One Drop High Rollers Event Returns to WSOP 2013

Posted By: Date: 05/20/2013 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Last year, history was made at the World Series of Poker when renowned poker pro Guy Laliberte made the bold move to initiate a brand new event at the 2012 WSOP. A phenomenal philanthropic success, the Big One for One Drop, which featured a massive $1,000,000 buy-in, was able to raise over $5.3 million for the One Drop Foundation.

When Laliberte helped to organize the inaugural One Drop poker event, he had no idea just how successful it would be. He set a maximum player cap of 48, never anticipating that all of the seats would actually be filled. To his surprise and absolute delight, the seats sold out, bringing in a staggering $48,000,000. From each $1m buy-in, $111,111 went directly to the One Drop Foundation, while the remainder made up the prize pool, spread across the top 20% of the field. That resulted in the largest 1st place prize pool of any poker event in the history of the game, exceeding $18 million.

In continuing with what may become a staple of World Series of Poker tournaments to come, the One Drop event has been brought back for the 2013 WSOP. However, this time around, the structure has been adjusted so that more people can participate. The buy-in was reduced from $1,000,000 to $111,111; the exact amount that was donated per buy-in the previous year. The name was changed from the ‘Big One’ to the ‘One Drop High Rollers’ NL Holdem event. The 48-max player cap was also removed, now accepting an unlimited number of registrants. Billed as Event #47, the One Drop High Rollers is a 3-day tournament that begins on June 26 at 12pm noon.

In addition to the not-quite-so-big-one, the 2013 WSOP will also feature a One Drop tournament that is more affordable to all players. Dubbed the Little One for One Drop, it boasts a $1,111 buy-in, and like it’s scaled up sibling, will be played in traditional NL Holdem format with a portion of the prize pool going to the One Drop Foundation. A 4-Day event, the Little One for One Drop will begin on July 3 at 12pm as Event #58-A. It boasts unlimited re-buys throughout the first four levels, and anyone who busts out of the event will be permitted to buy into the Little One follow-up tables, Event #58-B, on July 4 at noon.

In its introductory year, the original Big One for One Drop saw a field of 48 players, consisting of the most successful professional poker players in the world, affluent businessmen, and skilled players with modest bankrolls being sponsored by big name corporations. The final table featured some very well-known competitors, including 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, Sam Trickett, Bobby Baldwin, Antonio Esfandiari, David Einhorn and Guy Laliberte himself. In the end, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari would emerge victorious, winning the largest 1st place prize in poker tournament history, $18,346,000.

Amazingly, not a single participant who was ousted from the tables before landing in the bubble seemed disappointed, despite the fact that they had $1 million on the line. Everyone seemed to understand that there was a much bigger prize here, in the form of a humanitarian coalition to provide fresh water to every possible person on the planet. The 2012 Big One raised a grand total of $5,333,328, ensuring that 179,800 people in the regions of Burkina Faso, El Salvador and Honduras would have fresh running water for a long, long time to come.

With the buy-in lowered by nearly 90% and the player cap removed, there is no possible way to estimate just how many players will enter this year’s One Drop High Rollers event. Considering the overwhelming generosity displayed at last year’s event, the 2013 WSOP version is sure to be another heart-swelling shocker.

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