Las Vegas, May 12, 2014 – The second installment of the The BIG ONE for ONE DROP will return to the famed Amazon Room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, as ESPN committed to producing multi-day coverage from the event comprising three consecutive weeks of prime-time coverage.
Ten new players have committed as well, including the first female, Vanessa Selbst.
"I'm so excited to be taking part in The BIG ONE for ONE DROP this year,” said Selbst. “I didn't get to play in 2012, but after seeing how much fun everyone had with the event as well as how profound an impact it had on ONE DROP, I knew I had to be a part of it this time around."
Perhaps the most unlikely player to register early is former Survivor contestant Jean-Robert Bellande, known to poker fans as ‘BrokeLivingJRB.’ Bellande recently turned heads sending an Instagram photo of a new Bentley, and was reported to post his buy-in deposit with bricks of cash from a gym bag.
As part of the 45th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, The BIG ONE for ONE DROP is a $1,000,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em charity poker tournament limited to 56 players willing to put up the highest entry fee ever offered.
The BIG ONE for ONE DROP will take place over three days, from June 29 to July 1, 2014, with play beginning at 1:00 p.m. on the Sunday starting day.
ESPN cameras will be on hand throughout the three-day event to document the drama over three consecutive weeks on ESPN beginning July 29. ESPN will air two-hour blocks as follows:
· TUESDAY, JULY 29 – 8-10 P.M. ET – Day 1 and Day 2 action
· TUESDAY, AUGUST 5 – 8-10 P.M. ET – Day 2 action, and final table bubble
· TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 – 8-10- P.M. ET – Final table action through to winner
“With the unthinkable stakes of The BIG ONE for ONE DROP and its colorful mix of early committees, we are thrilled ESPN has embraced the opportunity to truly showcase a seminal moment for poker that just may yield the biggest first prize in sports television history,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.
Another way into the field will be via a comprehensive live satellite system. On June 28th at 6pm, the Rio will hold a $25,300 satellite. Players will have no fewer than seven mega-satellite “step” opportunities, ranging from $200 to $3,750 on June 26th and June 27th to generate entry into the culminating $25,300 tournament with potentially the final Big One entry on the line.
Since the WSOP and ONE DROP previously announced commitments from 23 to participate, a flood of new reservations have come in. An additional ten players have confirmed their entry, bringing our current total to 33 entrants. This means less than three tables -- only 23 seats--remain.
Of the ten new participants, nine are first-time entrants in this event. They are:
· Vanessa Selbst – Largely considered the best female player in the game today, Selbst breaks new ground again, becoming the first female to confirm her participation in the event. She’s a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and a Yale University graduate. The Brooklyn-born Selbst ranks second all-time in WSOP earnings by a female.
· Jean-Robert Bellande – He once was featured on the reality TV hit show Survivor: China trying to win a million dollar first place prize. Now he will put up a million dollars to try and win potentially $20 million. We will see if one of the most colorful players in the game has what it takes to outlast, outwit and outplay the competition.
· Anthony Gregg – The Maryland poker pro won last year’s One Drop High Rollers event at the WSOP, turning his $100,000 entry fee into a $4.8 million payday and captured his first WSOP gold bracelet.
· Fabian Quoss – The German poker pro has only two cashes to his name at the WSOP, his biggest a second place finish in 2009 good for $427,912. But Quoss is no stranger to high buy-in events, and he should feel right at home in this high stakes game despite being a first-timer.
· Max Altergott – This young German pro has never cashed in a WSOP event before, or anywhere in North America. Altergott won nearly $2.3 million in a poker tournament in Monte Carlo one year ago and looks to translate his recent success into the biggest game in the world.
· Tobias Reinkemeier – Reinkemeier played in the inaugural Big One event and is the only one of the new confirmed names to have played the event previously. Sitting third on the all-time German player poker money list, Reinkemeier has three previous WSOP cashes to his credit.
· Igor Kurganov – This Russian poker pro sits atop the all-time Russian money list, and has final tabled high roller events in Macau, Melbourne and Monte Carlo. The first-time Big One entrant hopes to make his first WSOP final table. Kurganov cashed for the first time at last year’s WSOP, finishing 11th in the $25,000 buy-in 6-handed No-Limit Hold’em event.
· Christoph Vogelsang – Another German player, Vogelsang has only two previously recorded cashes in major poker tournaments and both have come in the last year. He has never played in a WSOP event before and will make his debut in the largest buy-in event on the schedule.
· Niklas Heinecker – Perhaps it is the Pius Heinz effect. As the winner of the 2011 WSOP Main Event, Heinz from Germany, has really helped push the game of poker to new heights in his home country. Heinecker becomes the sixth German poker pro to enter this event. Heinecker comes in as the winningest player in online poker in 2013, amassing $6,190,599 in earnings – more than twice as much as the next highest finisher. Heinecker has three previous WSOP cashes, including an 80th place showing in the 2007 WSOP Main Event for $106,382.
· Anonymous Asian Businessman – The last of the newcomers, will be a first-time Big One for One Drop participant looking for his first-ever WSOP cash. While he asked that his identity be kept confidential for now, he’s sure to be one of the most intriguing additions to the event this year.
The entire list of names in the field can be found here: http://www.wsop.com/2014/bigone/
The event seats are reserved on a first-come first-serve basis, with those providing a deposit guaranteeing their seat. The winner will also receive a special edition WSOP platinum bracelet by famed jeweler Richard Mille. The event is open to anyone 21 years or older.
With the new 56 player cap, the first place prize has the potential to reach in excess of $20,000,000 if every seat is filled. Any interested player who can verify funds is urged to contact Alex Meunier at One Drop (Alexandre.Meunier@onedrop.org).
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 will be taken out as a charitable donation to ONE DROP. Thus, $888,889 goes directly into the prize pool.
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 at providing sustainable water access and helping communities flourish.