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

Poker News
Matt Waxman Claims 2018 WPT Tournament of Champions Title
28 May 2018
The WPT Tournament of Champions (TOC) is an invitational only tournament consisting of past WPT champions, who can enter the competition for $15k if they wish, or this season’s winners, who automatically receive a free seat, airfare and hotel accommodations through to the end of season finale. The World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions subsequently
MSPT Hosts Largest Poker Tournament in Michigan History
26 May 2018
Mark Brazis has won the biggest poker tournament in Michigan state history after besting a field of 1,287 runners over four days at the $1,100 MSPT Battle Creek for $221,323. The Indiana resident had just $31,264 in winnings from three cashes going into the MSPT Main Event, and after claiming his famous victory, the 36-year-old
Valentin Vornicu Wins Record 12th WSOP Circuit Title
16 May 2018
Valentin Vornicu, has extended his lead over Maurice Hawkins as the World Series of Poker Circuit’s top title holder after winning a 12th ring at the WSOPC Harrah’s New Orleans $365 No Limit Hold’em event. Furthermore, Vornicu’s latest victory worth $24,084 comes just one day after he won a record 11th ring at the $365
Phil Ivey Takes Down Short Deck Event in Montenegro for $605k
14 May 2018
Phil Ivey may not be a regular on the tournament scene anymore, preferring instead to devote his time to playing high stakes cash games in Asia, but when the former world number one does get round to entering a live tourney he continues to represent a huge threat in the eyes of his opponents. Of