Canadian-born Chinese player Elton Tsang has won the prestigious Big One For One Drop Extravaganza, taking home a massive €11,111,111 in winnings. The invitation-only event held in Monte Carlo had just 28 players competing to win the third highest prize in the history of poker. The buy-in for event was set at €1 million which made it the third formal event to have a buy-in amount in seven figures.
Guy Laliberté, the founder of the One Drop Charity changed the format of this year’s edition of the event after receiving feedback from players that they did not want poker pros in the game. As a result, poker pros were not invited to play the tournament, leaving the recreational high-rollers a clear field.
The decision did create uproar amongst the professionals but the move was welcomed by recreational players.
The three-day event saw an exciting play off between 28 competitors before Tsang prevailed. This is Tsang’s biggest career win as so far he has won only $500,000 in live poker winnings. The win has propelled Tsang to the top of China’s All Time Money list and has moved him to the 21st rank in the overall All Time Player list from his earlier rank of 3,102.
In a statement, Tsang said
I was feeling good, feeling comfortable, getting cards, my bluffs were working, getting a good read on the table. It was just going my way. It was going good.
Tsang had the Italian poker star Mustapha Kanit as a coach for the event. Kanit said that he was impressed by Tsang’s level of play adding that both of them had put in a great deal of preparation for the event. They had started preparing two weeks before the game, with Kanit sending videos of games and holding long discussions on strategy and hands,among other things. Although Tsang is an experienced poker player, he is not a regular in tournaments which made Kanit’s support invaluable.
Just six of the total 28 participating in the event were able to finish in the money. Anatoly Gurtovoy won $5,954,276 after coming in second place while Rick Solomon cashed $3,291,000 for finishing third. Other who cashed were James Bord who took fourth position with $2, 303,700, Cary Katz who took winnings of $1,919, 750 for the fifth place and finally Andrew Pantling who finished in the sixth place and won $1,645,500.