Sunday July 1, 2012 : THE BIGGEST POKER BUY-IN IN HISTORY (Update)
Wheelers, dealers, poker pros and businessmen eye the million dollar buy-in Big One for One Drop
Excitement is mounting in Las Vegas as July 1st approaches, and the start of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament, which will deliver phenomenal rewards, some of them to charity for the relief of water shortages in third world countries.
Some professional players and businessmen have the substantial wherewithal to pay cash for their participation, and it is understood that over 30 of these have already anted up. With a participation cap of 48 players, others are currently wheeling and dealing to obtain "investment" in their talents in return for a slice of their potential success.
For the winner of the three-day NLHE event, the first prize will be the biggest in history, eclipsing even Jamie Gold's $12 million in the main event of the World Series of Poker back in 2006. And there will be the bracelet associated with pokers biggest yet tournament.
Charity will also score bigtime, getting just over 11 percent of the total buy-in.
"I think the drama here is the size of the stakes and the eclectic mix of characters sitting at the table," Mitch Garber, chief executive of tournament host Caesars Interactive Entertainment, said Friday. "You have everything – billionaires, a Facebook millionaire, venture capitalists and business people."
Associated Press reported Friday that only two spots are still available before the event reaches its cap of 48 players. With several top players tweeting that they intend to enter, the cap will almost certainly be reached, creating a final table where nine players will share around $42 million.
The action will be streamed over the internet on Sunday going on Monday, with final table play shown with a fifteen minute delay Tuesday on ESPN2.
Confirmed big name competitors include North American poker pros Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Duhamel and Michael Mizrachi, and Danish player Gus Hansen.
International entrants include Eden Shoes founder Frederic Banjout from France; hedge fund manager Talal Shakerchi of England and Cirque de Soleil and OneDrop.org Canada founder Guy Laliberte of Montreal.
Phil Ruffin, the owner of the Treasure Island Resort in Las Vegas, and MGM Resorts International executive Bobby Baldwin are buy-ins, along with Winmark Corp. CEO John Morgan of Minneapolis, Kansas car dealership owner Brandon Steven, Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn of New York and Chamath Palihapitiya, a California venture capitalist, former Facebook executive and part owner of the NBA Golden State Warriors.
Einhorn has already pledged any winnings he may make to charity, a generous course he has previously followed in other such tournaments.
Four winners of low cost sponsored satellite tournaments also get seats.