Poker Pros Line Up For $1 Million WSOP TournamentDecember 8, 2011 2:09 pm
This week, it has been confirmed that the $1 million buy-in tournament originally scheduled as a charity fundraiser at next year’s WSOP will now be an official bracelet event.
Taking place between July 1-3, 2012, at the Rio in Las Vegas, the ultra high-stakes tournament is the creation of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. Importantly, $111,111 from each entry fee will be earmarked for Laliberté’s charity One Drop, whose mission is:
“To fight poverty by providing access to water and raising awareness among individuals and communities about the need for mobilization in order to make safe water accessible to all, in sufficient quantity, today and tomorrow.”
The tournament itself will be capped at 48 players which, if reached, would see the huge prize pool then being shared out amongst the top nine or ten players. It is also expected that the first place prize will be biggest ever awarded, even eclipsing that of the $12 million won by the 2006 WSOP Main Event winner Jamie Gold.
In accordance with the WSOP standard of three times the buy-in, each player will begin with a three million stack with each level lasting 60 minutes.
So far several extremely wealthy businessmen have already committed to playing in the ‘Big One,’ including Andy Beal, Phil Ruffin, Sean O’Donnell and, of course, Guy Laliberté.
Amongst the poker pros who have reserved a place at the WSOP event, are Bobby Baldwin, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Antanas “Tony G” Guoga, Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Dan Shak and Daniel Negreanu.
Commenting on the $1 million WSOP Event, Negreanu said:
“A million dollar buy-in seems crazy, and well, it is, but when you factor in a great cause like ONE DROP getting a percentage of the prize pool, all of a sudden it seems like a fantastic idea, and a great way to raise money for charity. Count me in.”