Thirty Players, Biggest Prize Ever Confirmed for WSOP Big One

The money
Event organizers expect 48 players for the Big One on July 1.

Thirty players in total have put up the $1 million buy-in to play the Big One for One Drop at the WSOP this summer, meaning it will boast the biggest prize in poker history.

With 30 players the first-place prize has already swelled to an estimated $12,266,668, besting the $12M record set when Jamie Gold won the WSOP Main Event in 2006.

The winner will also receive the WSOP’s first Platinum bracelet.

But according to event organizers, and One Drop spokesperson Jon Duhamel, more than 40 will play.

If the event succeeds in hitting the 48-player cap, the winner would take down more than $18.2 million and instantly become poker’s all-time leading live tournament money winner.

Joining the 22 people who had previously committed to the Big One are poker pros Erik Seidel and Justin Smith, plus a handful of wealthy businessmen.

In fact, only 10 of the 30 players now confirmed are professional poker players.

The new non-pros who have put down their $1 million buy-ins are:

Guy Laliberte
“It is an exciting moment and it is wonderful to see the poker community’s generosity."
  • Bob Bright – CEO, Bright Trading
  • Cary Katz – CEO, College Loan Corporation
  • Arnaud Mimran – French businessman
  • Paul Newey – Co-Founder, New Wave Ventures, LLP. (UK)
  • Paul Phua – Asian businessman
  • Richard Yong – Asian businessman

Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte was pivotal in the Big One’s creation and is the driving force behind One Drop’s worldwide water campaign.

“It is an exciting moment and it is wonderful to see the poker community’s generosity, where organizations, players and fans are all coming together to support ONE DROP,” said Laliberté.

“Whether entering the BIG ONE for ONE DROP, becoming a poker ambassador, making a donation, or simply changing their water consumption habits, everyone can get involved and everyone should be concerned, because a child dies every 20 seconds from a water related disease and that together we can beat the odds,” he said.

Stay tuned to’s WSOP 2012 section for live coverage of the WSOP Big One for One Drop starting July 1.

Check out our running list of WSOP Big One player bios as more and more people commit to playing.

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