Phil Hellmuth 80% likely to play in Big One for One Drop

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 23, 2012 Posted in Poker Player News, WSOP News | No Comments »

In a recent interview Phil Hellmuth stated he is about 80% likely to add his name to the growing list of players that will be participating in the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament that will be held during the 2012 World Series of Poker. The tournament already has in the neighborhood of 40 entries according to WSOP officials, and with a firm cap set at 48 entries, the ‘Poker Brat’ better make up his mind in the very near future if he wants to insure that there will be a seat available for him.

Hellmuth made his “80% likely” announcement in a recent interview with, where he detailed how several people have approached him in regards to backing him for the tournament. According to Hellmuth, two people have offered to put-up $250,000 each of the entry-fee, and a third person has anted-up a stake of $50,000.

Hellmuth would be the latest player to throw his hat into the ring, and take a shot at what will be the largest prize-pool in poker history, with somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million going to the winner (another record for poker tournaments).

Some of the entrants in the event have chosen to keep their identities hidden, but the list of known players has been continually growing, with 25 players in the event allowing their names to be released (this information comes via an April WSOP Press Release along with certain announcements made by other players who have registered since, and is likely incomplete):

1. Guy Laliberté

2. Phil Ruffin

3. Andy Beal

4. Montreal private citizen group (Sean O’Donnell)

5. Loto-Québec / Montreal Casino seat (Lottery scratch-off / live satellite)

6. Cary Katz

7. Paul Newey

8. Richard Yong

9. Erik Seidel

10. Anonymous – U.S. venture capitalist

11. Anonymous – European hedge fund manager

12. Anonymous – U.S. hedge fund manager

13. Anonymous – French businessman

14. Caesars Entertainment seat

15. Caesars Entertainment via June 30 $25,300 satellite at Rio

16. MGM Mirage satellite seat

17. Bobby Baldwin

18. Patrik Antonius

19. Gus Hansen

20. Daniel Negreanu

21. Johnny Chan

22. Tom Dwan

23. Tony Guoga

24. Jonathan Duhamel

25. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier

26. Daniel Shak

27. Justin Smith

28. Bob Bright

29. Paul Phua

30. Arnaud Mimran

31. Carlos Nahas (Grand Tournoi de Poker Loto-Quebec satellite winner)

32. Sam Trickett

33. Andrew Robl

With a number of businessmen in the field, a lot of poker players are looking at the EV implications of the tournament, even with 11% of every buy-in going to charity, and exploring potential backing propositions. One player who is actively flouting the possibility of playing should he sell enough of himself is two-time WPT Champion Jonathan Little. Little isn’t the only player looking at this option, and even Phil Hellmuth apparently needs some staking in order to take part in the event.

One player who has said he will not be playing in the event is Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, who feels the buy-in is simply too-high –an amazing declaration from a guy who has played multiple million-dollar pots in cash games!

The tournament will be a 3-day event, with $111,111 of every entry going directly to the One Drop charity founded by Guy Laliberte, the founder and creator of Cirque de Soleil and a true poker aficionado. The event will go down as an official bracelet event at the WSOP and will see the winner receive the first-ever Platinum WSOP Bracelet.

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