Players Begin to Line Up for WPT’s $1 Million Buy-in Big One for One Drop Tourney

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The first seven players confirmed they will enter the WPT Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in event that will take place during the WPT Championship series at Wynn Las Vegas in December.

Phil Ivey smiling at a poker table
WPT Ambassador Phil Ivey confirmed he’s playing in the $1 million buy-in WPT Big Drop for One Drop. (Image: Chris Wallace/CardsChat)

So far, seven players have committed to the big buy-in event: WPT Ambassador Phil Ivey, Rick Salomon, David Einhorn, Talal Shakerchi, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Chris Brewer, and Nick Petrangelo.

The event takes place Dec. 18-20, and the final table will be televised.

Six-percent of all the buy-ins will go to the One Drop Foundation, which “aims to ensure sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for communities everywhere through innovative partnerships, creativity and the power of art.”

“Our partnership with the One Drop Foundation has already seen some big names turn up in the Alpha8 fields,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said in a press release. “As the Big One draws near, we are elated with every new entry, building excitement and securing further support for the One Drop Foundation’s global cause.”

It was founded by Guy Laliberté, the man behind the Cirque du Soleil franchise. He was also an avid high stakes and tournament poker player, and he used the game to generate money through poker, first with the World Series of Poker, and now with the WPT. But Laliberté disappeared from the poker world around 2012, after losing more than $31 million online.

Three played since inception

The $1 million (and euro) version of the tournaments for One Drop — “Big Drops” — started in 2012. Four have taken place. This is the first year the WPT is the host organizer, but not the first for three of the confirmed players.

Salomon, Einhorn, and Shakerch have played in all the Big Drops. Salomon and Einhorn each have third place finishes in them — Salomon won €3,000,000 in the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza and Einhorn won $4.43 million in 2012.

The other confirmed players are some of the best high-roller tournament players now in action, and that includes Shakerch, who finished September as runner-up in two PGT high roller events. In 2016, he won PokerStars COOP Main Event for $1.4 million.

Cates is the back-to-back WSOP $50,000 Player’s Champion, Brewer’s second home seems to be at PPG Tour and Triton Super High Roller final tables, and Petrangelo is approaching $35 million in tournament cashes.

More players will definitely enter in this event, but the record of 48 set in 2012 will be hard to be broken. In 2014, 42 played. The last two that were held, in 2017 and 2018, brought in 27 and 28 each.

Regardless of the number of entrants, the winners receive a mind-blowing amount.

In 2012, Antonio Esfandiari won $18,346,673. A year later, Dan Colman would win $15,306,668. In 2016, it was Elton Tsang who won $12,248,912 for first.

Justin Bonomo is the defending champ. He won $10 million for the victory in 2018.

For more information on the One Drop Foundation, visit Any players interested in entering the Big One for One Drop should contact Warren Lush at

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