GGPoker Becomes Global Cash Game Leader; Bilzerian Battle Royale Performing Well

After 15 years as online poker cash game leader, PokerStars slid into the No. 2 position over the last week. GGPoker has now become the top dog in the battle for cash game players, according to PokerScout tracking records.

“It happened pretty fast and it’s been pretty cool,” GG ambassador Daniel Negreanu noted during his heads-up match this week against Phil Hellmuth on PokerGO.

No doubt officials at the company echo that statement.\

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A look at the GGPoker numbers

The reversal in ranking came over the last week as GG topped 5,000 cash game players, according to PokerScout’s player tracker. At the same time, PokerStars dipped below 5,000.

As of Friday, GG had reached 5,000 players for a seven-day average, compared to PokerStars’ 4,800. The battle looks like it could be neck and neck for a while and those positions may shift a bit.

By Friday, GG’s 24-hour peak reached 6,453 player compared to PokerStars’ 8,122.

GGPoker has continued to grow over the last few years. In 2000, the site began offering online World Series of Poker events and that continues this year.

A WSOP Circuit online series was held on the site in May. The WSOP Online also runs Aug. 1 to Sept. 12. The series gives players outside the US a chance to win one of 33 championship gold bracelets.

The company was only founded in 2014. Initially catering to Asian players, GG has shifted to a more global approach in recent years and found success.

Many players have praised the company’s software, tournaments, and promotions. The platform offers some unique features like the ability to stake other players.

Dan Bilzerian Battle Royale tournament producing nice numbers with unique format

GG ambassador Dan Bilzerian recently hosted a new event on the site. The Battle Royale combines multi-table sit & go game play with the site’s multiplayer “battle arena” format.

Battle Royale proved to be the site’s most popular new game launch to date, the company noted this week.

“The action’s been thrilling and intense in equal measures since Dan Bilzerian’s Battle Royale launched,” GGPoker head of public relations Paul Burke said in a news release. “The percentage of players coming back to take their shot in multiple games has remained at a consistently high level since day one, and the feedback we’re getting is overwhelmingly positive.”

Battle Royale is inspired by battle arena video games. Each No Limit Hold’em progressive bounty (aka progressive knockout) game begins once 100 participants have registered. 

Some statistics from Battle Royale’s first two weeks include:

  • Total number of games run – 2,821
  • Average duration – 53 minutes, 25 seconds
  • Average first-place prize – 25.5 times the buy-in
  • Top first-place prize – $317 won by “Excalibur11” in a $10 buy-in event on June 12
  • Percentage of Day 1 players that have played multiple times:
    • 80% played two or more
    • 51% played five or more
    • 28% played 10 or more

How does the Battle Royale work? The game is made up of three levels and here’s a look at each.

Level 1: Rush Zone

This is a non-stop action Rush Tournament level. Players instantly move to a new table and are dealt hole cards whenever their involvement in the previous is complete.

This level ends once the number of players is reduced to 50 or at the 15-minute mark. If more than 50 remain, only the top 50 players advance.

Level 2: Shootout Zone 

The remaining 50 players compete at 10 five-handed tables, each playing down to a single survivor. This level ends once there is a single surviving player at all 10 tables.

If more than one player remains at any table after 15 minutes, the gameplay changes to a Flipout format. The remaining players are automatically all in until all table winners are determined

Level 3: Final Table 

The final level plays out as a standard final table. Each of the 10 remaining players is guaranteed a prize. The victor taking home the winner’s share of the prize pool.

Battle Royale seems to have found a following. It will be interesting to see if this kind of event catches on at other sites.

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