The $1,000,000 buy-in Big One For One Drop is returning to the World Series of Poker in 2018. The poker tournament that costs seven-figures to enter has been held three times previously, twice in Las Vegas in 2012 and 2014, and once in Monaco as an invitation-only event in 2016.The fourth iteration of the event will see it return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, where it will kick off on July 15 as part of the 2018 WSOP.
“The Big One is an important landmark in the history of poker. Players that I meet here and there remind me on a constant basis that this history lives on and that they want to be a part of it. The thrill to compete for the chance of walking away with millions all the while contributing to an important cause – providing safe water access globally – has given strong roots to the event,” said One Drop founder and poker enthusiast Guy Laliberté.
“I am currently working on a new major fundraising initiative that is tapping into another very important passion of mine and that will be announced soon. This leaves me with less time for poker, but I’m confident that after three editions, the Big One is mature enough to live without a big involvement on my part. I can count on the strongest partner that one can dream of in the sector, WSOP; the knowledgeable team at One Drop who knows the sector and the players; and the keenest old and new poker- enthusiast friends that are ready to accept the torch that I’m passing to them and will dedicate time and energy to bring together pros and businessman amateurs for the benefit of tens of thousands of people without access to safe water.”
The first running of this event broke several records at the time, becoming the first ever seven-figure buy-in poker tournament and also setting the record for the largest ever first-place prize when it awarded $18,346,673 to champion Antonio Esfandiari. But as Laliberté noted, this event is not only about incredible high stakes action. The tournament is also part of the WSOP’s partnership with the One Drop foundation, whose mission is to provide sustainable access to clean water in impoverished communities around the globe. Since first teaming up in 2012 the One Drop tournaments at WSOP events have collectively raised over $20 million for the charity.
“$20 million in five years to save lives through poker tournaments is an amazing feat, and we’re not done yet with the return of the Big One for One Drop as part of the 2018 WSOP,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “One Drop has been and continues to be a great cause for us to lend support to as access to safe water remains of critical importance.”
The Big One for One Drop event will be capped at 48 players, with spots reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. In order to lock up a spot, players will have to post a non-refundable $50,000 deposit guaranteeing their seat by July 1, 2018. As it takes place in Las Vegas, players need to be 21 years of age or older to participate. More details on how to register will be made available when the full 2018 WSOP schedule is announced later this year.