SEATS FILLING UP FOR $1 MILLION BUY-IN CHARITY POKER EVENT
|MARCH 19, 2014 - 9:35:15 AM PST
Las Vegas, March 19, 2014 – Despite the event being more than three months away, seats are fast filling for the second running of The BIG ONE for ONE DROP, the $1 million buy-in No-Limit Hold’em charity poker tournament being held as part of the 45th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, with 23 entries already confirmed to participate.
To date, organizers reached out to original participants to gauge interest, and the positive memories of 2012 sparked a snowball effect as nearly half the original contingent quickly confirmed their participation for the 2014 iteration of the event. Outreach will now begin to new players, many of whom have already begun expressing their interest.
The inaugural event sold out in 2012 as 48 businessmen, philanthropists and card sharps competed in the ground-breaking event that awarded winner Antonio Esfandiari a record first place prize of $18,346,673 and a platinum WSOP bracelet – while more than $5.3 million was raised for the ONE DROP charitable organization. (www.ONEDROP.org).
This year’s event will take place over three days, from June 29 to July 1, 2014.
After the inaugural event sold out, organizers have added one additional table to the 2014 event, allowing for up to 56 entrants to take to the felt. (All tables are played eight-handed).
With the new 56 player cap, the first place prize has the potential to reach $20,000,000 if every seat is filled. Additionally, the odds of cashing are better than a typical poker tournament, with an expected 16-20% of entrants receiving a portion of the prize pool, depending on the final number of entries.
The event will be reserved on a first-come first-serve basis, with those providing a deposit guaranteeing their seat. The winner will also receive a special edition platinum WSOP bracelet by famed jeweler Richard Mille. The event is open to anyone 21 years or older.
“I was thrilled when I got the call from the WSOP saying that with the commitments of the 2012 players alone, enough seats had been filled that the BIG ONE is a platinum bracelet event once again,” said Mille. “We are hard at work creating a unique new bracelet. It’s a wonderful event with the added benefit of giving back, something we strongly believe in.”
“I can’t wait to defend my title,” said defending champion, Esfandiari. “The event was life-changing, but so was my trip to El Salvador after it with the ONE DROP organization to see first hand what a difference the money raised from this event can do for those in dire need of help.”
The buy-in for The BIG ONE for ONE DROP at $1 million, remains the largest ever for a poker event. There will be no rake or house fees to operate the event, and $111,111 of each buy-in is taken out as a charitable donation to ONE DROP. Thus, $888,889 goes directly into the prize pool.
“The inaugural event made history and I look forward to another historic moment again this June,” said event co-founder, ONE DROP Founder, and inaugural participant, Guy Laliberté. “The support from the poker community continues to be just incredible.”
“Amazingly I lost a million dollars in this event in 2012 but still had a great time,” said investor Bill Perkins. “Little do the others know, but that was all part of a plan to set them up for this year. I’m calling my shot now. I will win the 2014 BIG ONE for ONE DROP.”
A list of additional players will be announced as the event nears. Those interested in signing up are encouraged to contact Alexandre Meunier at ONE DROP (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ty Stewart at the WSOP (email@example.com). The 56-seat cap will be enforced, and those first to register will be guaranteed seats. The list of confirmed players includes eight businessmen, 12 professionals, and three satellite seats.
The list of committed players thus far are:
1. Antonio Esfandiari
2. Guy Laliberté
3. Bobby Baldwin
4. David Einhorn
5. Phil Galfond
6. Philipp Gruissem
7. Phil Ivey
8. Jason Mercier
9. Paul Newey
10. Bill Perkins
11. Vivek Rajkumar
12. Brian Rast
13. Andrew Robl
14. Erik Seidel
15. Brandon Steven
16. Sam Trickett
17. Noah Schwartz
18. Anonymous Businessman
19. Anonymous Businessman
20. Anonymous Businessman
21. Aria Resort Satellite Seat
22. Bellagio Resort Satellite Seat
23. World Series of Poker Satellite Seat
Italics = Individual who participated in inaugural event in 2012
The tournament brings together individuals in an unusual way for the cause of water for all. The BIG ONE for ONE DROP is an unprecedented effort to raise awareness of water-related issues amongst the poker community and beyond to raise funds to allow ONE DROP to continue to deliver on its important mandate. Funds will be directed to ONE DROP projects around the world, where the team is hard at work dealing with water access.
Poker players, with a long, consistent and successful track record of supporting charitable causes via poker tournaments, will still have an opportunity to join the cause, as all 2014 WSOP tournaments will include the chance to compete for huge prize pools with money earners in the events being encouraged to donate 1% or more of their winnings to ONE DROP.
Since 2007, ONE DROP projects have changed the lives of more than 300,000 people in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, India and Burkina Faso. In the next five years, with great fundraising activities, ONE DROP hopes to significantly increase its reach.
About the author
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Palansky, who had been with the WSOP's parent company, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (CIE) since its inception in May, 2009, took over the reins of the website from previous editorial provider, Bluff Magazine, who managed the site from 2006-2009.