The Good Game Series (GGS) is the GGNetwork’s (GGN) first network-wide online tournament series. It isn’t starting small.
Starting on November 18, the network will host 129 events with over $3.5 million in guaranteed prize money. The series closes on December 2, when there will be a $25,000 buy-in Super High Roller with a $500,000 guarantee.
On days without a six-figure guaranteed event, GGN offers a $200 buy-in Daily Main with a $50,000 guarantee.
In addition, there is $220,000 in guarantees for satellites to the series tournaments and a $100,000 GGS Giveaway promotion which runs through November.
No-Limit Hold’em, No-Limit Hold’em Bounty, Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha Bounty
Skins on the GGN offer four versions of Texas Hold’em and Omaha. All four are included in the GGS.
Buy-ins range from $10 to $25,000. That Super High Roller figure is a challenging target and represents a lot of confidence that there will be enough players willing to stump up the cash.
US players are not allowed on the network, so GGN is banking on interest from high stakes Asian players and maybe some Europeans and Russians who can set up accounts.
One factor that might help is that December 2 sees three big guarantee events:
- #124 Championship $250K GTD–$500 buy-in, Start time 16:00 (UTC)
- #125: High Roller $250K GTD–$5,000 buy-in, Start time 17:00 (UTC)
- #126: Super High Roller $500K GTD–$25,000 buy-in, Start time 17:00 (UTC)
Putting these three events together is either a big risk, or a real incentive to high rollers who are confident playing multiple tables.
GGN claims to be the largest online poker network in Asia
The GGN poker rooms are not well known in the West. Their market is Asia and Russia where they now boast the same 7 day average of cash game players as 888. That makes them the 7th largest poker room in the world.
There are 16 skins on the network including:
- LotosPoker—former 888 skin licensed in the UK targeting the Russian market
- GGPoker.co.uk—licensed in the UK and one of several English language rooms on the GGN
- Natural8—targeting the Asian markets
GGN skins differentiate themselves from some of the major rooms with game enhancing software features:
- Play all-in hands three separate times
- Blind raise regardless of position
- Reveal your hand
- Tell the table what you need to win
- After you’ve folded, you can even see which cards would’ve come up next
The poker room also offers special bankroll builder rake-free tournaments. The T$ builder tournaments have buy-ins from $1 to $8 with all the entry fees going to the prize pool.
Tournaments kick off every 30 minutes. There is one catch; all prizes are paid in tournament dollars which can only be used to enter real money tournaments.
The extra expected value should more than make up for this restriction, and looks like a great marketing concept to attract new players to the tournament format.
GGN prohibits HUDs but offers its own
As part of its strategy to protect recreational players, GGN doesn’t allow third party tracking software or Head Up Displays (HUD).
However, it does give all players a proprietary stripped down HUD. The new feature was introduced at the beginning of October (paywall) this year.
Instead of the standard stats such as VPIP, the GGN HUD shows stats such as Luck Factor and Heat Index which show how well a player is running during his or her session.
Cash game players will see their opponents’ lifetime win/loss and the three biggest hands played against each.
A seven day moving average of 1,150 cash game players is no mean achievement in the current online poker environment. Peak players can hit close to 2,000 and there are normally over 10,000 players online at any particular time.
The GGS is a reach-out to a broader market
GGN certainly looks ready to reach out to a global market. Poker software is excellent, promotions and special offers are comparable with all major operators.
The GSS may mark the network’s magic moment when the GGN sites begin to be more widely known in the global poker community. A couple of big name European or Russian winners would be a real marketing coup for GGN.