Following on from the inaugural event in 2012, this year sees the return of the $1 million dollar buy-in One Drop tournament. Regular Las Vegas poker man Jean-Robert Bellande recently tweeted a picture of himself handing over his stack of buy-in cash. It’s not clear where Bellande got the money, whether or not it was from investors, or how much of the estimated $20 million prize money he will keep if he wins.
The cap for the field has increased from 48 in 2012 to 56 this year and, with over 20 players already having expressed an interest, it seems the limit will be reached. If this happens, the $20 million first prize estimate will be reached making it the largest prize in open buy-in poker to date.
The One Drop Foundation
The One Drop tournament is named for its support of the One Drop Foundation. The foundation is based in Montreal, Canada and is a non-governmental organization (NGO). It was founded by Canadian philanthropist, and poker enthusiast, Guy Laliberté who also founded Cirque du Soleil.
The idea behind the foundation is to support access to water for all communities globally in an attempt to help eradicate poverty. $111,111 of every $1 million dollar buy-in for the tournament will go to the foundation.
In 2012 $5.3 Million Went to the Foundation
The sold out field in 2012 meant that not only did the One Drop Foundation benefit from a donation of $5.3 million but the winner, Antonio Esfandiari, scooped a prize of $18,346,673. He also won a limited edition World Series of Poker (WSOP) platinum bracelet which was designed by jeweller Richard Mille. This prize will be repeated for 2014 with a newly created design.
Esfandiari has spoken of being eager to defend his title against what is sure to be a very competitive field. He stated that not only was winning the prize money a life changing event but so was the trip to El Salvador to witness the work of the One Drop Foundation first hand.
Tournament Founder, Laliberté, has said that he has great expectations for the event which is due to run from June 29, 2014 to July 1, 2014. He hopes that the historic feel of the 2012 event can be repeated with the One Drop Foundation again benefiting from the poker industry.