WSOP announces Big One for One Drop returning in 2014

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 31, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WSOP News | No Comments »

During the first break of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table on Monday night Kara Scott teased a major announcement –which had me thinking that either they were going to announce that the Big One for One Drop tournament would return at the 2013 WSOP or that the WSOP would be moving from the Rio to another Caesar’s property. It turns out that my first assumption was correct (for the most part anyway) as the Big One for One Drop will return to the WSOP, but not until 2014, making it appear to be a biannual event.

The Big One for One Drop was conceived by Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte (who finished 3rd in the tournament) and initially the poker world was very pessimistic that a $1 million buy-in tournament with over 10% of the buy-in going to charity could ever take place. But take place it did, and it was the highlight of the poker year, likely trumping even the Main Event in terms of press and its legacy in poker.

Additional details were not provided other than the announcement of the return of the event at the 2014 WSOP in Las Vegas, so we will have to wait and see if several features that made the tournament so anticipated and controversial will be in place for 2014. Here is a look at some of the questions players will have regarding the event:

The $1,000,000 buy-in

With $1 million being such a perfect number, it’s hard to imagine that this will change, but with the advent of reentries perhaps the initial buy-in will be lowered? It’s doubtful but you never know.

The WSOP has announced a “Little One for One Drop” tournament for 2013, which will be a rebuy event with a $1,111 buy-in.

The Player Cap

One of the most controversial aspects of the event was the capping of the field at 48 players (reportedly several players were turned away when they showed-up with $1 million in hand at the cashier window) so it will be interesting to see if the Cap is raised, lifted, or kept in place. Judging by the statement played on ESPN by One Drop organizer Guy Laliberte the cap will likely be raised: “With the response we received, why not do it again? We’re looking to break the record and we think we’ll do it.”

Part of the reason for the hard-cap was to allow Guy Laliberte to sell other businessmen on playing by promising that the field would not simply be a few businessmen and 100 poker pros.

The Top-Heavy Payout Structure

A major criticism of the tournament turned out to be the extremely top-heavy payout structure, and my guess is that the WSOP and One Drop will have to adjust this to once again attract a good swath of professional poker players, as backers were extremely dismayed about the structure when it was announced.

The structure of the event was terrific, unlike many super-high-roller events that play so quickly it’s akin to playing bingo online, but the payout structure will need to be altered for the 2014 One Drop to be a success.


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