Posted 6/3/11 :
Entrants will have to pony up a cool million dollars to compete in this one!
The World Series of Poker has announced plans to stage a card tournament next year at an unprecedented buy-in of $1 million.
WSOP officials said Thursday that the event would have a no-limit Texas Hold ‘em format and would be branded The Big One for One Drop, a reference to the Series's charity initiative with One Drop, a non-governmental organisation in Montreal that campaigns for access to water in Third World countries.
The tournament will be a three-day event starting July 1 2012, and will award a specially designed platinum bracelet, with results counting toward WSOP records and player statistics.
The $1 million entry fee dwarfs that applicable to all current live poker tournaments; a super-high roller event at the Aussie Millions in January this year cost $250,000 to buy in, and attracted 20 entries.
High profile poker pro Daniel Negreanu, already a four-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, has said he will enter the event, provided he has not gone broke in the interim.
Reporting on the new tournament, Associated Press noted that $200,000 is considered a steep buy-in for a single session at even the biggest cash games in Las Vegas, at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio and Ivey’s Room at the Aria Resort & Casino.
Negreanu is not alone in expressing interest; 15 other players already have confirmed plans to play, including Treasure Island hotel-casino owner Phil Ruffin, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, MGM Resorts International executive Bobby Baldwin and poker professionals Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius.
ESPN plans to televise the tournament.
Guy Laliberte, a respected high stakes player as well as the founder of the Cirque du Soleil, told AP that the entry fee could even things out in the competition, and generate enough action to make its top prize the biggest ever.
“This is definitely an element that will influence, probably, some of the way of playing,” he said. “This is a lot of money for many people, and that’s why I’m saying the game might be balanced between the billionaires and the millionaires.”
About 11 percent of the buy-in will go to the charity, and the series plans to skip its normal fees, roughly 10 percent, to host the tournament.
World Series of Poker owner Caesars Entertainment Corp. plans to enter two players, one through a smaller tournament that awards an entry fee and another through a separate casino promotion. Quebec Casinos also plans to award an entry fee, and some prominent businessmen have plans to play, including Texas banker Andy Beal.
The tournament is expected to take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on July 1, 2012 and will take a maximum of 48 players.