The World Series of Poker (WSOP) and its players donated more than $5 million to charity during this summer’s tournament series. WSOP worked with ONE DROP to raise funds for the organization that is dedicated to providing access to water to people around the world.
The partnership is not a new one. Executives at the WSOP and ONE DROP founder Guy Laliberté joined together in 2012 to host the first ONE DROP tournaments, including the first-ever $1 million buy-in tournament with $111,111 of each buy-in going to the charity. With the combination of tournaments in the past three years, a total of $12,205,089 has been raised from buy-ins and player donations through the WSOP events.
2014 Fundraising Efforts
In 2014 alone, the WSOP hosted two tournaments to benefit ONE DROP. The largest effort was the $1 million buy-in Big One for ONE DROP tournament, which made its comeback after last year’s reduction in the buy-in. This year’s event had 42 entrants, which raised $4,666,662 for the charity. In addition, the Little One for ONE DROP, a tournament that has become a staple over the past three years for the WSOP, was held with $111 from each buy-in going to ONE DROP. There were 4,496 entrants for that tournament this year, totaling $499,056 for the charity.
There were also other contributions, mostly from players who made and fulfilled promises to donate to the ONE DROP campaign when they cashed in tournaments at the summer series. Those tallied to $107,329.
Altogether, the WSOP delivered $5,273,047 to ONE DROP this summer. More may be added should any of the November Nine final table participants decide to donate a portion of their winnings to the charity as well.
Laliberté noted, “This year’s results are once again outstanding. We can really say that everyone has come out a winner, not just the players but all the communities who will benefit from the generous amount raised.”
Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber added, “We are very proud of the poker community who has opened their hearts and wallets so generously in order to make a difference. Poker is a game played globally, and ONE DROP is a tremendous organization working tirelessly to sustainably improve people’s lives. We are very appreciative and thankful for everyone who continues to contribute to the incredible success of this initiative.”
Connection Between ONE DROP and Poker
Guy Laliberté is the founder of Cirque du Soleil and a longtime poker fan and player. Before Black Friday, he often frequented the high-stakes online poker tables, and he sometimes played in local Las Vegas high-stakes cash games and various high buy-in tournaments as well. His connection to the poker community was a personal one, and the opportunity to partner with the WSOP in 2012 seemed natural.
When he established ONE DROP in 2007, Laliberté hoped to change the fact that many people in the world do not have access to basic water needs. He saw it as a challenge and began the foundation to invest in water projects. ONE DROP puts resources into developing sustainable water and management projects in communities around the world, mostly ones in rural and disadvantaged regions like Latin America, West Africa, and Asia.
Donations of just $100 can change the life of a person forever by delivering permanent access to water. Programs launched to date are estimated to have transformed the lives of nearly one million people, and new projects are set to launch in Mali and India this year.
The donations from the WSOP summer will go a long way to helping establish the new water projects and move forward with others in the future.