Event #55: $1 Million Big One for One Drop

$1M One Drop: Esfandiari Wins The Big One For $18,346,673

21:19, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Esfandiari's rail exploads with excitement when he busts Tricket

Antonio Esfandiari The One Drop Champion!

Just like that, we have our first ever One Drop winner. Antonio Esfandiari shelled out $1,000,000 for the biggest ever poker tournament buy-in. In a three-day marathon full of high emotions, television cameras, and plenty of media press, Esfandiari kept his cool to beat out 48 other players.

On Day 1, eleven players were eliminated. Esfandiari’s good friend, Brian Rast, held the chip lead at the end of the day, and Phil Hellmuth was in a close second. Both Hellmuth and Rast kept up their momentum to make it to the final table.

The tournament schedule was set to be very rigorous on Day 2, as the tournament had to play down to the final eight players for the ESPN cameras. Late in the day, players had trouble holding on and overcoming the big stacks and structure jumps.

Tom Marchese, Brandon Steven, and Philipp Gruissem finished just short of the final table. The most defeating finish of the day went to Ilya Bulychev who was eliminated in 10th place becoming one of the biggest bubble boys in poker history.

Mike Sexton finished Day 2 off when he was eliminated in 9th place for $1,109,333. His bust out created the final table that included Bobby Baldwin, Richard Yong, David Einhorn, Phil Hellmuth, Brian Rast, Guy Laliberté, Sam Trickett, and Antonio Esfandiari.

Antonio Esfandiari

Esfandiari can't believe he can fade coolers.

The final table was well matched with four pros and four businessmen. It was a gamble on who would come out on top, but Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett held the chip lead going into the final table.

In the end, Trickett and Esfandiari made it head to head for all the poker money, glory, and bragging rights. Esfandiari was crushing the final table, so when play got to heads-up, Trickett was at a 3-1 disadvantage in chips.

It only took 16 hands before it was all over. Esfandiari played cautiously against Trickett and didn’t give him a chance to double up right away. The two ended up getting it all in when Esfandiari flopped trip fives, and Trickett was willing to call off with a naked flush draw. The flush draw didn’t get there, so Trickett became the $10 million dollar runner up.

Trickett can’t feel too sad, as his hefty $10,112,001 runner-up finish is the third highest cash any player has ever won at a single poker event. Jamie Gold’s $12 million for his 2006 Main Event win comes in second, and Esfandiari just booked the highest single cash of all time.Esfandiari Steals All The Magic

Antonio Esfandiari

We've been looking for a pillow like that everywhere.

Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari just made poker history by taking home the first ever Big One title. This charity event boasts the highest ever buy-in and first place prize. Esfandiari received a custom made bracelet and $18,346,673 for his efforts.

Congratulations to Antionio Esfandiari for such an amazing accomplishment!

Here is how the final table payouts look:

1          Antonio Esfandiari                  $18,346,673

2          Sam Trickett                          $10,112,001

3          David Einhorn                        $4,352,000

4          Phil Hellmuth                         $2,645,333

5          Guy Laliberté                         $1,834,666

6          Brian Rast                             $1,621,333

7          Bobby Balwin                         $1,408,000

8          Richard Yong                         $1,237,333 Level 21 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 75000 Average Stack 144000000 Players Left 1 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Trickett Eliminated in 2nd Place

20:42, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Trickett can't feel too bad about $10,112,001.

As many expected, the biggest poker tournament in the world came down to two pros.

Sam Trickett is a well known professional soccer player turned poker player, and has made a name for himself playing at the highest levels of tournament and cash game poker. Prior to this event, he had over $6.5 million in tournament winnings. Even a second place finish will land him towards the top of the all time real money poker list.

Antonio Esfandiari is a household name for poker enthusiasts.  Esfandiari made his WSOP debute in 2002, and he quickly took the online poker community by storm. His outgoing personality and aggression made him a great personality for t.v. cameras. His tournament winnings total over 4 million. This is his second WSOP final table this year.

Esfandiari had a massive chip lead going into heads-up play. His stack was 107,000,000 verses Trickett’s  37,000,000. Although Trickett’s rail was sure his skills would overcome, it took less than 16 hands for Esfandiari to finish him off.

Trickett Shoves, Takes It

Trickett was far behind his opponent in the chip counts, but he wasn’t down or out. When the first hand of heads-up was dealt, Trickett still had 46 bets.

Blinds were at 400,000/800,000 with a 100,000 ante. Esfandiari raised it to 1.8 million, with Trickett coming over the top for 4.7 million. Esfandiari pushed out 10 million, but quickly mucked when Trickett shoved. Trickett gained some respect when he showed A♥ Q♣.

Rail War

Esfandiari had the more vocal rail by far, but the British contingent is here to cheer on their man Trickett.

After a few hands, Trickett trimmed down Esfandairi’s lead to less than 2-1. Trickett was sitting on 50 million in chips, but Esfandiari still had the lead at 94 million.

Sam Trickett Eliminated in 2nd Place $10,112,001

Esfandiari raised to 1.8 million and Trickett called. The two players were met with a fairly innocent looking flop of J♦ 5♦ 5♣.

Trickett checked the flop, and Esfandiari pushed out a small bet. Trickett sensed weakness and raised to 5.4 million. Esfandiari was having none of it, and shot back with a 10 million chip bet. Trickett deliberated before four-betting to 15 million. Esfandiari five-bet all-in, and Trickett quickly called.

Esfandiari: 7♦ 5♠

Trickett: Q♦ 6♦

Esfandiari was ahead with trips, but Trickett wasn’t out of the game by any means. He could still win with any diamond.

The 3♥ on the turn didn’t change a thing, and Esfandiari’s rail got even louder

“ONE TIME!” His supporters yelled in anticipation of the river card.

Esfandiari paced around the stage as the dealer was finally instructed to deliver the last card. The 2♥ came on the river, and that sealed the deal to crown Esfandiari as the One Drop champion. Level 21 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 75000 Players Left 1 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Hellmuth and Einhorn Fall-Down To Heads Up

19:43, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Hellmuth sucks out, but doesn't hold up.

Before we were able to miss Guy Laliberté, who was eliminated in our last update, Phil Hellmuth sent his chips over to Sam Trickett. Then, before we were able to process what happened, David Einhorn shipped his chips over to Esfandiari’s massive stack.

Phil Hellmuth Eliminated in 4th For $2,645,333

Laliberte’s seat was still warm when we lost Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth had gotten very short-stacked and finally got his chips in with A♠ 10♠. However, Trickett woke up with A♥ Q♥ and happily made the call to try to bust the “Poker Brat” out.

The flop came A♣ 10♥ 5♥, which put Hellmuth in the lead with two pair. However, Trickett picked up outs with the flush draw.

The K♦ on the turn gave Trickett even more outs, as any heart, king, jack, or queen would send Hellmuth to the rail and the chips to Trickett.

The crowd went wild when the J♣ fell on the river. The elimination of Hellmuth helped to close the gap slightly between Trickett and Esfandiari.

David Einhorn

David Einhorn has a great showing getting eliminated in 3rd place.

David Einhorn Eliminated in 3rd for $4,352,000

Play went to three-handed between the two pro poker players and the businessman. It seemed like as soon as Phil Hellmuth was eliminated, David Einhorn put himself at risk for elimination. 

Einhorn had been frequently shoving with his very short stack. Neither of the pros were willing to lose the chips with their hands, so they gave Einhorn a few pots. Finally, Einhorn shoved again and Esfandiari looked down and found enough to call him with.

Esfandiari: K♣ 10♠

Einhorn: K♠ 9♣.

The flop came 10♥ 9♦ 6♥, which didn’t change anything. Esfandiari was still dominating Einhorn’s hand. The 3♥ turn kept Esfandiari in the lead, and so did the Q♠ river.

Einhorn was the last amateur standing, and he leaves the two seasoned pros to battle it out for the $18.3 million top prize.

Esfandiari will take more than a 3-1 chip advantage into heads-up play. Esfandiari goes into heads up play with about 107 million chips verses Trickett’s 37 million. Level 21 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 75000 Average Stack 72000000 Players Left 2 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Esfandiari Dominates & Makes Laliberté Disappear

19:12, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Esfandiari plays his 'A' game on the final table.

The elimination of Brian Rast was a major upset for poker enthusiasts. Not only was Rast a conditioned pro who had a big chance to take this whole tournament down, but he also had some interesting dynamics with some of the players on the table.

Antonio Esfandiari and Brian Rast are good friends, and it was interesting watching them play pots together. Alternatively, Brian Rast and Phil Hellmuth went head-to-head in last year’s Players Championship where Rast ended up beating Hellmuth heads up. His presence at the table was certainly something to watch.

After Rast got done doing several interviews, he made his way over to Esfandiari’s rail to root for his friend from the sidelines.

Esfandiari Getting Frisky

Esfandiari has been playing an active role in trying to accumulate chips. He has shown several bluffs over the last hour to take pots off of Einhorn and Hellmuth.

Earlier, Esfandiari made a big three-bet to get Hellmuth to fold A♥ 10♣ face-up. Esfandiari must have been trying to get under Hellmuth’s skin because after he scooped the pot he showed Hellmuth’s his 9♣ 2♥.

A few hands later, Esfandiari was at it again in a pot against Einhorn. Esfandiari raised from the button to 1.3 million and Einhorn called from the big blind.

Einhorn led out for 1.6 million on a Q♠ 10♠ 8♠ flop and Esfandiari called. Einhorn fired out another 2.2 million when the turn came the 7♠. Esfandiari called again.

Einhorn slowed down and checked the 5♥ on the river. Esfandiari took the chance to be the aggressor in the hand and fired out 4.7 million. Einhorn folded his hand showing 10♦ 9♦ for middle pair. Esfandiari turned over just A♦ 8♦ for a smaller middle pair. However, he was able to let his chips do the talking to take down the pot.

Esfandiari Takes a Big One From Trickett

With Esfandiari being so active on the table, it was only a matter of time before the two big stacks clashed.

Laliberté started off the festivities by making a bet to 1.2 million. Esfandiari raised from the small blind to 2.7 million, and Trickett bumped to 4.3 million from the big blind.

Laliberte folded, but Esfandiari tank called. The flop came K♦ 7♥ 2♥, with about 10 million chips in the middle.

Esfandiari check-called a 3.2 million bet from Trickett. When the 8♠ hit the turn, Esfandiari check-called another 4.4 million bet.

The Q♥ on the river put a possible flush on the board, which both players checked.

Trickett turned over 8♦ 9♦ for third pair, which was well behind Esfandiari’s top pair with A♥ K♠.

Guy Laliberte

Guy Laliberté has made a fantastic contribution to poker that will surely be talked about for years to come.

Guy Laliberté Finishes 5th: $1,834,666

So far, this appears to be Esfandiari’s final table. He spent the last hour amassing a great deal of chips to take the chip lead, and he also claimed his latest victim.

It was a classic coin-flip situation that saw the two spin up a 50 million chip pot. Laliberte shoved all-in with Q♥ Q♦, and Esfandiari called with A♠ K♦.

Guy Laliberté, the face of this event, was at risk for his tournament life. All he had to do was avoid the six over cards that were in the deck, and any strange running cards.

When the flop came J♣ 7♦ 2♣, Laliberté seemed to be in great shape. However, the K♠ on the turn produced an explosion from Esfandiari’s many supporters on the rails. Laliberté turned to the dealer and yelled, “One time!”

The poker gods answered Laliberté with an I.O.U. because the river blanked landing  the 4♣. Esfandiari’s rail started going nuts in celebration, while the rest of the crowd started chanting “Guy Guy Guy!

After celebrating, even Esfandiari’s rail applauded in a show of support for Laliberte’s efforts in founding One Drop and his strong showing here in the tournament.

That huge pot gives Esfandiari a big lead with 76 million chips, far ahead of his closest competitor. Trickett was in second place with 35 million in chips. Level 21 Blinds 300000/600000 Ante 75000 Average Stack 28800000 Players Left 5 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Rast Freezes Out

18:34, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Rast gets coolered by Trickett.

The final table is starting to get very exciting. The intermittent breaks every five minutes have dissipated, giving way to chips flying across the table.

Brian Rast was eliminated in an epic final table cooler, he put his chips in with the nut flush and lost. Read on for more details…

Trickett Lays Down Nines Preflop

Sam Trickett dodged a big bullet when he made a good read on David Einhorn. It was a spot that many players would have lost a ton of chips in, but Trickett’s expertise helped him get away from the hand.

Trickett bet 1.2 million from late position, and Einhorn bumped it up to 3 million. When it folded around, the young Brit took a few minutes to consider his options. After working out all the angles in his head, he folded his pocket nines face up. Einhorn returned the favor by showing Trickett pocket kings .

Brian Rast Eliminated in 6th Place $1,621,333

In our last update, we mentioned that Brian Rast was slipping to the bottom of the chip counts. He has been playing patiently all day, but that patience didn’t work out the way he’d hoped.

Rast was on the button and called Trickett’s 1.2 million opening bet, and Esfandiari called from the small blind as well.

The three saw a flop of 4♥ 3♥ 8♥, which Esfandiari checked, Trickett raised 1.8 million, and Rast called. Esfandiari got out of the way.

The turn was the 10♠, which saw Trickett bet 3.8 million. Rast called behind.

When the 3♠ came on the river, Trickett tanked before moving all-in. Rast was covered, but he snap-called putting himself at risk.

Rast: A♥ J♥

Trickett: 3♦ 3♣

Trickett picked an amazing time for a huge hand. His quad threes were just what the doctor ordered to beat Rast’s nut flush and knock him out in 6th place.

Chip Counts

Sam Trickett                         51,000,000

Antonio Esfandiari                 37,950,000

Guy Laliberté                        27,050,000

David Einhorn                       14,125,000

Phil Hellmuth                        13,850,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com Level 1 Blinds 3000/6000 Ante 1000 Players Left 6 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Baldwin Takes a Stand, But Gets Eliminated

17:46, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

A poker legend has busted.

Players were due back from dinner break at 4:30 pm, but cards didn’t hit the felt until 4:55 pm. When dinner break ended, that was the que for the Vegas showgirls to stand on point at the back of the stage. Their pink feathers and bedazzled outfits could be seen in the background of the shot as the remaining players were introduced to the crowd again. 

Bobby Baldwin Finishes 7th: $1,408,000

When play resumed, it took all of one hand for chips to find their way into the middle. Bobby Baldwin was on the button and he moved all in over the top of Guy Laliberté’s raise. Laliberté made the call at the chance to knock Baldwin out.

Laliberté: J♥ J♣

Baldwin: A♣ 10♠.

The board came out 7♠ 10♥ 8♣ Q♥ 7♥. Baldwin wiggled off the hook once today when he put his chips in behind to double. However, this time there’d be no escape. Baldwin was knocked out in 7th place and takes home $1,408,000.

Baldwin’s exit leaves just one former Main Event winner still in the hunt as Hellmuth tries to add another impressive poker bracelet to his resume.

Price of Poker Going Up

Blinds went up to 300,000/600,000 with 75,000 antes during level 21. That means that chip leader, Sam Trickett, has about 70 big blinds. David Einhorn has the short stack, which gives him less than 20 big blinds to work with.

We just passed the 40 hand mark as far as total hands play, for a pretty slow place that has seen numerous delays and pauses due to the fact that the action is being televised and streamed by ESPN.

Jubilee girls

That's Vegas Baby!

Not Many Showdowns

Since Baldwin was knocked out on the first hand coming back from break, there haven’t been many show downs. The chips are starting to become more evenly spread out amongst the players and the blinds are becoming massive at 300,000/600,000. This means that every decision is critical and could mean the difference between sixth place and first.

Sam Trickett raised to 1,200,000 from under the gun, and Guy Laliberté called from the cutoff. Antonio Esfandiari was in the big blind and also called.

When the flop came K♠ Q♥ 3♣, Esfandiari quickly checked his option. Trickett sent out 1,300,000 chips to do his bidding. However, Laliberté wasn’t scared, and sent out 2,750,000 soldiers. Esfandiari didn’t have much skin in the same, so he folded his hand to let the two battle.

The decision was on Trickett to decide his next move. There was a 2 million difference between Trickett and Esfandiari for the chip lead, and this decision would determine if Trickett was going to stay at the top of the leader board or if he was going to slip to second position.

In the end, Trickett opted to pick a better spot and folded his hand.

What Happened to the Rastinator?

Brian Rast started the final table as one of the more active players -- dubbed “the Rastinator” by one of the announcers in the early going -- but he’s been taking a much more passive line over the last few hours.

He’s stayed active enough to pick up some pots here and there, but he’s now inching towards the back of the pack.

Chip Counts

Sam Trikett                            38,925,000

Antonio Esfandiari                  36,950,000

Guy Laliberté                         25,850,000

Phil Hellmuth                         16,800,000

Brian Rast                             13,875,000

David Einhorn                        11,575,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com Level 1 Blinds 3000/6000 Ante 1000 Average Stack 24000000 Players Left 6 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Early Dinner Break

16:10, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Players are on dinner break until 4:30.

For a moment we thought we were covering the senior’s event. After level 19 was completed, the tournament director announced that players were on a 45-minute dinner break.

There have been numerous interruptions and breaks at today’s final table. A large part of the interruptions have been for the ESPN cameras and interview schedules. Now, players are on a dinner break after having played only two levels. For this reason, people seemed very surprised to hear that it was already time for dinner. A 4:00pm dinner break is early for any tournament, including the seniors event.

The constant breaks and interruptions don’t seem to be affecting the pros left in the field. We’re definitely seeing the difference in the styles of play and the skills that experience has to offer.  The pros have all moved into leading spots, while the amateur players have taken over the short stacks.

Before the break, Esfandiari and Trickett kept taking small stabs with small opens just over a min-raise to collect chips. Hellmuth amped up his aggression before his stack got too short, and raked in several nice pots before the break. He was able to get back up to 18 million chips, which is good enough for third place at the moment.

Laliberte, Einhorn, and Baldwin dipped during the last level, seemingly waiting for big hands to make a stand with, and consequently seeing the blinds and antes carve big chunks from their stacks.

Blinds will be going up to 250,000/500,000 after the break, so the businessmen will have to see equity in stealing as many pots as they can if they want to survive.

Players will be back in their seats at 4:30pm. Here is how the chips stacks are measuring up:

Sam Trikett                             41,900,000

Antonio Esfandiari                   38,425,000

Phil Hellmuth                          17,875,000

Brian Rast                              12,650,000

David Einhorn                         11,775,000

Guy Laliberté                          11,225,000

Bobby Baldwin                        10,150,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com Level 1 Blinds 3000/6000 Ante 1000 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Yong Gets Eliminated While Baldwin Doubles

15:49, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Rast celebrates as he scoops Yong's chips.

Players came back from their 15-minute break with energy and enthusiasm. Both Baldwin and Yong were short on chips, and we had our eyes on them to see how they were going to manage their stacks.

Yong was the first to ship his chips into the pot, and Baldwin was only a few hands behind him trying for a double up. Baldwin was able to pull out a miracle card to double up, while Yong became our first casualty of the day.

Richard Yong Finishes 8th - $1,237,333

We’ve had our first casualty of the One Drop final table. Richard Yong bowed out in 8th place when his A♣ 2♥ couldn’t hold versus Brian Rast’s K♠ J♥.

Yong shoved his last 3.3 million in the first hand after the break with Rast re-shoving from the small blind for nearly 9 million total. Everyone else cleared out, leaving the two fighting over the chips.

The flop of 7♦ 5♠ 3♣ was a good one for Yong, and he was still ahead on the turn with the 2♠. When the K♦ fell on the river, Rast’s rail jumped up in excitement and celebration. It was just the river Rast needed to eliminate Yong and send some much needed chips Rast’s way.

Bobby Baldwin

Baldwin tips his cap to the crowd after he doubles up.

Bobby Baldwin Uses a Lifeline

Baldwin appeared to be headed out the door as a 7th place finisher, but a fortunate river card saw him double through Guy Laliberté to stay alive.

Laliberté raised to 1 million pre-flop and Baldwin called from the button. Trickett felt he was getting a good price, so he called from the small blind.

The flop came 4♦ 6♥ 8♣. The action checked to Baldwin who shoved for his last 3.4 million. Trickett folded, but Laliberté made the call.

Laliberté: 4♠ 5♠

Baldwin: K♠ 9♠

The 5♣ on the turn gave Laliberté two pair, and Baldwin could only survive if a seven came on the river to give him a straight. To everyone’s amazement, the 7♦ came on the river to save Baldwin from elimination.

Everyone in the stands exclaimed in excitement, applauding Baldwin’s perfect-perfect. Baldwin looked stunned as he starred at the board for a few seconds. It didn’t take him long to snap out of it. He took off his visor, waved it up into the air, and smiled at his adoring fans.

Baldwin is still one of the shorter stacks, but he has a bit more breathing room to wait for another miraculous hand.

One Time for Poker?

There’s been lots of chatter on Twitter the last few days from top pros about whether or not the One Drop event is good or bad for poker and the potential long-term effects an event with a $1 million buy-in might have on the economics of the game.

It definitely makes for exciting television and sexy headlines with the winner taking down over $18 million but some have pointed out the risk as well that a lot of money could potentially leave the poker economy for good if Laliberte or Einhorn prevails here.

The event has also generated tons of rumors and speculation about just where the money for some of the buy-ins for pros came from, as not everyone has an extra million lying around to play without getting backers and investors.

One juicy rumor is that Hellmuth worked out a very creative deal in the MGM VIP satellite that saw him win his One Drop event at the last minute, cutting a deal when play was five-handed by selling off a big percentage of his action in the event if he “won” the satellite seat.

Hellmuth Slipping, Baldwin Building

Hellmuth has slipped into short stack status with just over 11 million chips (22 big blinds.) Baldwin has remained active after his double-up through Laliberte, and has dragged in several small pots to get out of the basement.

This event has fairly flat payout structure on the lower ladder, which doesn’t leave much incentive for players to play the waiting game. The recent lack of big clashes is likely a result of cold cards than cautiousness or nerves. Level 1 Blinds 3000/6000 Ante 1000 Average Stack 20571428.571429 Players Left 7 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Laliberté Brings In The Clowns

14:45, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Laliberté puts on a clown nose to show off for Esfandiari.

The final eight players are playing some tough poker. There haven’t been any eliminations yet, but Bobby Baldwin is sitting at the short stack with 6,500,000 in chips. That is only about 16 bets, so we may see Baldwin try to double up in the next hour.

Mike Sexton was the 9th place finisher in this event, and he took $1,109,333 for his efforts. There is only a $128,000 difference between ninth place and eighth place. That would seem like a fair amount of money, but these guys are aiming for the top prize of $18,346,673. The next significant pay jump will be at 4th place for $2,645,333.

Laliberté and Esfandiari Play a Big One

Guy Laliberté was able to accumulate 3 million in chips from Antonio Esfandiari. Esfandiari had raised preflop, and Laliberté called.

The flop came 5♦ 6♥ 7♥. Laliberté checked, Esfandirai bet 1 million, and Laliberté moved all in.

As Esfandiari thought about making the call, Laliberté put on foam clown nose. The crowd erupted with applause, as they were visibly delighted at the unexpected antic. 

Esfandiari asked for a count on Laliberté’s chips. The “blue clown nose” tell seemed to mean something to Esfandiari, so he mucked shortly after to send a nice pot Laliberté’s way.

Blinds went up to 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante, which leaves the shorter stacks of Yong and Baldwin with about 15-20 big blinds to work with.

Sam Trickett New Stealth Leader

Sam Trickett hasn’t tangled in many big pots but he’s quietly assumed the new role of chip leader here, trying to score one for the UK Poker as the only British poker player at today’s final table.

Trickett is a bit better known across the pond but he’s already seen plenty of tournament success in his young career, including three different $1 million+ cashes for his wins at the Partouche Poker Tour Final and winning both the $100K and $250K buy-in events at the 2011 Aussie Millions.

He’s no stranger to big cash games, either, spending a ton of time recently with the likes of Tom Dwan and fellow one Drop final tabler Richard Yong in the biggest cash games currently in the world that run in Macau.

David Einhorn

Einhorn isn't afraid to tangle with the pros.

Hellmuth Muscles Out Einhorn

Hellmuth has been fairly quiet so far at the final table but he just took a big one from David Einhorn with a big river bet.

Hellmuth raised to 900,000 from middle position and Einhorn defended his big blind, with the two seeing a flop of 9♥ 5♠ 3♣.

They both checked to see the 10♠ turn, and checked around with the K♣ falling on the river.

Einhorn pushed out 1.5 million on the river. Hellmuth was having none of it, so he raised to 7 million. Einhorn stood up and seemed to want to find a call. He askied for a count and tanked for a few minutes before releasing his hand and watching the pot slide Hellmuth’s way.

Break It Up

Players are on their first official 15-minute break of the day, with Esfandiari clawing his way back into the chip lead with just over 39 million chips, with Trickett in second with 37 million and Laliberte hanging tough in third with 20 million.

Laliberte and Einhorn haven’t been shy at all at this final table, proving more than willing to commit chips and tangle with the pros.

The other businessman at the table Richard Yong has been a little more cautious but his short stack -- less than 10 big blinds -- won’t leave him much time to remain patient when they return from break.

Bobby Baldwin has been pretty quiet himself, and with about 12 big blinds he’ll need to perk up some when play resumes if he doesn’t want to slip any further into the danger zone.

Chip Counts

Antonio Esfandiari                40,750,000

Sam Trickett                         36,950,000

Guy Laliberté                        19,725,000

David Einhorn                       15,000,000

Phil Hellmuth                        13,375,000

Brian Rast                             9,325,000

Richard Yong                         5,450,000

Bobby Baldwin                      3,325,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com Level 18 Blinds 150000/300000 Ante 50000 Average Stack 18000000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Cards In The Air, Esfandiari Leads

13:39, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Esfandiari takes the chip lead.

After a 55-minute delay, cards are in the air and action is underway. The event started with a short introduction of each player, and a few intermittent drum beats from the Cirque du Soleil performers. It seems like there might have been a more drawn out intro planned, but since the schedule is running behind things were rushed in lieu of getting cards into the air.

Blinds for the day are starting at 150,000/300,000 with a 50,000 ante.

Quick All-In for Rast

Phil Hellmuth took down the very first pot of the One Drop final table with a bet to collect the blinds and Brian Rast wasted no time getting his chips in the middle on the second hand, shoving for 11.25 million over the top of a Guy Laliberte open of 850,000.

Action folded back to Guy and he dwelled a bit before folding.

Based on audience applause during player introductions, Laliberte and Rast have the most vocal fans here at the final table -- no real shock as Rast is a popular local player and Laliberte is the founder of the One Drop charity benefiting from all the action today.

Esfandiari Builds

With blinds of 150,000/300,000 and a 50,000 ante, Rast opened with a min-raise to 600,000 from early position, with Esfandiari bumping it up to 1.3 million from the hijack.

Rast made the call and the two saw a flop of A♣ K♦ Q♠, with Rast checking. Esfandiari slid out 1.425 million and Rast called.

The 5♦ on the turn saw both players check, with Rast again checking the 9♦ on the river. Esfandiari bet 2.6 million to send Rast deep in the tank before he finally surrendered and folded, sending a nice pot to Esfandiari to extend his chip lead.

Cooler for the Magician

Esfandiari got off to a good start but just took a big hit due to a classic cooler situation versus David Einhorn.

Einhorn had shoved for his last 7.5 million or so chips and Esfandiari couldn’t have called any quicker, tabling pocket kings but finding himself far behind Einhorn’s pocket aces.

Calls from the audience for a “KING BALL!” went unheard, as the board ran out 9♠ 8♠ 5♦ 10♣ 3♣ to give Einhorn a huge double-up and reel Esfandiari back towards the chasing pack.

Chip Counts

Antonio Esfandiari                 37,175,000

Sam Trickett                         36,400,000

Guy Laliberté                        19,900,000

David Einhorn                       16,050,000

Phil Hellmuth                        10,875,000

Brian Rast                            8,625,000

Richard Yong                         8,525,000

Bobby Baldwin                      6,350,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com Level 17 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 40000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Waiting On Action To Begin

12:59, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Everyone is eagerly waiting to see who will be our 18 million do

We’re grinding our way towards the start of the One Drop final table, where we’ll see poker history made today with over $40 million in cash doled out to the final nine players.

They’re still tweaking the ESPN cameras and doing player interviews and handling all the other tiny details, so we’re still at least fifteen minutes or so before cards in the air.

A Cirque du Soleil drum troop is just about to kick off the action here, with spectators and fans already piling into the ESPN feature table where the action will take place.

Here are the chip counts that players will start with when we get rolling:

Antonio Esfandiari – 39,925,000

Sam Trickett – 37,000,000

Guy Laliberte – 21,700,000

Brian Rast – 11,350,000

Phil Hellmuth – 10,925,000

David Einhorn – 8,375,000

Richard Yong – 7,475,000

Bobby Baldwin – 7,150,000

As far as the final nine, there are still a handful of non-pros in the running, with Guy Laliberte, David Einhorn, and Richard Yong trying to prove that it’s possible to beat the very best of the poker world at their own game.

Esfandiari and Trickett have to be pretty heavy favorites as both have a ton of experience and results on poker’s biggest stages. Rast and Hellmuth are no slouches, either, and many forget that Bobby Baldwin won the Main Event in 1978 before moving over to the other side of the table as a casino executive Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

$1M One Drop: Final Table Preview

10:06, 3 July 2012, published 7 years ago Share:

Can anyone stop Antonio Esfandiari?

Eight players remain in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop and by the end of the day one of them will be the biggest all-time winner in tournament poker.

Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett, Guy Laliberte, Brian Rast, Phil Hellmuth, David Einhorn, Richard Yong and Bobby Baldwin will battle it out today until one of them walks away with a staggering $18.3 million first-place prize.

Esfandiari has spent much of the last two days with the chip lead and will head to the final table with 39 million in chips. English poker superstar Sam Trickett isn’t far behind, however, with 37 million.

Interestingly Guy Laliberte, who came up with the idea for this tournament, is in third place with 21 million.

Brian Rast and Phil Hellmuth (who played heads-up for a bracelet in the $50k Players Championship last year) find themselves in the middle with both players holding about 11 million chips.

Finally David Einhorn (8 million), Richard Yong (7.4 million) and Bobby Baldwin (7.1) are positioned at the bottom of the chip counts.

Einhorn has pledged to donate all of his $1 Big One winnings to charity so there are no doubt quite a few fans in his corner.

This event began with 48 of the best poker players in the world and over the last two days we’ve seen Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and Jason Mercier all hit the rail in their quest for the fabled Big One title.

Last night saw Mike Sexton take the first payout as he bubbled the final table by finishing ninth for $1.1 million. The eight-player final table still has $41 million up for grabs.

If you’re even a little bit of a poker fan this is an event you don’t want to miss. Check back here at 12 p.m. to see how this bad boy plays out.

Here are the chip counts heading into the final table:

Antonio Esfandiari – 39,925,000
Sam Trickett – 37,000,000
Guy Laliberte – 21,700,000
Brian Rast – 11,350,000
Phil Hellmuth – 10,925,000
David Einhorn – 8,375,000
Richard Yong – 7,475,000
Bobby Baldwin – 7,150,000 Level 17 Blinds 120000/240000 Ante 40000 Players Left 8 Tables Left 1

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