Numbers Down but Elton Tsang Still Enjoys One Drop Win

October 17th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
Elton Tsang wins One Drop.

Elton Tsang wins Big One for One Drop, but the attendance figure drops below expectations. (Image:

China’s Elton Tsang has become the latest Big One for One Drop champion and €11,111,111 ($12,217,503) richer after defeating Anatoly Gurtovoy heads-up.

The super high roller event became the most expensive poker tournament in history when it kicked off on October 14 inside the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, Monte Carlo.

Because the tournament was held outside of the US for the first time in its history, the buy-in was set at €1 million. Thanks to currency conversion rates, this meant the tournament cost $1,099,577 as opposed to the usual $ 1 million.

Relocation Exercise Doesn’t Payoff

One of the main reasons behind the decision to host the tournament outside of the US was to make it a more attractive proposition for wealthy businessmen. Monte Carlo has long been associated with extreme wealth and luxury; something which made it an ideal location for a tournament where only the super rich can thrive.

Unfortunately, the latest charity event for the One Drop foundation wasn’t able to match the achievements of previous years. Back in 2012 when the first ever $1 million Big One for One Drop took place, a total of 48 entries were collected. Two years later, 42 buy-ins were collected which meant the eventual winner, Daniel Colman, walked away with $15,306,668.

This year the organizers registered 26 players and two re-entries to create a total prizepool worth $269,355,168. Although an impressive prizepool by anyone’s standards, the drop in interest could well have been a cause for concern for those involved.

Aside from moving the location of the event, the latest Big One for One Drop didn’t take place during the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Being the best attended poker series in the industry, the WSOP often brings a host of players to Vegas during the summer months. The knock-on effect of this is that people are often willing to take a shot at tournaments they may not have planned on (even if they do cost $1 million).

Tsang Still Walks Away with a Smile

This time around, the tournament didn’t have the help of the WSOP and that’s possibly one of the main reasons it didn’t quite match the exploits of previous years. But, despite the dip in attendance, a huge amount of money was still raised for One Drop. With $112,190 taken from each player’s buy-in, $3,141,320 will now help provide clean water for those in need.

Someone else who will be smiling when the dust settles is Tsang. The Chinese player managed to overcome some tough pros at the final table, including Andrew Pantling and Cary Katz to beat Gurtovoy heads-up. After making an unbeatable straight with 6c 5h, Tsang scooped up the remainder of his opponent’s chips to win a special One Drop winner’s bracelet and the third largest poker prize in history.

WSOP Big One for One Drop 2016 Result

1. Elton Tsang – $12,217,503

2. Anatoly Gurtovoy – $5,968,253

3. Rick Salomon – $3,200,009

4. James Bord – $2,309,306

5. Cary Katz – $1,924,422

6. Andrew Pantling – $1,649,532


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