Server issues cloud GGPoker’s GGMaster Overlay Edition

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The GGMasters Overlay edition of GGPoker kicked off on Sunday and things didn’t go particularly well. Technical problems halted the proceedings, preventing some players from taking their seats or dropping off.

The online poker room let players know it was aware of the situation about 20 minutes after the first flight departed, saying the massive influx of players was creating server issues. Although Day 1 ended as expected, the problems never really went away.

Players who entered satellites, in particular, expressed dissatisfaction with the way things were going. Some had already signed up for the GGMasters Overlay edition or related satellites, but found they couldn’t actually join the tournament.

Glenn Keogh, an Irish poker pro, said he was in a satellite that had $150,000 guaranteed Overlay Edition tickets and only $125,000 buy-ins. They were minutes away from the late closing of entries and the money with about 70% of the field eliminated, when the tournament ended.

Others have had similar issues or even had their satellites canceled before they even started. GGPoker has apologized and is refunding players per site policy, but it’s still frustrating, especially for those who have been in tournaments before and approaching the bubble.

The GGMasters Overlay Edition is GGPoker’s flagship event of the tournament series. It’s a $150 buy-in tournament and, surprise, it’s a freezeout! And that’s key, because GGPoker has guaranteed a $5 million prize pool. After subtracting the rake, GGPoker needed over 36,000 participants to meet the guarantee, a number it knew was difficult to achieve, hence the name “Overlay Edition”.

And there is overlap. The tournament still attracted 33,806 players, so it came close, but not close enough to avoid a $334,772 overlay.

But what’s wrong with layering, anyway? Obviously, the poker room loses money on the tournament or has to take a share of its profits by contributing its own money to the prize pool. For players, however, the appeal is that there is more money in the prize pool than players need to generate, giving everyone more value for their buy-in. Theoretically, it’s easier to win money (and more) because there are fewer players in the tournament than there normally would be for that prize pool.

There are degrees of overlap, of course. If GGPoker got to three players short of the guarantee, the overlay would be largely meaningless. In this case, however, over $300,000 overlay is pretty good. A total of 4,800 players will win money.

Day 2 went as planned today. There are currently less than 2,000 players left at the time of this writing and the current payout to the next eliminated player is $527. The top prize is $343,564.

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