Doug Polk doesn’t play as much poker as he used to, but the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tends to bring the best out of the world’s best players, no matter how active they are. Such was the case for Polk last night, as he won the $111,111 One Drop High Roller Event, the most expensive tournament at this year’s Series. The One Drop events, as readers may remember, contribute one-ninth of the buy-in to the One Drop organization, which aims to bring clean, fresh water to those areas in the world in desperate need of it. The WSOP takes no rake from the tournament.
As mentioned, Polk is not a full-time poker player anymore. Instead, he has been spending much of his time the last couple years building his Upswing Poker training site (which, by the way, I see ads for on Facebook at least a couple times a week). He comes out for the big events, though, this being his sixth cash in a live tournament with a buy-in of at least five-figures since the beginning of 2015.
“Instead of grinding poker and studying and grinding, my focus is now more on the training, the marketing, the promotion and that side of poker,” Polk explained in his post-tournament interview. “I still play the higher stakes stuff because I know in the events I’m a winning player. So, I get a unique opportunity to take videos or stream it online or vlog stuff because I’m still winning in these events, while also doing that.”
This is Polk’s third career World Series of Poker bracelet. He previously won the $1,000 Tag Team Event last year with his Upswing Poker partner, Ryan Fee, as well as the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo Event in 2014.
Doug Polk now has 13 total cashes worth $4.5 million at the World Series of Poker. This one alone was worth nearly $3.7 million. His overall live tournament winnings total more than $8.8 million.
Polk said afterward that whereas he was in it more for the pride in winning than for the money in his previous WSOP victories, the money was very meaningful this go-around.
“In those events, the money was really not a very big deal,” he told the WSOP interviewer. “Whereas this is huge for me. This is a lot of money. Just the fact that it’s… I’m sorry, I’m struggling for words right now. It’s surreal. To win that much more money against tough people in a real, world-class event. It’s way different.”
“I think most of my goals in poker right now are more on trying to build my name in the game and less so on individual events. This is amazing for this to happen, but you can’t count on this. This is very fortunate. I’m not going to set goals like that. I’m going to continue to play good events and take it from there,” he added.
The showcase One Drop Event, the Big One for One Drop, will not be contested this year. It debuted in 2012 and was played again in 2014, but rather than returning to the WSOP in 2016 as expected, its founder, Guy Laliberte, moved it to Monaco and made it invitation-only for deep-pocketed recreational players. Said Laliberte at the time:
From the beginning, we knew that The Big One for One Drop was a unique event. This year, by shifting the focus to recreational players, we’re looking to bring fun and innovation to charitable giving. We believe the events in Monaco will attract high net-worth individuals from across the globe to enjoy the game, the networking opportunities and the incredible VIP experiences only available in one of the world’s most iconic settings.
2017 World Series of Poker $111,111 One Drop High Roller – Final Table Results
1. Doug Polk – $3,686,865
2. Bertrand Grospellier – $2,278,657
3. Dario Sammartino – $1,608,295
4. Haralabos Voulgaris – $1,158,883
5. Chris Moore – $852,885
6. Martin Jacobson – $641,382
7. Rainer Kempe – $493,089
8. Andrew Robl – $387,732
9. Mike Kamran – $312,006
Lead photo credit: WSOP.com