€1 Million-Buyin Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza Confirms First 35 Players

September 28th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
Guy Laliberte One Drop Monte-Carlo

The Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza is taking charity poker events to a whole new level. (Photo: Caesars)

October’s Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza has 35 players confirmed for what will be the largest buy-in poker tournament ever held. The charity event takes place from October 13-17 in, funnily enough, Monte-Carlo with a 1 million-Euro ($1,120,000) buy-in attached.

With the conversion rate, it takes the buy-in past the $1 million set for the inaugural Big One For One Drop tournament in 2012. Re-entries will be allowed as well.

The Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza is the brainchild of Cirque du Soleil billionaire, Guy Laliberté. €111,111 from every buy-in will go to the ONE DROP charity, set up to improve water conditions in the world’s poorest areas.

It kicks off on October 13th at the stunning Casino de Monte-Carlo, with plenty of side action available for those attending with smaller budgets.

“Recreational” Players King At the ONE DROP

Controversially, this year’s Big One charity event is taking place outside its traditional home of Las Vegas. However, another stipulation has been made in that professional poker players are prohibited from entering the main event.

The 1-million-Euro showpiece is being restricted to “recreational” players this year. In this case, however, it’s unlikely any basement home game players will be turning up.

Expect instead, plenty of wealthy businessmen and whales. A few big-name pros may end up making an appearance too.

For the disgruntled Negreanus and Esfandiaris, there will still be a range of side events that pros can enter. Even the mid-range side event tournaments carry a €10,000 ($11,200) buy-in. Elsewhere, there are 10k Omaha events and a ‘high roller’ No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament with a €100,000 ($112,000) buy-in.

Cash games for recreational players and pros alike will run alongside the tournament action during the week. There is even a one-million Euro cash game planned.

Player Staking Available For the First Time

It’s no secret that many pros who have entered the Big One For ONE DROP in the past have been staked. This year, the Monte-Carlo event will allow anyone to buy shares of players via the YouStake page.

Interestingly, although the 35 confirmed entrants haven’t been named, the Big One has stated that fans will be allowed to invest in “their favorite skilled games and sports players”.

This has led to some speculation over who will turn up. Some smart money on Cristiano Ronaldo, perhaps, or Monte-Carlo regular and keen casino-goer, Lewis Hamilton?

Big One For ONE DROP: A Brief History

2012: The inaugural Big One For ONE DROP  is held during the 43rd World Series of Poker. The buy-in is set at $1 million and attracts 48 runners, including Laliberté himself. Antonio Esfandiari wins the $18,346,673 first prize ahead of Sam Trickett. It also lifts him to the top of the all-time money-winners’ list.

2014: The Big One For One Drop returns, with 42 entrants turning up. Dan Colman takes it down ahead of Daniel Negreanu.

2016: The million-dollar event is dropped in favor of a $111,111 ‘High Roller for ONE DROP’ plus a ‘Little One For ONE DROP’ carrying a $1,111 buy-in. During the summer’s Main Event, plans for a Monte-Carlo extravaganza are announced.


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