04/12/2012 : THIRTY PLAYERS NOW COMMITTED TO MILLION DOLLAR POKER CHALLENGE (Update)
World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop will have a main prize of $12.3 million
Guy Laliberte's One Drop charity, which provides water resources to third world impoverished communities, should do rather well out of the World Series of Poker's million dollar buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament on July 1st in Las Vegas; WSOP officials announced Thursday that 30 players had committed themselves to the tournament and the massive, world record buy-in.
The prizepool generated will deliver a first prize of $12.3 million as things stand now, and there is the possibility that other professional players and wealthy business people with a penchant for high stakes poker will join the party.
The main prize will eclipse even the record $12 million won by Jamie Gold in the WSOP main event back in 2006, when he bested over 8,700 players in the $10,000 buy-in spectacular.
The Big One for One Drop final table will air live on ESPN, series spokesman Seth Palansky told the Associated Press news agency Thursday. The winner will also earn a specially designed platinum bracelet.
Eight-time gold bracelet winner Erik Seidel has joined the field, along with the chief executives of a private college lender and a stock trading firm, the news agency reports. The rest of the field is a mix of around 10 high stakes professionals; many of them globally respected names, and wealthy business people.
Among the commitments so far received are Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan and Daniel Negreanu, who will be up against billionaires like casino owner Phil Ruffin, and tournament organiser and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte.
The entry field is capped at 48 players, and if the field reaches that size the main prize will be worth $18.3 million.
The 30 confirmed players have already put up their buy-ins, and series officials expect to reach a cap of 48 entries. With that many players, the top prize would be $18.3 million.
The $1 million buy-in includes a roughly 11 percent cut for the One Drop charity but doesn't include the normal fees charged by the series for holding the tournament.