The 2014 World Series of Poker $1 Million Big One for One Drop is only 101 days away from putting cards in the air and the players are already lining up for the competition with almost half of the tournament sold out.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment made the announcement on Wednesday, March 19th, that the seven-figure bracelet event already has 23 entries confirmed for the world's biggest buy-in poker tournament which is scheduled to run from June 29th through July 1st, and all of those confirmed are returning players and include 2012 One Drop champion Antonio Esfandiari, One Drop founder Guy Laliberté, and Phil Ivey.
"I can’t wait to defend my title," Esfandiari said in a statement. "That event was life-changing, but so was my trip to El Salvador after it with the One Drop organization to see first hand what a difference the money raised from this event can do for those in dire need of help."
Esfandiari was asked by PokerNews.com how he thought this year's tournament will be different than the inaugural 2012 event. His response, "I think there will be more mainstream media around [the event]. There was a lot around the first one, but I think that with the two-year wait people are really anxious and excited. Not to mention, the bigger prize pool is always a nice draw." When asked which players he fears the most heading into the tournament, Esfandiari said, "I fear any good, aggressive player on my left. That's about it. If he's on my right, I don't fear him one bit."
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier is as excited about this event as Esfandiari and his reasons are centered partly around Esfandiari's attendance.
"I'm really excited to play this tournament again," he told PokerNews.com. "And I'm looking forward to knocking out Antonio. If he wins, I may quit poker."
Esfandiari sent Mercier to the rail in the 2012 One Drop on this hand.
Laliberté shared his excitement over the running of the event, “The inaugural event made history and I look forward to another historic moment again this June... The support from the poker community continues to be just incredible.”
The list of confirmed players:
|Antonio Esfandiari||Guy Laliberté||Bobby Baldwin||David Einhorn|
|Phil Galfond||Philipp Gruissem||Phil Ivey||Jason Mercier|
|Paul Newey||Bill Perkins||Vivek Rajkumar||Brian Rast|
|Andrew Robl||Erik Seidel||Brandon Steven||Sam Trickett|
With the strong reception of the inaugural event, and the fact that it was sold out with a 48 player cap, the WSOP and One Drop are adding one more eight-handed table which puts the cap at 56. The first place prize would then be $20 million if all seats are sold. A deposit is required to guarantee seats and they are offered on a first-come first-serve basis.
Three “anonymous businessmen” and three satellite seats — offered at Aria, Bellagio, and the WSOP — are included in the 23 confirmed seats. The $25,300 buy-in One Drop satellite in 2012 brought 96 runners to the tables and Gus Hansen won it to claim his seat.
If you're in it this year, the WSOP and One Drop want you to know that all players at the 2014 WSOP are encouraged to donate one percent of their winnings to the One Drop Foundation. The goal is to continue to improve the lives of those in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Burkina Faso, and beyond.