by Joseph Smith Sr.
We are only days away from the opening of the 45th annual World Series of Poker at the Rio All Suite Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pinnacle and origin of tournament poker, the WSOP will run from May 27, 2014 through July 14, 2014 and offers 65 events with buy-ins ranging from $500 to $1,000,000.
Todays WSOP article will focus on the $1,000,000 buy-in event that not only offers a possible $20 million payout to the winner, but will fund sustainable clean water for people around the world through projects of the One Drop Organization. Event #57, aptly labeled 'The Big One for One Drop', is a charitable tournament limited to 56 players with each having posted the one million dollar buy-in for a seat in the June 29th – July 1 three day event.
The house will collect no rake or fees from the one million dollars and $111,111 from each buy-in will go directly to the One Drop organization that provides water resources for people worldwide. The remaining $888,889 goes into the prize pool and providing the field is completed the winner will receive in excess of $20,000,000. Click here for a structure sheet (PDF).
The unique weirdness has already begun with poker players entering the event. Well known professional poker player Jean-Robert Bellande strolled up to the WSOP cashier cage with a gym bag stuffed with bricks of hundred dollar bills and stacked $1 million on the counter to pay his buy-in.
The Big One for One Drop holds the record for the highest buy-in and may set a record for the largest winner's prize in a poker tournament. The winner will also receive a special edition diamond encrusted platinum WSOP bracelet. These nose bleed money levels attract the elite, deep pocketed players and characters from around the globe and has proven to be a fan favorite. Click here for a list of confirmed players.
Last year's winner, Antonio Esfandiari, will be defending his title. In the 2013 event he received more than $18 million dollars.
Another story coming from this event has highly regarded professional poker player, Vanessa Selbst, entering for her first effort at beating the boys and taking home the cash. Having followed her career at the WSOP, I would definitely say she is in the top five to take it all.
ESPN cameras will be present throughout the course of the event and will offer 6 hours of prime time TV coverage scheduled for July 15, 22, 29 at 9 PM – 11 PM ET. The first 2 hour show will cover days 1 and 2, the second show will be day 2 through the final table bubble and the third show will cover the final table to the winner. This promises to be some of the year's most exciting poker.