How historic will the Big One for One Drop tournament be?

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 29, 2012 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

With a $1,000,000 buy-in, pretty much everyone in the poker world understands just how big a deal the Big One for One Drop tournament at the 2012 World Series of poker will be. But what we may be overlooking is how this tournament will be covered by the mainstream media, and I have to admit I hadn’t given this much thought until I received a “Media Advisory” from the WSOP, explaining where to go to apply for press passes to cover this event.

What makes this different from every other WSOP event is that even the Main Event is rolled into the standard WSOP Press Package, which is given out at the beginning of the WSOP tournament series. But the Big One for One Drop is such a spectacle, and so far from the normal progression of poker tournaments, that it requires its own Media Advisory.

What I mean by the “natural progression” is that poker tournaments tend to ebb and flow in a normal pattern: First there was the $10k WSOP, followed by numerous other attempts at $5k and $10k tournaments; along came the WPT which introduced a $25k event, spawning some other $25k high-roller tournaments; the WSOP upped the ante with a $50k event; then there was the $100k Super-High-Rollers (and even something of legitimate $250k Super-High-Roller at the past two Aussie Millions).

But the Big One for One Drop tossed the natural progression, basically jumping the stakes up several times at once, and landing at $1 million. The good news is that Guy Laliberte is behind this mammoth undertaking, and it’s highly doubtful that the man responsible for building Cirque de Soleil from the ground is going to let this tournament turn into a laughingstock or a PR nightmare.

The media advisory emphasized two key areas of the event: the insanely high buy-in and the charity aspect of the tournament. By giving the media the chance to cover an event that will include the most random assemblage of poker players perhaps ever, the Big One for One Drop has already likely passed the WSOP Main Event in terms of mainstream media appeal. It’s crystal clear that the Media Advisory was sent out to entice not poker media, but mainstream media, as the “WHO” part of the press release shows:

“WHO: Among the players participating are: Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté; Treasure Island Resort owner Phil Ruffin, MGM Resorts International Chief Design & Construction Officer Bobby Baldwin; plus elite poker pros including: Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Mike Sexton.”

Now the question is: What will the average person think of the event, and will it rekindle America’s love-affair with the game like the 2003 WSOP did?

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