The 49th annual World Series of Poker will host the $1,000,000 USD buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament starting Sunday, July 15th at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
This summer’s charity event is capped at 48 players. The tournament has historically attracted supporters of former fire-eating street performer and Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté. The Canadian billionaire formed the One Drop Foundation in 2007, and the non-profit organization has several ongoing projects that focus on safe water initiatives.
The entry fee breakdown will include a $920,000 prize pool buy-in plus an $80,000 donation that is provided by each player as proceeds towards One Drop initiatives.
WSOP parent company Caesars Entertainment will also be providing all 2018 Big One for One Drop entrants with membership into the top-tier of its Total Rewards® player benefits program, called “Seven Stars.”
2018 will mark the third time the “Big One for One Drop” has been held in Las Vegas (a similar €1 million buy-in event was held in Monte Carlo back in 2016, but that tournament was private and prohibited many professional players from participating).
Following is a look at the Big One for One Drop tournament’s history.
Big One For One Drop 2012
The partnership between Guy Laliberté and WSOP parent company Caesar’s Entertainment began in 2011, with the inaugural Big One for One Drop event making its debut in July 2012.
Antonio Esfandiari (known to poker fans by his nickname “The Magician”) took down the tournament for a record cash prize of $18,346,673 after defeating current partypoker sponsored player Sam Trickett, who placed second for $10,112,001.
At the time, Esfandiari’s victory propelled him to #1 on the all-time live poker tournament cash prize list, a spot currently held by PokerStars sponsored pro Daniel Negreanu.
Big One For One Drop 2014
In late June of 2014, the Big One for One Drop returned to Las Vegas amid controversy, the event’s organizer Guy Laliberté claimed to have been victimized by collusion practices on Full Tilt Poker less than a month before the World Series of Poker was scheduled to begin.
A separate controversy arose once Daniel Colman bested Negreanu to take down the $15,306,668 first place prize, then promptly exited the tournament area — foregoing post-victory media interviews. Colman would later reveal to Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram that he simply experienced an adrenaline dump immediately upon realizing he had just witnessed what could very well be the biggest poker moment of his career.
Big One For One Drop 2018
Nearly four years have passed since then, and the 2018 Big One for One Drop promised to be one of the biggest prize pool poker tournaments in 2018.
And, in fact, it was. Justin Bonomo took down top honors, winning a whopping $10 million.
Players and fans of the World Series of Poker can check out this year’s full schedule at the WSOP’s official website.