The first ever $1 Million Big One for One Drop Poker Tournament, widely acclaimed as the poker tournament with the biggest buy-in in poker history, was played in Las Vegas as part of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2012.
The inaugural event successfully raised $10 million, which will be transferred to the One Drop Foundation, a charity that focuses on the provision of safe drinking water. The last man standing was Antonio Esfandiari, who plays under the moniker The Magician. He won a breathtakingly large prize of $18.346 million, the largest prize ever given to the last man standing in the history of the game.
Cirque du Soleil founder and One Drop Chairman Guy Laliberte announced during the live broadcast of the Main Event of WSOP 2012 that the $1 Million Big One for One Drop will be next played as part of WSOP 2014. The WSOP will also host another bracelet event called the Little One for One Drop, which will have a buy-in of $1,111 and will feature limitless entries during its first two days. The Little One for One Drop will be played as part of WSOP 2013.
Mitch Garber, CEO for Caesars Interactive, said,
It was an honor to be a part of such a special event that raised a total of $10 million for charity, including $5.3 million for One Drop and shone a positive light on the poker community. By working with the showman, Guy Laliberté, we have learned there was only one choice. We look forward to collaborating with Guy and One Drop to continue to find fun and exciting ways to make a positive and lasting contribution through the vehicle that is the great game of poker.
It’s amazing what you can achieve when you dream. We took the concept of a $1 million poker tournament and turned it into the most successful poker initiative ever held. As a result, over 100,000 people will be positively impacted. Projects in Honduras, El Salvador, and West Africa have already put to use the money we raised in the initial event.
He also said that, with poker events such as the Big One and the Little One, one can create positive changes in the lives of needy people while enhancing awareness on the importance of water.
Those interested can visit ONEDROP.org to learn more about this charity. Information about One Drop tournaments is available at WSOP.com.