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GGPoker Hosting Hourly $25,000-Buyin Blade Tourneys

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The GGPoker Network is impressing its registered players by running £25k buy-in re-entry tournaments every hour of every day. They are part of the Blade series of high-roller events. These special Blade $25K tournaments started appearing in the poker lobby toward the end of September 2019.

GG Poker $25K Tourneys

About the Blade Tournaments

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GGPoker isn’t known for having so many high-stakes tournaments taking place at once. Instead, it’s more common for the poker room to provide options like the Sunday Blade $25K as a special, which would only take place on a specific Sunday, joined by others like the Blade $10K.

Even the official GGPoker website describes Blade as “High Stakes poker with over $10,000,000 GTD monthly,” but these tournaments are broken down into multiple daily events with smaller buy-ins ranging between $150 and $2.5K. The highest buy-in in this series is usually the Sunday Blade $10K, so it’s something out of the norm for GGPoker to be providing hourly $25K events.

Of the $25K required to join, $24,500 goes to the prize pool with the remaining $500 representing the house fee. There isn’t any specific guarantee tied to them, so the size of the payouts depends entirely on how many people register. These tournaments allow a maximum of eight players per table, and players begin with a stack of 15,000 chips and 50/100 starting blinds.

Blade Tournament GameplayGameplay in a $25,000 Blade Tournament
The Number Next to a Player's Name Indicates How Many Entries He Has Made

The level of blinds increases every 10 minutes, and registration for a tournament is something that can be done up to 140 minutes after it begins. There’s also the possibility of unlimited re-entry for participants.

Format an Apparent Success

Black Check Mark

Participation in the Blade $25K events has often seen 40+ entries, meaning that prize pools have frequently ascended to the $1,000,000 mark and beyond. It would be fair to point out, though, that there have been tournaments that haven’t managed to collect even the necessary minimum of three players to begin.

Blade Events at GGPokerBlade MTTs, Both $25K and Other Buyins, in the Poker Lobby

Yet, given the astronomical buy-in amount and the frequency with which these Blade $25K MTTs occur, we say that even having just a few of them fire off every day should be considered a big accomplishment. There certainly are more than a few of them that actually run each day on the GGPoker Network.

Site management appears to feel the same way about these events; for they have increased the frequency such that there's now a Blade $25K starting up every half hour rather than every 60 minutes as was originally the case.

Comparison With Other Poker Sites

Launching such high-priced tourneys was certainly an ambitious move on the part of the network. This is evident when we compare these offerings to the big MTTs spread by competing internet poker rooms.

Take PokerStars for instance. This market leader among global online poker sites has perhaps three or four times the traffic of the GG Network; yet it only rarely hosts $25K-buyin tournaments: usually as the culmination of a prestigious tourney series. As far as distributing seven-figure prize pools, 'Stars does do this on a regular basis but only once a week in its $109 Million Dollar Sunday event.

Americas Cardroom, on the Winning Poker Network, has been trying to make a name for itself as the place to go to for big-field, massive payday tournament action. In fact, it decided to run million dollar MTTs every Sunday at the beginning of 2019. However, these events overlayed hard week after week, and the company had to shell out more than a million dollars from its own pockets over the course of four months to make good the shortfalls.

Meanwhile, GGPoker Network seems to have no trouble building million dollar tournaments every day without even breaking a sweat. Either everyone else in the industry has no clue what they're doing, or else the folks at GGPoker have stumbled on to something that's uniquely appealing to their particular user base.

Uncovering the High-Stakes Pros

Man With Question Mark Face

Fans of the poker room have expressed a variety of reactions to such tournaments taking place with some trying to figure out the screen names of high-stakes professionals who may be competing in them. In fact, this was all some people could talk about on the Two Plus Two Poker Forums.

Speculation has been high on a player going by the screen name of “pokerbluff” at GGPoker being the same user as “omaha4rollz” on PokerStars: young Hungarian high-stakes PLO player Laszlo Bujtas. He is frequently seen participating in No Limit Hold’em tournaments online. At the same time, a player utilizing the screen name of “linus” is said to be Stars' habitué “LLinusLLove,” a Swiss individual who has booked more than $1.4 million in profits in big online NLHE games.

Laszlo BujtasHungarian Pro Laszlo Butjas Is Widely Believed to Be a Regular in the $25K Blade

Other participants in the tournaments are thought to be pros like “FkTheseGuysBro” of PartyPoker fame who is going by the screen name of “Foxen” at GGPoker, as well as Hungarian player Andras “probirs” Nemeth who has chosen the screen name of “PokerBluff” for the $25k tournaments.

Mixed Fan Reactions

People Talking

While it’s true that the GGPoker site has a plentiful player base, not everyone who considers themselves a fan of the network has had a positive reaction to the hourly $25k buy-in tournaments. It didn’t take long for some people to express their discontent. TwoPlusTwo forum user “NINzent” took issue with the GGPoker Network being the provider of so many high-stakes events, labeling it a “scummy site” that “rips of [sic] its customers.”

Negative 2+2 Post About Blade

Even though GGPoker received a backlash from some fans, it wasn’t all negative press as a large number of people also defended and even hyped up the high-stakes Blade tournaments. This viewpoint was eloquently expressed by “creepville” who believes that if player demand is present for these tournaments, then why not offer them?

Positive 2+2 Post About Blade

Whatever the case may be with regard to general opinions on the tournaments, the hourly $25k events have made the poker community sit up and take notice. This is especially true given that the non-Blade portion of the GG tournament schedule is mediocre at best.

Bot Fears Raised

Perhaps the biggest concern with the Blade $25K hourly tournaments is the potential presence of automated bots or real-time solver software. This has been quite the talking point over the past few months in general with site after site being accused of harboring extensive rings of nefarious botters.

It was in July of this year that a new artificial intelligence program known as Pluribus was launched by both Facebook Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University. It was this software that went on to defeat some of the poker world’s most dominant professional players while participating in six-player Texas Hold’em sessions. That software was created with very low costs involved and in a relatively short period of time too, leading even financial services firm Morgan Stanley to declare bots a grave threat to the online poker economy.

Logos of Facebook and Carnegie MellonThe Pluribus Poker Bot Was a Joint Effort by Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University

Despite the fact that the GGPoker Network wasn’t mentioned specifically within Morgan Stanley's analysis, there's nothing stopping illicit bots from appearing at its tables. In fact, these bots could already be in operation in the Blade tournaments right now.

According to one forum user going by the name of “dumbrussianlol,” Chinese bots were up to something suspicious at the site. The argument was that the user went from being a significant winner on all other platforms to a consistent loser at GGPoker.

Twoplustwo Post About Cheating at GGNetwork

With these $25k tournaments running every hour at the GGPoker platform, it could provide quite the opening for users of bots to take advantage of the high stakes. It doesn’t seem like the network has done anything to try and counteract these AI software programs either, which has led to further controversy over the introduction of so many high-buyin tournaments taking place.

Other fears include the possibility that people are using VPNs to circumvent geographical restrictions, suspected multi-accounting, and potential cheating enabled by the site's lack of third-party HUD support. Most of these wild theories are just baseless speculation, but we must recognize that GGPoker's security protocols have been criticized many times in the past.

About the GGPoker Network

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The GGPoker platform launched in 2014, and since that time it has primarily focused on the Asian market. After the initial period of catering to Asia, it did branch out to incorporate European and Canadian skins into its network. Even with this being the case though, the network has still remained active first and foremost within the Asian continent, and people from the United States are prohibited from playing.

Website of GG NetworkHome Page of the GG Network

There are several prominent skins on the GGPoker Network as well as a few niche organizations. Among the more well-known brands are GGPoker itself, Natural8 Poker, Best Poker, and PokerOK.

The GGPoker site runs on software that is built by NSUS Ltd – a technology that has proven to be successful with players around the world. It's possible to play from a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device.

Among the noteworthy features of GGPoker are its Rush & Cash fast-fold games, where extra money is randomly dropped into the pot and players' stacks, an integrated HUD display to level the playing field, straddling, all-in insurance, and an in-client staking function for tournaments.

However, there are also downsides to this network, which include rake caps that reach as high as $10 at some blind levels of Hold'em and are uncapped in PLO, a propensity to ban winning players, unclear terms and conditions, misleading promotion rules, and a complete absence of sit-n-gos.

Americans Not Welcome at GGPoker

USA Prohibited

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately depending on your point of view), the GGPoker Network does not do business with American customers. Therefore, you cannot join the $25K Blade tournaments even if you wanted to as long as you reside in the United States. But you still have access to a few honest online poker sites in America. Read about some of the reputable US-friendly poker sites in our guide. They may offer a more appealing selection of games at different buy-in levels than GGPoker does.