Photo Caption:  Sunday was truly spectacular.  Taking center stage at the 2012 World Series of Poker was Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of famed Cirque du Soleil.  The Montreal maven was the inspiration behind the “Big One for One Drop,” which joined forces with Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE).  Together, they came up with the crazy idea of hosting a $1 million buy-in poker tournament, which finally began after 12 long months of speculation that it could and would never happen.  Well, “One Drop” not only happened.  It made a splash the size of a tidal wave.  The spectacle sold out at 48 entrants – which were introduced on the ESPN stage to a parade of television cameras, a packed gallery, and the eyes of the poker world watching.  Everyone knew they were witnessing history.
To see more photos from the 2012 WSOP, please visit the official WSOP PHOTO BLOG.


World’s Richest Poker Event in History Begins with a Bang
“Big One for One Drop” Makes a Huge Splash
Day One of One Drop Ends With 37 of 48 Starters Remaining – 11 (Million) Gone, Including Eight Pros
Peter “the Greek” Vilandos Wins Third WSOP Gold Bracelet: Also Collects Biggest Cash Prize of Twenty-Year Career -- $952,694 (Event #50)
Yen Dang Wins 2012 Ladies World Poker Championship (Event #51)
All By Her Selbst – Vanessa Wins Second Gold Bracelet in Six-Handed Ten-Game Mix (Event #52)
First Time in History – Two Female Gold Bracelet Winners in One Day
Konstantin Puchkov Leads All Players with Ten Cashes – One Away from Breaking Evdakov’s Record


The hand that took place on Day One of the “Big One for One Drop” is going to be talked about for a very long time.  The hand included an unprecedented fold by Mikhail Smirnov, who had quad-eights.  Ask yourself, in the given situation, could you lay it down?


Well, maybe.
On Sunday, the poker world woke up to what was arguably the most exciting day in its storied history.  No less than three gold bracelet final tables were completed – including the 2012 Ladies World Poker Championship.  Meanwhile, more than 3,166 players began Saturday’s $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, which continued with Day Two.  Then, another 3,221 participants jammed the Rio for Sunday’s event.  If that’s not enough, the long-awaited $1 Million buy-in “Big One for One Drop” finally arrived.  Cards flew in the air at precisely 1:11 pm.  
Then, there were the champions – Yen Dang winning her first.  Vanessa Selbst winning her second.  And, Peter Vilandos winning his third
So, that’s three gold bracelets won, the Ladies World Championship decided, two monster-sized tournaments played, and then the richest poker tournament in the history of the world which began with a bang.

Just another typical day at the WSOP.


Poker Phenom Vanessa Selbst is now at two gold bracelet victories -- and climbing.  She won the $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed Ten-Game Mix tournament, which was completed at the tail end of a historic day.
The Yale University graduate and poker superstar from New York City defeated a tough tournament lineup of 421 players playing a mixed rotation of ten poker games.  Selbst pocketed a $244,259 in prize money.  The online star and poker icon was also presented with her second WSOP gold bracelet.
Selbst's first WSOP victory took place in 2008, in a Pot-Limit Omaha event.  Entering this year's WSOP, she had been the last female to win an open event.  In fact, a record 251 tournaments passed between Selbst's victory four years ago and (female) Allyn Jaffrey-Shulman winning the record-breaking Seniors World Championship two weeks ago.  However, Selbst has essentially won back to back titles with regards to women in open events.

Yen Dang, a 29-year-old Vietnamese-born professional poker player from Denver, Colorado won the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, otherwise known as the 2012 “Ladies Poker World Championship."
Dang defeated a diverse lineup of 936 players, many of whom came to Las Vegas specifically to participate in this event.  The ladies-only tournament began in 1978 and is designed to celebrate and encourage women in the game of poker.  Dang pocketed the handsome sum of $170,587 in prize money.  She was also presented with her first WSOP gold bracelet.

"Happy cards go to happy people.  And, I'm happy."
-- Peter Vilandos (explaining how he won his third WSOP victory)

On any other day, Panayote "Peter" Vilandos would have had the spotlight to himself.  Nearly a million dollars in prize money.  A third gold bracelet victory.  Instead, he gets shoved to the middle of the pack of poker’s most newsworthy day.
The 72-year-old Greek-born retiree, now living in Houston, won the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which was completed on what turned out to be an unscheduled fourth day of play.  Indeed, the field was so big and so tough that three players returned from an impromptu finale, which lasted an additional four hours past the third day.
Vilandos defeated a brutally tough tournament lineup of 1,001 players, including many of the world's best No-Limit Hold'em players.  He was well-compensated for his achievement.  Vilandos pocketed the whopping sum of $952,694 in prize money.  Vilandos was also presented with his third career WSOP gold bracelet.
What is it about Russians?  They have dominated the chess scene for centuries.  Are they about to do the same to poker?

Konstantin Puchkov certainly hopes so.  He just cashed for the tenth time at this year’s WSOP – which ties the record set in 2008 by the late Nikolay Evdakov.  Puchkov cashed 14th in Event #50, which places him in the record books.
The Moscow-based poker player has a good shot to break the all-time record for most cashes at one series.  There are about ten gold bracelet events still remaining on this year’s schedule.

Question of the Day:  Aside from the United States, which nation has produced the most WSOP gold bracelet winners?  
Answer coming in tomorrow’s WSOP Daily Shuffle.

Yesterday’s Question of the Day:  Who are the only two players who have won WSOP gold bracelets during each of the last three years (2010, 2011, and 2012)?
Answer:  Only two players have won gold bracelet the last three years (through conclusion of Event #52).  They are Matt Matros and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.



9:00 AM
Today’s first tournament is a $75 buy-in TURBO MEGA-SATELLITE.

12:00 NOON
EVENT #56, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament, begins with the play of Day One.  Registration will be available up through the completion of four levels, plus two breaks, which is estimated to be about 4:40 pm.  Action takes place inside Brasilia.  This is a three-day event.  Last year’s similar tournament drew 2,713 entrants.

EVENT #56 UPDATES can be followed at  Coverage includes chip counts as well as written updates supplied from the tournament floor by our friends at

The official Structure Sheet for EVENT #56 can be viewed HERE.

EVENT #55, the $1,000,000 buy-in “BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP” (NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM) tournament, continues with the play of Day Two.  Action takes place inside Amazon.  This is a three-day event.  There are 37 players remaining from a starting field of 48.  Brian Rast is the current chip leader.  A list of surviving players and chips counts can be seen here.  This marks the first time this event has ever been played.

The event will be livestreamed on on a five-minute delay with commentary from David Tuchman and a rotating panel of poker pros.
1:00 PM
EVENT #53, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with Day Three – including the final table.  There are 28 players remaining from the starting field of 3,166.  Hugh Henderson, from Belton, SC is the current chip leader.  Chip counts from the end of the second day of play can be found here.

EVENT #54, the $1,000 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with Day Two.  There are 265 players remaining from the starting field of 3,221, and the players are well into the money.  Jonas Mackoff and Clayton Fletcher are currently tied for the chip lead with 148,500.  Chip counts from the end of the first day of play can be found here.

2:00 PM

The first DAILY DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins. The entry fee is $235. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 4:20 pm.

2:20 PM
Two players will be honored at the official gold bracelet ceremony today.  Peter Vilandos, winner of Event #50, will be the first honoree.  He will have the Greek anthem played.  Next, Yen Dang, winner of Event #51 will take the stage.  The anthem of the United States will be played in commemoration of her victory.

4:00 PM
The first MEGA-SATELLITE begins. The entry fee is $330

5:00 PM
There is no 5 pm tournament today.

6:00 PM
The second DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins. The entry fee is $185.  Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 8:20 pm.

8:00 PM
The second MEGA-SATELLITE of the day begins. The game is SIX-HANDED No-Limit Hold’em (Note: This event regularly features different games – so be sure and check the schedule in advance). The entry fee is $550.

10:00 PM
The third and final DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins at 10 pm. The entry fee is $135. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 12:20 am.

3:00 AM
All WSOP gold bracelet tournaments end for the night.

* Please note that all listed times are estimates and subject to change

-- by Nolan Dalla