Looking Ahead to the 2018 WSOP Main Event and Big One for One Drop

Looking Ahead to the 2018 WSOP Main Event and Big One for One Drop

The 49th Annual World Series of Poker has almost completed 51 of its 78 event schedule, and has already produced a number of interesting stories, including numerous multiple WSOP bracelet holders picking up further accolades this year in Las Vegas. This includes Michael Mizrachi winning a third WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship title, and John Hennigan capturing a fifth career bracelet.

Before the WSOP draws to a close on July 17, however, poker fans are eagerly anticipating two of the biggest events in the whole of tournament poker, namely the $10,000 Main Event and the $1 million Big One for One Drop.

Event #78: The Big One for One Drop

Event #78: The Big One for One Drop comes with a hefty entrance fee of $1 million, with the three day competition taking place from July 15th to July 17th. The tournament was created by Canadian entrepreneur, Guy Laliberté, with past champions including Antonio Esfandiari ($18,346,673) in 2012, and Daniel Colman ($15,306,668) in 2014, although the one held in 2016 called the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza excluded professional players and was eventually won by Elton Tsang for $12,248,912.

This year, the Big One for One Drop has made a welcome return to the World Series of Poker, and is open to all players, providing, of course, they have the means to stump up its huge entry fee. As usual, the number of entrants has been capped at 48 players, and amongst those already with their names down on the list are such renowned pros as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Dominik Nitsche, Bryn Kenney, Jason Koon, and King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik.

In addition, a proportion of the tournament’s buy-ins goes towards the One Drop Foundation, a charity that focuses on water initiatives in developing countries. Since its inception, the $1 million event and its $111,111 buy-in version have raised millions of dollars for Guy Laliberté’s charity, and as WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel explains in a press release:

“That a charitable poker tournament could have such an impact is simply astonishing. Since 2012, through 15 tournaments and player donations, over 12,000 individuals have contributed to raising over $20 million for the cause of access to safe water. This has had an incredible impact on the lives of over 170,000 people in need. Both from the poker and humanitarian aspects, the whole poker community and us at WSOP are lucky to be a part of this.”

Event #65: $10k Main Event

While the Big One for One Drop lies beyond the pale of most people’s budgets, a slightly more affordable route towards picking up a multi-million dollar poker prize is available via the $10k WSOP Main Event, with the least any champion having won since 2005 still being a whopping $7.5 million. However, in addition to navigating their way past the more than six and a half thousand people who compete each year, the eventual winner will also have to endure marathon 12 hour sessions per day, with the whole contest lasting almost a fortnight from July 2-14.

That helps explain why most of the winners post-2007 have been in their 20’s, with one noticeable exception including Qui Nguyen who took down the Main Event in 2016 aged 39. Last year, British man John Hesp also caused a buzz of excitement after the affable grandad reached the Main Event final table, although the 64 old amateur player eventually crashed out in 4th place for a $2.6 million payday.

Amongst the countless amateurs and pros looking to claim the most prestigious bracelet in the whole of tournament poker, this year 888Poker, the WSOP’s chief partner, will also be sending a team of sponsored pros to the Main Event as part of its 8-Team Competition. Each side will be lead by a captain, with the four person team headed by Dominik Nitsche (Germany), Chris Moorman (UK), Vivian Saliba (Brazil), Parker Talbot (Canada), Martin Jacobson (Sweden), Marti Roca de Torres (Spain), and Arsenii Karmatckii (Russia).