I don’t know what is more shocking: the fact the WSOP has a tournament with a $1 million entry fee or the fact they’ll have to cap the number of entries. Though I prefer asianbookie over any other online casino, but WSOP is still a great platform. Its official name is the “Big One for One Drop,” which I think we can all agree is the worst, most awkward name for a poker tournament outside of the Epic Poker League. Exactly $111,111 from each entry fee will be donated to the “One Drop” charity, which helps impoverished citizens in developing nations gain access to expensive Evian sparkling water. Or maybe it was just clean water in general, I forget.
Anyway, the tournament was created by billionaire Guy Laliberte, the founder of the Cirque de Soleil empire. Laliberte, of course, is reportedly a feeder for the high stakes games, and is what Forbes magazine calls the 459th richest person in the world – a direct result of stupid idiots like me who try to impress their spouses with $130 tickets to “O.”
The tournament is capped at 48 entrants. The lineup of 30 verified runners thus far includes the usual suspects: Gus, Patrick, Daniel, Elky, Johnny Chan, along with a slew of CEOs, and hedge fund managers. Other entrants are remaining anonymous for now. Some of these are believed to be the rich Asian fish who keep the Macau high-limit games running. These of course, included the Chinese billionaires, along with some of the poorer Chinese poker players, by which I mean, multi-millionaires.
For most of the rest of us, the buy-in for the One Drop represents more money than we will see in a lifetime. I guess the same could be said for the single-table satellites into this tournament.
Ponder that for a moment: you take your life savings and buy into the city. For the next hour, you chip your way up, avoid some bad beats, catch some breaks, and you play well with spot-on reads, and go on to miraculously win the damn thing. For this, your $100,000 investment is rewarded with….an entry into another tournament.
This huge, million-dollar entry fee has raised concerns about people being able to buy a bracelet, and that the One Drop is part of some kind of elitist, exclusive poker club. For their part, Caesars Entertainment says it is a completely open tournament, and that, …” anyone age 21 or older is eligible as long as they have the $1 million…” which coincidentally, are the same requirements for sleeping with Kim Kardashian.
Still you have a situation in which a valued, prestigious WSOP bracelet will be won in a tournament with just 48 runners. It hasn’t been this easy to buy a bracelet since T.J. Cloutier’s went up for bid on eBay.
The larger point is the proliferation of these high roller events now on the tournament circuit. There is the PCA high rollers event, which will set you back $100,000. The EPT Grand Final Super Higher Roller has an entry fee of 100,000 Euros, while the Aussie Millions Super High Roller costs $250K to enter.
It’s getting to the point where the tournament pros traveling the circuit playing $10,000 buy-in events could be described as “grinding the micros.”
While the charity aspect of this One Drop tournament is admirable, Harrahs/Caesars continues to do everything possible to cheapen the prestige of a WSOP bracelet. There are the WSOP circuit events, WSOP Europe, 61 bracelet events, and now a “platinum” bracelet event. Pretty soon they will start handing out WSOP bracelets to people who use their player’s card to rack up 500 points on Caesar-property video poker machines.
The bottom line is that this is a tournament with an unaffordable one million dollar entry fee. It will have very few participants, including many weak amateurs. One lucky player will have to outlast just 47 other entrants to claim a prestigious bracelet. Do they even deserve to be called a bracelet winner? The whole thing can make the blood boil. Somebody ought to organize a protest this summer and tell Caesar’s this cheapens the legacy of the WSOP. I would do this myself, but I’ll be busy.