The €1 Million Buy-in Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza confirmed its first 35 players this week.
Kicking off on October 13, some of the world’s richest individuals will sit down to play the Big One for One Drop, the charity poker tournament, at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, according to pokernewsreport.com.
The One Drop Extravaganza will likely go down in history as the most expensive tournament series ever. It will certainly be the first to feature a poker tournament with a €1 million buy-in and, with seven other events scheduled (excluding satellites) with buy-ins from €10,000 to €100,000, players attending the Extravaganza are going to have to dig deep into their piggy banks.
Unlike in 2012 and 2014, when the Big One for One Drop formed part of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) schedule, entry to this year’s event is by invitation only. Guy Laliberté, the founder of One Drop, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to help improve access to safe water, said he initiated the change to bring “fun and innovation to charitable giving”. Even the live satellites on the day preceding the €1 million buy-in event are invitation-only – with Laliberté expecting a large number of businessmen, philanthropic, and celebrity recreational players to attend in order to “enjoy the game, the networking opportunities and the incredible VIP experiences”.
The One Drop tournament itself will be played over three days. Day 1 gets underway at 2:00pm (CET) on Friday October 14 with players each having a starting stack of 5 million chips and blinds starting at 6,000/12,000 (ante 1,000). Unlimited re-entries are allowed until the start of Day 2 (Saturday October 15 at noon), and the tournament will conclude on Sunday October 16 – with the winner likely to eclipse the prizes won in 2012 by Antonio Esfandiari ($18,346,673) and in 2014 by Dan Colman ($15,306,668).
In addition to the tournament action, high-stakes cash games will be running eighteen hours a day with limits ranging from €25/€25 up to €1,000/€2,000. The cash games on offer will include the standard fare of NL Hold´em and PL Omaha, with Open-Faced Chinese Poker available for those who like to gamble. Just in case the stakes are not high enough for some players, there will also be a €1 million buy-in cash game on the last day of the event.
Prince Albert has given his backing to the event. In a statement released to the media, His Serene Highness – who has his own charitable foundation to address environmental change – said: “I am pleased that Monaco has been chosen to host the 2016 edition of The Big One for One Drop, one of the most innovative charity events. After only two editions, The Big One for One Drop has raised more than $10 million for water, a cause that I hold particularly dear. I wish an even greater success to the third edition of The Big One,” Prince Albert said.