One fortunate player will walk away from the 2014 World Series of Poker with a $20 million payday, thanks to the return of the $1 million Big One for One Drop. After several players got shut out in 2012, the race for one of the coveted seats in this tournament is already underway with 23 of the 56 spots already accounted for.
The WSOP revealed a list of 17 players already committed to the second ever $1 million buy-in tournament, along with three spots reserved for businessmen looking to remain anonymous and three seats that will be awarded via satellites. Defending champion Antonio Esfandiari hopes to add another massive sum to the $18,346,673 he won in 2012.
“I can’t wait to defend my title,” said Esfandiari. “The event was life-changing, but so was my trip to El Salvador after it with the One Drop organization to see first hand what a difference the money raised from this event can do for those in dire need of help.”
There were 48 players who participated in the first event, building a prizepool of $42,666,672. Each $1 million buy-in had $111,111 taken out for the One Drop charity – a format that will carry over into the 2014 event – and donations above that fee pushed the total amount of money given to over $7.2 million. One Drop was created by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté in 2007 to shed light and give aid to those lacking access to clean drinking water.
“The inaugural event made history and I look forward to another historic moment again this June,” said Laliberté. “The support from the poker community continues to be just incredible.”
One additional eight-handed table will be added in 2014, bringing the field up to 56. All 17 confirmed players were a part of the original Big One for One Drop, and that list includes six of the eight players who made the final table. Along with Esfandiari, runner-up Sam Trickett, David Einhorn, Laliberté, Brian Rast and Bobby Baldwin are all back in the mix, with no word on businessman Richard Yong or Phil Hellmuth, who satellited in at the Aria in 2012.
Other players who have confirmed their participation include Phil Ivey, Phil Galfond, Erik Seidel, Philipp Gruissem, Jason Mercier, Vivek Rajkumar, Noah Schwartz, Andrew Robl, Brandon Steven, Bill Perkins and Paul Newey. Three other confirmed players have elected to remain anonymous.
Three players will win their way into the Big One for One Drop field via satellite, compared to two satellite winners in 2012. There will be one satellite held at the Rio, which was a $25,000 event in 2012 won by Gus Hansen (though the format and buy-in are currently unconfirmed for 2014). There’s also a satellite at the Aria, which was how Hellmuth won his way in back in 2012, and an added satellite at the Bellagio.
The 2014 $1 million Big One for One Drop will run from June 29 through July 1.
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