Elton Tsang wins the Big One for One Drop for €11,111,111.

The most expensive tournament in the world – The Big One for One Drop – finished with Hong-Kong based player Elton Tsang winning the event for €11,111,111.

Elton_Tsang_Winner
Elton Tsang (Photo Neil Stoddart)

The event which had a buy-in of €1 Million was held on October 13-17, 2016 in the Casino de Monte Carlo and had a total prize pool of  €24,888,892.  The tournament raised €3,111,108 for the  One Drop Foundation created by Guy La Liberte.

28 entries – 4 Asian Players

This year’s field had a total of 28 entries with 26 of them uniques.  This turnout is half of what it was last year which was a total of 56 entries. Four Asian players participated in the event, namely, Paul Phua, Elton Tsang, Zuo Wang, Yaqi Sun. Tsang’s biggest cash out before the Big One was the WSOP Asia Pacific in 2013 where he placed 5th on the High Roller Rebuy Event and earned $ 162,212.

Low turnout?

Debates have been going around as this turnout is mainly blamed on the fact that this year’s Big One is an invitation only event barring professional poker players from joining in. Founder Guy Laliberté believed that the presence of professional poker players intimidated wealthy businessmen from playing in the event.  It also must be considered that the event is primarily a charity event for the One Drop Foundation whose mission is “to address sustainable access to safe water.”  That being the case, it is, therefore, in the interest of the foundation to attract wealthy businessmen into the affair.

But this decision had created negative reactions from numerous poker pros.  One pro who has made a comment was Jason Mercier when he tweeted, “So the 1 mill one drop was a failure? Weird… Really thought excluding all the best players in the world was gonna make it a success #NOT.” (EDIT: Tweet is now deleted!)

However, “the best players in the world” were still participating in the event but in a totally different capacity.  Instead of playing on the felt, prominent figures like Daniel Negreanu served as coach to none other than Laliberté.  Other poker celebrity coaches included Vanessa Selbst for David Einhorn, Andrew Robl for Jason Strasser, Jean-Robert Bellande for Bobby Baldwin and Dan Coleman for Paul Phua.

This will definitely be the talk in the community for the days to come.  As there is no right or wrong opinion on the matter, what remains to be seen will be the turnout of the other events of the festival.

 Final Table payouts

Place Player Earnings (USD)
1 Elton Tsang $12,188,889
2 Anatoly Gurtovoy $5,954,276
3 Rick Solomon $3,291,000
4 James Bord $2,303,700
5 Cary Katz $1,919,750
6 Andrew Pantling $1,645,500

Article by Gabrielle Barredo

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