WSOP Winter Circuit smashes guarantees in first two events

Geoff Fisk
Published by:
Posted on: December 14, 2020 10:15 pm EST

BIG $50, Super MILLION$ draw big fields to kick off WSOPC festival

The Main Event isn’t the only major tournament flying under the World Series of Poker banner right now. If the turnout for the first two events in the 2020 GGPoker WSOP Winter Online Circuit offers any indication, the month-long festival should award big prize money through the end of this year and into 2021.

The first two events in the WSOP Winter Online Circuit Series played down to a final table over the weekend. Event #1: Big $50, drew a massive field of 31,291 entries, pushing the prize pool well past the $1 million guarantee. 

Event #2: $10,300 Super MILLION$ High Roller raised the guarantee from the normal $1.5 million to $5 million for the special WSOP Winter Circuit edition of the weekly event. Even with that lofty guarantee, the turnout of 511 entries allowed the prize pool to exceed the $5 million mark.

Here’s a look at what’s unfolded so far in the first two tournaments of the WSOP Winter Online Circuit Series:

Big numbers for the BIG $50

All of the remaining nine players in Event #1: Big $50 will realize a massive return on investment. The $50 buy-in tournament will produce five-figure or bigger paydays for all nine remaining players at the final table.

With a total of 31,291 entries registering for the event, the final prize pool for the BIG $50 ended up at $1,439,386. That number far surpassed the guaranteed $1 million for the event.

Aleksey ‘ImLuckPads’ Savenkov* from Russia leads the final nine with just under 79 big blinds going into the final table. Other contenders for the BIG $50 championship include China’s ‘QY707’ (54 big blinds), Russia’s ‘party_maker1’ (48 big blinds), and Otto ‘D00MSWITCHER’ Lemke from Germany (38 big blinds).

After multiple starting flights, Day 2 of the BIG $50 played out Sunday with 3,345 beginning the day. The field played through to a payout ladder that included 1,600 places paid.

By the end of Day 2, that field of 3,345 whittled all the way down to the final nine. The final table resumes Saturday, Dec. 19, with a first-place prize of $168,810 on the line.

Super-sized Super MILLION$ 

Event #2: $10,300 Super MILLION$ High Roller drew a field full of poker’s toughest tournament players. Sunday’s first-day action saw 511 entries register for a special edition of what normally runs as a weekly $1.5 million guaranteed tournament at GGPoker.

The registration pushed the tournament to a $5,110,000 prize pool. The event played down to a final nine, with Uruguay’s Pablo Melongo ending the day with the chip lead.

Melongo’s 64 big blind stack leads a field that also includes Sweden’s Joakim Andersson (41 big blinds), Phillip ‘tazmania888’ Mighall (35 big blinds), Brazil’s ‘RogerScuton’ (28 big blinds), and Finnish pro Samuel Vousden (28 big blinds).

All nine remaining players are guaranteed at least $140,980. The tournament resumes Tuesday, as the final table combatants vie for the first-place prize of $636,072.

Notable players finishing in the money on Day 1 included Dario Sammartino (58th – $22,365), GGPoker Ambassador Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (51st – $22,365), Justin Bonomo (30th – $35,864), Kevin Rabichow (25th – $45,415), and Luke Schwartz (20th – $57,509).

Benjamin Rolle (11th – $116,778) and Marius Gierse (10th – $116,778) finished just outside of the final table bubble.

*Real player names courtesy of PokerNews

Featured image source: Twitter