With the 2021 GGPoker Super MILLION$ Week coming to a close, the online operator rolled out a special Main Event edition of its weekly $10,000 buy-in Super MILLION$ tournament by giving it a massive $10 million guarantee.
It turned out that it was also a special week for the UK’s Ben Ward who battled through the field of 976 entries, went into the final table as the chip leader, and took down the tournament and its $1,242,332 first-place prize.
It’s not just a career-high score for Ward, who had no previous results in the Super MILLION$, but likely a life-changing one. According to GGPoker, Ward had a total of just over $23,000 in total earnings on the site and his recorded live results total just $101.
As a cash game player, Ward faced down some serious competition at what was one of GGPoker’s biggest tournaments of 2021. Joining Ward at the final table was the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event champion (and previous GGPoker Super MILLION$ winner) Alexandros Kolonias, WSOP bracelet winner Shankar Pillai, and high-roller tournament specialist Thomas Muehloecker.
With just eight players remaining and so much money up top, it was slow going for the first hour or so. Eventually, the first player fell when after Kolonias opened in late position, France’s Benjamin Chalot three-bet behind him holding . Muehloecker then put in a four-bet holding . When it folded back to Chalot, he made the call with his tournament on the line. The board ran out , keeping Muehloecker’s pocket tens out front and sending Chalot to the rail in eighth place for $299,366.
Twenty minutes later Muehloecker was involved yet again. He raised the button with the and then Ward three-bet from the small blind holding . Muehloecker four-bet shoved his stack and Ward, having him covered, made the call. The flop came , keeping the pocket queens ahead. The hit the turn, swapping some outs for Muehloecker. The river was the , ending Muehloecker’s run in seventh place for $366,078 and giving Ward a massive chip lead headed into six-handed play.
Another forty minutes passed when a short-stacked Krasimir Yankov from Bulgaria put in a raise in late position with the . Kolonias, who was second in chips, moved all-in holding the and when the action returned to Yankov, he put in the rest of his chips. The run out was of no help for Yankov who was eliminated in sixth place and took home $446,657.
Kononias continued to accumulate even more chips. When Pillai shipped his under ten big blind stack with , Kolonias made the quick call with his . The flop came and when the hit the turn, Kolonias made a straight leaving Pillai drawing dead to the river. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Pillai picked up $547,414 for fifth place.
Minutes later, Kolonias was at it again. In a battle of the blinds, Kolonias open-shipped his stack holding and Germany’s ‘Weizen’ made the call in the big blind with his . The flop came , keeping ‘Weizen’ in the lead. But when the hit the turn, the German was looking for one of two outs to save his tournament. However, the river was the , giving Kolonias two pair and sending ‘Weizen’ out in fourth place for $669,403.
For a brief moment, Kolonias held the chip lead. But shortly into three-handed play, Ward took it back and then added on. Ward shoved his chip leading stack all-in from the small blind with and was called by Javier Gomez holding a dominating . The flop put Ward in the lead, which he held through the turn and river. Just like that Gomez was out in third place, earning $818,576 in just his second Super MILLION$ event.
Entering heads-up play, Ward held nearly a two-to-one chip lead over Kolonias, and through applying pressure he kept that lead the rest of the way. The final hand was fairly standard as Kolonias raised with and Ward three-bet holding the . Kolonias then moved in with his pocket nines and Ward made the call. The flop paired Ward’s ace and nothing else changed through the turn and the river. Kolonias, finished the day as the runner-up but still took home a seven-figure score of $1,000,991.
In just his first Super MILLION$ appearance, Ben Ward walked away with the title and the $1,242,332 first-place prize.
$10M GTD Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/9)
1. Ben Ward – $1,242,332
2. Alex Kolonias – $1,000,991
3. Javier Gomez – $818,576
4. ‘Weizen’ – $669,403
5. Shankar Pillai – $547,414
6. Krasimir Yankov – $447,657
7. Thomas Muehlocker – $366,078
8. Benjamin Chalot – $399,366