ONE DROP: The $1,000,000 Poker Tournament For Charity
July 1, 2012 Leave a Comment
Today marks the beginning of the single biggest tournament in poker history, and it is going to benefit a great cause. 48 players will pony up $1,000,000 to buy into The Big One For One Drop, and 11.111% of all of the buy-ins go to charity.
One Drop is a charity created by Cirque de Soleil founder, Guy Laliberte. The focus of the charity is to “develop integrated, innovative products with an international scope, in which water plays a central role as a creative force in generating positive, sustainable effects for local and foreign populations and in the fight against poverty.” One Drop is involved in raising awareness among individuals and communities on water-related issues to convince them to mobilize for universal access to water.
The million dollar buy-in tournament will feature 29 professionals, and 19 big-time businessmen fighting for the first place prize of $18,346,673. This tournament’s prize pool is so big, the winner will automatically be poker’s all-time leading money winner. While there is a massive fortune to be gained by winning this tournament, players have stressed that this event isn’t really about them or the World Series of Poker, it is about the water.
“Our mission is two things,” Guy Laliberte explains. “We want to do field projects because there are people all over the world who need our help. The other part of our mission is education, awareness, which is equally important. We’re living in an area of privilege where people feel like water as a resource is infinite, which isn’t the case. There are people who don’t have that access to water, whose neighbors are dying every day. Really, the One Drop campaign is calling for unity and international collaboration on a solution to water access issues in the world.”
Before The Big One for One Drop, the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship was the biggest buy-in at the WSOP. In total, 9 players will be paid with 9th place getting $1,040,000, creating a million dollar bubble for whoever finishes in 10th and getsnothing. The tournament will span over the next three days before eventually playing down to a winner.
Here is the official list of players signed up for the event:
The pros: Roland De Wolfe, Tom Dwan, Jonathan Duhamel, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Galfond, Bertrand Grospellier, Philipp Gruissem, Giovanni Guarascio, Phil Ivey, Eugene Katchalov, Jens Kyllönen, Ben Lamb, Tom Marchese, Jason Mercier, Michael Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Vivek Rajkumar, Tobias Reinkemeier, Haralabos Voulgaris, Nick Schulman, Noah Schwartz, Erik Seidel, Mike Sexton, Justin Smith, Sam Trickett, Andrew Robl, Phil Hellmuth and Gus Hansen.
The businessmen: Paul Phua, Richard Yong, Ilya Bulychev, Mikhail Smirnov, Bob Bright, Cary Katz, Frederic Banjout, John Morgan, Paul Newey, Bobby Baldwin, Talal Shakerchi, Rick Salomon, Guy Laliberte, Dan Shak, David Einhorn, Bill Perkins, Phil Ruffin and Brandon Steven. (Steven and Shak are regularly found on the poker circuit.)
If I had to pick a winner for this event, my first choice would always be Phil Ivey but there are a lot of other big name pros in this event so it wont be an easy road to the final table. The “Grinder” Michael Mizrachi has a lot of momentum in the 2012 WSOP already, winning the $50,000 Players Championship for a second time, the first in 2010. He has proven he can navigate through big tournaments time and time again, but he will have his work cut out for him in this star studded field.
The event and the cause for One Drop are gaining national exposure, and will be streamed live online at WSOP.com for Days 1 and 2. The final table on Day 3 will be broadcast live on Tuesday, starting at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2, then moving at 8pm to ESPN.