrowly missed out on a sixth title, finishing runner-up in Event #94-High ($1,050 Deepstack Bounty Turbo).

There were four other players who each won four events with three of those players earning more than $1 million for their wins alone. The one of those four who banked the most from the four wins was Lev ‘LevMeAlone’ Gottlieb. A relatively unknown player, Gottlieb won Events #5-High ($10,300 Super MILLION$), #15-High ($10,300 Super Tuesday), #35-High ($10,300 PLO-NL High Roller), and #72-High ($10,300 PLO-NL High Roller) to take home $1,423,266.61. Gottlieb had no other podium finishes during the series.

Sami Kelopuro, who is currently ranked #2 in the world, earned $1,417,190.60 for winning Events #49-High ($25,500 Super High Roller), #59-High ($5,250 PLO-NL), #68-High ($10,300 PLO-NL Bounty High Roller), and #84-High ($25,500 Super High Roller). He also bookended those four wins with a pair of runner-up finishes in Events #24-High ($10,300 Thursday Thriller Bounty) and #109-High ($25,500 Sunday Millions). 

Germany’s Christian Rudolph also had four wins, two coming in High events and another two coming in Medium events. Rudolph won Event #27-High ($2,100 Bounty), Event #102-High  ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event), Event #27-Medium ($210 Bounty), and Event #83-Medium ($1,050 Super Tuesday). Amazingly, he also had four second-place finishes and a third-place result.

Possibly the quietest member of the four win was Tim ‘BeardOilGuy’ Rutherford. The Canadian won Events #14-Medium ($105 PLO-NL Bounty), #44-Medium ($250 Daily Main Event), #58-Low ($105 Thursday Thriller Bounty), and #67 Low ($50 PLO-NL) for a total of $88,160.48.

Niklas Astedt5
Christian Rudolph4
Lev 'LevMeAlone' Gottlieb4
Tim 'BeardOilGuy' Rutherford4
Sami Kelopuro4
Ami Barer3
Eelis Parssinen3
judd trump'3
Michael Watson3

A Million Dollars IS Cool

There were five players who walked away from an event with a title a two-comma score. The single largest score went to Joakim Andersson for taking down the $10,300 GGSF Super MILLION$ Main Event. The Swede walked away with $1,537,605.12 for his efforts.

The winner of the $1,500 GGSF Main Event came close to beating Andersson’s score. ‘KingKongJoel’ topped the 6,803-entry field to win $1,133,634.47. Astedt (Event #41-High), Mikita Badziakouski (Event #75-High), and Guillaume Nolet (Event #6-High) all earned at least $1 million for winning an event.

An additional six players each earned a half-million dollar score for the victory.

Joakim Andersson$10,300 GGSF Super MILLION$ Main Event$1,537,605.12
'KingKongJoel'$1,500 GGSF Main Event NLHE$1,133,634.47
Mikita BadziakouskiEvent #75-High $25,500 Sunday Five Million$1,105,678.72
Niklas AstedtEvent #41-High $25,500 Sunday Five Million$1,095,740.82
Guillaume NoletEvent #6-High-High$25,500 Sunday Five Million$1,084,891.9
Seth DaviesEvent #109-High $25,500 Sunday Millions$956,439.98
Markus LeikkonenEvent #108-High $10,300 Super MILLION$$651,820.84
Lev 'LevMeAlone' GottliebEvent #05-High $10,300 Super MILLION$$586,075.23
Sami KelopuroEvent #84-High $25,500 Super High Roller$572,003.82
Sami KelopuroEvent #49-High $25,500 Super High Roller$520,003.49

Number Ones With A Bullet

Astedt and Kelopuro weren’t the only former top-ranked PocketFivers to grab a GGSF title but they were the only ones to win multiple titles. Fedor Holz won Event #37-High ($1,500 Sunday Marathon) for $124,456.71, Andras Nemeth took down Event #58-Medium ($1,050 Thursday Thriller Bounty) for $110,038.60, and Joao Simao grabbed the title in Event #110-Medium ($525 Festival Closer [Bounty Turbo]) for $53,918.96.

The current #1-ranked player in the world had no intention of being left out of the fun. Yuri Dzivielevski shipped Event #42-H ($2,100 Sunday Heater [Bounty Turbo]) for a $72,235.16 payday.