After a four-year absence, the poker tournament with the biggest buy-in returns: the Big One For One Drop. To make it possible, the World Poker Tour and the One Drop Foundation came together and the famous tournament will be played during the 2023 WPT World Championship in December in Las Vegas.
“We are beyond excited to be announcing the resurgence of our most iconic charity event,” said Alexandre Meunier, One Drop Foundation’s Chief Marketing and Events Officer. He added, “It is an incredible feeling to be able to have the support of WPT and the Wynn to run our fifth edition of the Big One. There is always a palpable buzz in the air during the lead-up to the one-million-dollar affair. The magnitude of the buy-in, of the prize pool, and also of the funds that are directed to the crucial cause of access to safe water makes the Big One the event of all superlatives.”
As part of the new partnership, there will be three charity events taking place over the coming months that will raise funds for the One Drop Foundation:
WPT Alpha 8 For One Drop
|WPT Big One For One Drop||Wynn||December||$1,000,000|
The WPT World Championship at the Wynn Casino will be a spectacular setting for the return of the Big One For One Drop, which will distribute millions of dollars in prizes and raise money so that areas most in need can have sustainable access to water.
“The Big One for One Drop is such an iconic tournament in the world of poker. We are honored to put on this incredible event in conjunction with the One Drop Foundation and Wynn Las Vegas,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “The $1 million buy-in is a testament to the heights this industry can reach and the continuous evolution of the World Poker Tour.”
The Story of the Big One For One Drop
The million-dollar event made its debut in 2012 during the WSOP. That year 48 people took part, creating a prize pool of $42.6M. The nine finalists were awarded and among them were Mike Sexton (ninth), Brian Rast (sixth), Phil Hellmuth (fourth) and Sam Trickett (second).
The champion was Antonio Esfandiari, achieving the highest prize for a poker player up to that moment: $18.3M. Antonio celebrated by standing on top of the table and them jumping off directly on to his rail cheering him on. After that, he hugged his father with tears in his eyes and gave him the newly-won bracelet.
In 2014 the tournament returned. This time there were 42 players, with a prize pool of $37.3M. Daniel Colman defeated Canadian Daniel Negreanu in the heads-up final to become champion, earning $15.3M. The Canadian had to settle for an $8.2M for second place prize.
During that tournament an incredible bad beat happened where two pairs of aces met pre-flop and Cary Katz hit a flush eliminating Connor Drinan from the tournament. You can see the hand here:
In 2016 the Big One for One Drop left the United States and was instead played in Monte Carlo, with 28 people paying the €1M buy-in and playing for a €24.8M prize pool. Elton Tsang from Hong Kong was the winner and accepted a huge prize of €11.1M ($12.2M).
The last edition of the Big One for One Drop was held in 2018 during the WSOP in Las Vegas. It garnered 27 players, distributing $24.8M in prizes. Justin Bonomo was having the best year of his career and confirmed it by winning this tournament, earning $10M. Fedor Holz placed second and Dan Smith finished on the podium in third.
In December we will learn whether the new venue of the Wynn and the framework of the World Poker Tour World Championship will result in the largest field yet of Big One For One Drop players. Will we have a new record prize in poker history? We can’t wait to find out.