Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza Announces Schedule, 35 Confirmed Players for Big One

We are now just a month away from the conclusion of the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, the November Nine. Before that, though, there is one semi-kind-of-not-really-related-to-the-WSOP event still to be played. Two weeks from now, the €1 million The Big One for One Drop Invitational – the largest buy-in poker tournament in history – will be held at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, as the crown jewel tournament of the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza. This week, the Extravaganza released the complete schedule for the five-day poker festival and announced that so far, 35 players have confirmed that they will participate in the €1 million event.

Guy Laliberté, Founder of the One Drop Foundation

Guy Laliberté, Founder of the One Drop Foundation

The Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza was created by One Drop and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté in partnership with Group Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer and Caesars Interactive Entertainment. As you may recall, The Big One for One Drop debuted at the 2012 WSOP as a $1 million buy-in tournament with $111,111 of each buy-in going directly to the One Drop Foundation, an organization “dedicated to sustainable access to safe water.”

It was part of the WSOP again in 2014, but did not appear this year.

Enter the The Big One for One Drop Invitational. It nearly mirrors The Big One for One Drop at the WSOP. Caesars, which owns the WSOP, is involved, but there is one big change: it is an invitation-only tournament and only for recreational players, at that.

It seems that Laliberté decided on this change, including moving the tournament across the Atlantic Ocean, in order to prevent poker pros from having a field day with the amateur whales. Some of the wealthy amateurs players who have taken part have done well, but the final tables of the two Big One for One Drop tournaments have been dominated by pros. The winners were also both pros: Antonio Esfandiari in 2012 and Daniel Colman in 2014.

By holding the tournament far from Las Vegas, there is likely less chance that pros would try to worm their way in.

In a press release when the invitational was announced, Laliberté said:

From the beginning, we knew that The Big One for One Drop was a unique event. This year, by shifting the focus to recreational players, we’re looking to bring fun and innovation to charitable giving. We believe the events in Monaco will attract high net-worth individuals from across the globe to enjoy the game, the networking opportunities and the incredible VIP experiences only available in one of the world’s most iconic settings.

So now, with two weeks to go until the big event, 35 players have been confirmed, meaning the prize pool will be at least €31,111,115 with at least €3,888,885 going to One Drop. €111,111 of each buy-in is tagged for One Drop, while the other €888,889 is put in the prize pool, with nothing taken out for the house. This is a re-entry tournament, as well (can you imagine?), so the prize pool and amount donated could certainly climb higher if more players enter and some re-enter when they bust out.

The first day of the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza will feature three super satellite tournaments for the Big One event. They will be in a “step” format, so players can enter the least expensive (and this is certainly in relative terms) €10,000 super sat to try to gain entry into the second step, a €50,000 super sat. Step three is a €250,000 super satellite which awards one seat in the Big One for every €1,000,000 in the prize pool.

There are seven other events aside from the Big One during the week, along with satellites. The week concludes with a €1,000,000 cash game on Monday, October 17th.

The entire schedule of open events for the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza is below. Those interested in the €1,000,000 Big One for One Drop Invitational can pre-register online, though I hope those who would actually consider playing aren’t hearing about it here first.

“BIG ONE” SUPER SATELLITE – STEP 1 €10,000 BUY-IN
October 13th, 2016 @ 10 A.M.

“BIG ONE” SUPER SATELLITE – STEP 2 €50,000 BUY-IN
October 13th, 2016 @ 3 P.M.

“BIG ONE” SUPER SATELLITE – STEP 3 €250,000 BUY-IN
October 13th, 2016 @ 8 P.M.

TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €10,000 BUY-IN
October 14th, 2016 @ 3 P.M.

OMAHA (POT- LIMIT) – PLO  €10,000 BUY-IN
October 14th, 2016 @ 6 P.M.

SATELLITE €25,000 TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €5,250 BUY-IN
October 14th, 2016 @ 8 P.M.

TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €25,000 BUY-IN
October 15th, 2016 @ 1 P.M.

6 – HANDED Mixed (PLO & NLHE)  €10,000 BUY-IN
October 15th, 2016 @ 5 P.M.

SATELLITE €50,000 HEADS UP TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €5,250 BUY-IN
Oct. 15, 2016 @ 8 P.M.

6 – HANDED TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €10,000 BUY-IN
October 16th, 2016 @ 1 P.M.

HEADS UP TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €50,000 BUY-IN
October 16th, 2016 @ 5 P.M.

SATELLITE €100,000 TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €10,400 BUY-IN
October 16th, 2016 @ 8 P.M.

TEXAS HOLD’EM (NO- LIMIT)  €100,000 BUY-IN
October 17th, 2016 @ 11 A.M.

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