Las Vegas, April 12, 2012 – With 80 days until the BIG ONE for ONE DROP kicks off, ONE DROP Chair and Cirque du Soleil® Founder Guy Laliberté announced today that 30 have now committed to participate in this historic event at the 2012 World Series of Poker.

The largest buy-in poker tournament ever conceived, with a $1,000,000 entry fee, is slated to take place from July 1-3, 2012 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and will be televised on ESPN.

Thus, with 30 committed participants, the prize pool is projected to exceed $26,000,000, with the winner to walk away with an estimated $12,266,668 – the largest amount ever awarded in a poker tournament, breaking Jamie Gold’s $12 million haul at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event.

This is all if no one else is added to the event.  However, organizers do expect the event to reach its 48-player cap, thus increasing the prize pool, the first place prize and the monies raised for ONE DROP.

“It is an exciting moment and it is wonderful to see the poker community’s generosity, where organizations, players and fans are all coming together to support ONE DROP,” said Laliberté.  “Whether entering the BIG ONE for ONE DROP, becoming a poker ambassador, making a donation, or simply changing their water consumption habits, everyone can get involved and everyone should be concerned, because a child dies every 20 seconds from a water related disease and that together we can beat the odds.”

The new players to confirm their participation in the event are:

Bob Bright CEO, Bright Trading
Cary Katz CEO, College Loan Corporation
Arnaud Mimran French businessman
Paul Newey Co-founder, New Wave Ventures, LLP. (UK)
Paul Phua Asian businessman
Erik Seidel U.S. poker professional
Justin Smith U.S. poker professional
Richard Yong Asian businessman

Confirmed players have secured their entry to the BIG ONE for ONE DROP via advance deposits. Some players have requested and the World Series of Poker will respect a players right to remain anonymous prior to the tournament , so publicity doesn’t impact their personal and professional matters.

From each entry fee, $111,111 will be donated to ONE DROP with a goal of raising enough money for a legacy project that will help a country with access to clean water.  With the commitment from 30 players already, more than $3.33 million is slated to go to ONE DROP.

The event will be rake-free allowing $888,889 of each entry fee going directly into the prize pool. 

Here is the complete list of players who have committed to playing in the BIG ONE for ONE DROP:

1. Guy Laliberté
2. Phil Ruffin
3. Andy Beal
4. Montreal private citizen group (Sean O’Donnell)
5. Loto-Québec/Casino Montreal seat (Lottery scratch-off/live satellite)
6. Cary Katz
7. Paul Newey
8. Richard Yong
9. Erik Seidel
10. Anonymous – U.S. Venture Capitalist
11. Anonymous – European Hedge Fund Manager
12. Anonymous – U.S. Hedge Fund Manager
13. Anonymous – French businessman
14. Caesars Entertainment seat
15. Caesars Entertainment via June 30 $25,300 satellite at Rio
16. MGM Mirage Satellite seat
17. Bobby Baldwin
18. Patrik Antonius
19. Gus Hansen
20. Daniel Negreanu
21. Johnny Chan
22. Tom Dwan
23. Tony Guoga
24. Jonathan Duhamel
25. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
26. Daniel Shak
27. Justin Smith
28. Bob Bright
29. Arnaud Mimran
30. Paul Phua


A profile of most of these players are posted on the new All In for ONE DROP website at  The All In for ONE DROP campaign, launched last November, is designed to raise awareness on water-related issues and encourage the poker community to take action and create a powerful ripple effect.

Currently, Caesars  is organizing a comprehensive series of step-satellites to the BIG ONE for ONE DROP with licensed casino partners.  All will lead to a mega satellite with guaranteed entry to the $25,300 Big One Satellite on June 30th at the Rio. 

In May and early June, more than a dozen properties are expected to hold qualifying tournaments with starting buy-ins under $100, culminating in a guaranteed $25,300 entry awarded at each venue to the June 30th satellite in Las Vegas, with airfare and hotel provided by Caesars Interactive Entertainment.  The satellite locations, times and schedule will be updated regularly at

The culminating mega satellite on June 30 will award a minimum of one guaranteed entry to the BIG ONE for ONE DROP regardless of the number of participants and will create one seat for every 40 entries. The satellite will run one day, have a $25,300 entry and allow rebuys.  It will include all of the regional qualifiers and also be open to the public. 

The tournament, to be played as No-Limit Hold’em, is expected to pay out 20% of the field—double the typical World Series of Poker tournament payout structure and a specially-designed WSOP platinum bracelet will be awarded to the victor.

Subject to the rules of the tournament, anyone age 21 or older is eligible as long as they have the $1 million entry fee.

The BIG ONE for ONE DROP is the creation of ONE DROP Chair and Cirque du Soleil® Founder Guy Laliberté in collaboration with fellow Montrealer and Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber.  Making use of WSOP’s poker expertise and global reach, it is an unprecedented effort to raise awareness of water-related issues amongst the poker community and 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 the local water crisis.

ONE DROP—an initiative of Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil—is a non-governmental organization established in Montreal, Canada and active worldwide. ONE DROP’s mission is to fight poverty by supporting access to water and raising each and every one’s awareness of water-related issues through its distinctive approach based on social arts and popular education. In the U.S., ONE DROP is a public charity that undertakes innovative activities in which water plays a central role as a creative force to generate positive, sustainable change worldwide. ONE DROP continues to reach out to the world to realize its dream of safe water for all, today and tomorrow. To learn more about ONE DROP, visit

About the World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2011, the event attracted 75,672 entrants from 105 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $192 million in prize money.  To learn more about the World Series of Poker, visit