Was The 2016 Big One for One Drop A Success?

The 2016 Big One for One Drop is now in the bag, with Elton Tsang having picked up a huge €11,111,111 ($12,248,912) payday for defeating his wealthy opponents at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. As a result, the Canadian businessmen now becomes the 3rd biggest winner in poker tournament history, behind the 2012 BIG ONE champion Antonio Esfandiari ($18,346,673), and the 2014 BIG ONE winner Daniel Colman ($15,306,668).
Nevertheless, a number of changes were made to this year’s tournament, not least by making it an invitational-only event in which just non-professional players were allowed to enter. So, how did the new format stack up against previous iterations of the competition?
In terms of numbers, attendance has been declining with every biennial event, from a 48 player field in 2012, to 42 players in 2014, to now just 26 players (plus 2 re-buys) in 2016. This decline can mostly be explained by barring professional players from the tournament, as there was around 28 pros in 2012, about 30 pros in 2014, and of course none in 2016.
Having said that, judging “non-professional” player as those players who no longer rely on poker as their main source of income does appear to have blurred the line somewhat, as a number of experienced and skilled players took part in the field. This includes 2010 WSOPE main event winner James Bord, EPT winner Mark Teltscher, as well as other accomplished players such as Andrew Pantling, Dan Shak, Talel Shakerchi, Tony Bloom, Cary Katz, Rick Salomon, Haralabos Voulgaris.
In fact, four of the players just mentioned subsequently cashed in at one the top six money spots of the tournament. Of course, this left some of the other pros who would have liked to have entered the €1 Million buy-in tournament feeling rather upset, including Jason Mercier, who tweeted:
“So the 1 mill one drop was a failure? Weird… Really thought excluding all the best players in the world was gonna make it a success #NOT”
Nevertheless, a lot of money was raised for charity and there seems to have been a lot more of a fun and relaxed atmosphere at this year’s version of the Big One for One Drop. Summing up his opinion on the matter, Voulgaris had these choice words to say:
“First of all, it’s Guy’s tournament and he can invite or decline anyone he wants to. It’s his charity, it’s his tournament and he can do whatever he wants… A lot of people whine too much. I mean, get over it; you weren’t invited to a tournament – it’s not a big deal. These guys that you call regs will still play the EPT High Rollers and stuff.”
Final Table Results:
1: Elton Tsang €11,111,111
2: Anatoly Gurtovoy €5,427,781
3: Rick Salomon €3,000,000
4: James Bord €2,100,000
5: Cary Katz €1,750,000
6: Andrew Pantling €1,500,000

Other news:   Raphael Francisquetti Triumphs at 2017 WPT Brasil

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