With less than eight weeks until the opening event of the 2012 World Series of Poker on May 27, more details have been announced for the tournament that promises to steal at least some of the spotlight from the Main Event this year.
The Big One for One Drop is a USD $1 million buy-in tournament being planned as part of the 43rd WSOP at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The three-day tournament, which will appear on the official WSOP schedule as the No Limit Hold’em High-Roller Championship, will start at noon (local time) on July 1.
A total of 11.1 per cent of the buy-in will be withheld for donation to the One Drop Charitable Foundation, an initiative of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté to fight poverty by supporting access to water and raising each and every one’s awareness of water-related issues with the aim to one day provide safe drinking water for all.
That will leave $888,889 of each entry fee going into the prize pool, as the event will be rake-free. With 22 committed participants, the prize pool has already surpassed a staggering USD $20,000,000.
The field will be capped at 48 players, while the tournament structure provides 3,000,000 in starting chips with 500 big blinds in Level 1 (3000/6000 with a 1000 ante). The tournament is scheduled for three days, with players participating in 10 one-hour levels each day.
The winner will receive a genuine WSOP Platinum Bracelet and it is expected that the event will be included as part of the ESPN schedule for broadcast. The tournament is also expected to pay out a record 20 per cent of the field.
Of the 22 players already confirmed, 15 have agreed to have their names published – Guy Laliberté, casino execs Bobby Baldwin and Phil Ruffin, famed high stakes player Andy Beal along with poker pros Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Tony G, Jonathan Duhamel, Dan Shak and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.
A group of Laliberte’s friends in Montreal put together a series of satellites after which Sean O’Donnell earned his seats. At least three other players are expected to win their way into the event via satellite series.