Esfandiari, Hellmuth Headline WSOP Big One for One Drop Finale

The final table players
These nine players have a shot at the biggest prize in poker history.

The final table is set at the world’s first $1 million buy-in poker tournament with Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth headlining the hunt for the $18.3 million first-place prize.

Joining the Magician and the Brat at the final table are Sam Trickett, Guy Laliberté, Brian Rast, David Einhorn, Richard Yong and Bobby Baldwin.

Day 2 of the Big One for One Drop played out to a packed room at the Rio in Las Vegas and saw the starting field of 37 reduced to eight by roughly midnight.

Entering the final table as chip leader by a small margin is Esfandiari with just under 40 million in chips. UK pro Trickett is right behind him with 37 million.

Here’s how the final eight stack up:

1. Antonio Esfandiari - 39,925,000
2. Sam Trickett - 37,000,000
3. Guy Laliberté - 21,700,000
4. Brian Rast - 11,350,000
5. Phil Hellmuth - 10,925,000
6. David Einhorn - 8,375,000
7. Richard Yong - 7,475,000
8. Bobby Baldwin - 7,150,000

Trailing Esfandiari and Trickett is the man who was the driving force behind this event, Cirque de Soleil founder Laliberté. Sitting in fourth is two-time bracelet winner Brian Rast.

David Einhorn, Richard Yong and Bobby Baldwin round out the "amateur" contingent.

Tomorrow's final table is equally split between professionals and businessmen and while the poker community might be pulling for the professionals, a long list of charities is pulling for the rest.

Einhorn, Founder and President of Greenlight Capital, has pledged 100 percent of his winnings to the City Year charity, and it’s generally assumed that Guy Laliberte will be giving much of his score to One Drop.

Here's how the final eight will be paid:

  • 1. $18,346,673
  • 2. $10,112,001
  • 3. $4,352,000
  • 4. $2,645,333
  • 5. $1,834,666
  • 6. $1,621,333
  • 7. $1,408,000
  • 8. $1,237,333

Mike Sexton Bubbles Big One Final Table

Mike Sexton has been one of the greatest poker ambassadors in the history of the game and most in the poker community were pulling for him to make this final table.

Ultimately Sexton bowed out in ninth place, however, good for over $1.1 million but short of the truly massive money and a seat at the biggest final table in poker history.

Mike Sexton
Mike Sexton narrowly missed the biggest final table in history.

“At the dinner break I was dead last in chips and I had a little rush of cards to make the final nine and cash so all in all I have to be happy with that result,” Sexton told shortly after busting.

“But once you get there obviously all you want to do is go further. I would have really liked to make the televised final and have a shot at the $18 million,” said Sexton.

“I think it would have been good for poker honestly if I got there, and good for me obviously, but it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.

Sexton went broke in ninth when he moved in on the turn against Antonio Esfandiari with middle pair and a flush draw against two pair.

Sexton bricked the river and hit the rail on the final table bubble.

29 Players Go Broke Short of the Money on Day 2

When Day 2 began 37 players still had chips but with only nine spots getting paid the majority were forced to leave with nothing to show for their $1 million buy-in.

Guy Laliberte
One Drop founder Guy Laliberte made the final table.

Out on the very first hand of the day was former Facebook VP and part-owner of the Golden State Warriors Chamath Palihapitiya.

Overall the pace was breakneck with all-ins and eliminations coming one after another. And many of the pros that were thought to have the best shot in this event were among the first to go.

Vivek Rajkumar, Tom Dwan, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Galfond were the next to go after Palihapitiya.

Both Dwan and Negreanu busted in the same hand against Russian Mikhail Smirnov. It was a three-way all-in with pocket aces for Dwan, A-T for Negreanu and pocket nines for Smirnov.

Smirnov flopped a set and rivered quads to score the double elimination.

Gus Hansen, who won his seat in the $25k Mega Satellite at the Rio a few days ago, went broke in a hand against Philipp Gruissem. The Dane four-bet jammed forty big blinds with J T and ran into the German’s A-K.

Ben Lamb and Phil Ivey, two of the most successful players at the WSOP in the last few years, busted shortly after.

Haralabos Voulgaris busted in 17th with pocket queens against a turned eight-high straight from Guy Laliberte.

Tom Marchese three-bet shoved about 12 big blinds with K J from the small blind after Antonio Esfandiari opened from the cut-off. The Magician called with A-5 and it held up for the elimination. Marchese was out in 13th.

Narrowly missing the final table were Brandon Steven (12th), Philipp Gruissem (11th) and Ilya Bulychev (10th).

Action continues tomorrow and you can follow it live with’s Big One for One Drop Live Updates.

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