That’s some added value

Daniel Negreanu can exhale. On Monday, the GGPoker GGMasters Overlay Edition concluded and while there was a gigantic overlay, Negreanu will not have to foot any of the bill.

The $150 buy-in tournament drew 64,622 entries, which is fantastic. The problem – and GGPoker fully anticipated this, hence the name of the tournament – was that the poker room guaranteed a $10,000,000 prize pool. Thus, even with so many entries, the generated prize pool was only $8,917,836 ($138 of the buy-in went to the prize pool) and GGPoker was on the hook for $1,082,164.

But again, GGPoker named the tournament the “Overlay Edition” because it knew that it would not come close to attracting enough players to cover the guarantee. It was all part of the plan. It’s a marketing strategy; draw in players with the insane guarantee and hopefully get them to stay to play other tournaments and cash games.

So where does Daniel Negreanu come in? The poker room’s headline ambassador was so excited about the tournament (probably partially because of a contractual obligation) that he was willing to make sure the overlay was massive.

“I’m so confident that this will miss [the guaranteed prize pool],” he wrote, “that if I’m wrong and the prize pool reaches more than $9,000,000, I will personally use my own money to increase the final overlay to $1,000,000. That’s right – DNegs is guaranteeing a $1 million overlay!”

Fortunately for Negreanu, the prize pool did not quite reach $9,000,000, so the overlay ended up above the $1,000,000 mark and the Poker Hall of Famer’s wallet was safe.

Overlay record will be hard to beat

According to Pokerfuse, this was the fourth-largest overlay in poker tournament history and third-largest online. Ranking first was the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, which ran into a rough part of the tournament calendar, competing with European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour stops. Its $5,300 buy-in event had a $10,000,000 and fell short of that by more than $2,500,000.

In 2020, PokerStars’ “The Big Blowout” had an overlay of about $1,230,000 on a $5,000,000 guarantee and in 2018 PokerStars’ Sunday Million undershot its $10,000,000 guarantee by around $1,200,000.

Last year, the GGMasters Overlay Edition only had a $334,772 overlay, but its guarantee was also half that of the 2023 edition. Thus, despite over a million dollars in overlay, it was a successful run this year. It also appears that the 2023 offering ran much smoother than last year’s, as the sheer volume of players trying to participate in 2022 causes all sorts of technical problems.

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