One of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the 2014 World Series of Poker, the million dollar buy-in Big One for One Drop, got going Sunday as some of the poker and business world’s elite plunked down an ungodly sum of money to try to win an ungodlier sum of money and/or a platinum bracelet.
England’s Sam Trickett, the runner-up in this event when it debuted two years ago, is head and shoulders above the rest of the field after Day 1, holding 13,400,000 chips. Tom Hall, the man who has kept the poker community up to date on the goings-on in Macau’s high stakes cash games, is in second with 9,125,000 chips and Phil Ivey, fresh off his tenth WSOP bracelet, is third with 7,675,000. The first Big One for One Drop champion, Antonio Esfandiari, is in fifth with 6,725,000 chips.
While most of the excitement surrounds the star-studded poker lineup and the millions upon millions of dollars waiting to be won, let’s not forget that $111,111 of everybody’s buy-in goes to the One Drop charity, whose goal is to bring clean, drinkable water to everybody in the world. The World Series of Poker does not take a single dollar from the buy-in.
The day began with 41 players seated and ready to go, exactly the number of entrants that had been reported in the days leading up to the event. At the first break, though, one more player cut a huge check: former High Stakes Poker commentator, comedian, and actor, Gabe Kaplan.
One big name that is missing from the field is 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. He took to Twitter last night, detailing his decision making, “Hmmm…Seems like I may still play “One drop!” I have until 1030 to reg…Money is flowing in!”
A couple hours later, he said he was raising $600,000 in short order so that he could participate (obviously didn’t want to be on the hook for the entire, or even most of, million dollar buy-in), but then, when it came time to register, apparently $130,000 of the money never made it to the cage and he therefore could not signup.
The 2014 Big One for One Drop is smaller than the first one, 42 players compared to 48. Thus, after the $111,111 was taken out of each buy-in, the prize pool amounts to $37,333,338. The top eight players will make the money, with the winner earning an astounding $15,306,668. To put that in perspective, according to TheHendonMob.com, whoever wins the tournament would rank eighth on the all-time live tournament money list with that cash alone.
As mentioned earlier, Antonio Esfandiari defeated Sam Trickett heads-up to take the first Big One for One Drop title in 2012, winning over $18 million in the process. Not surprisingly, Esfandiari is first on the all-time money list ($26,244,377).
Ten players were eliminated on Sunday, including Vanessa Selbst, Philipp Gruissem, David Eihnorn, Dan Smith, and Brian Rast, leaving 32 to start play on Monday.
2014 World Series of Poker $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop – Day 1 Chip Leaders
1. Sam Trickett – 13,400,000
2. Tom Hall – 9,125,000
3. Phil Ivey – 7,675,000
4. Daniel Colman – 6,875,000
5. Antonio Esfandiari – 6,725,000
6. Noah Schwartz – 6,275,000
7. Rick Salomon – 5,890,000
8. David Sands – 4,615,000
9. Phil Galfond – 4,390,000
10. Daniel Negreanu – 4,270,000
* Tournament information courtesy WSOP.com.