The 43rd Annual World Series of Poker hosted a phenomenal poker tournament that began Sunday, July 1, 2012 – the largest ever buy-in and first-place prize amount in the history of the WSOP – The Big One for One Drop. This monumental event, a charity tournament benefiting professional poker player Guy Laliberte’s non-profit organization, One Drop, featured a whopping $1,000,000 buy-in and an eventual prize pool if $42,666,672.
Respectable nose-bleed stakes if ever there were any, Tom “durrrr” Dwan made a point not to miss the action on this one. Dwan has not made appearances in any of the 2012 WSOP events leading up to the Big One, but none were surprised to see his fastidious entry, the seventh on the list, when registration opened.
Other big names to enter the event include (in order of registration): Bobby Baldwin, Roland Dewolfe, Jonathan Duhamel, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Galfond, Bertrand Grospellier, Gus Hansen, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Jens Kyllonen, Guy Laliberte, Jason Mercier, Michael Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel and Sam Trickett, just no name a 3rd of the highly competitive field, capped at 48 entries. With $111,111 of each million dollar buy-in going to One Drop, it would be interesting to see just how high the prize pool might have climbed had Guy not chosen to cap the field.
Tom Dwan was looking good at the end of day one, possessing the 10th highest chip stack as only 11 players had plummeted from the poker tournament at that point. On day two, however, Dwan met his match very early on, only the 14th player to be eliminated from WSOP Event 55, The Big One for One Drop. Daniel Negreanu, seated at the same table as Tom Dwan, was the very next player to go.
By the time day two came to a close, the final table was all set for eight highly exultant players who knew they would all be guaranteed a minimum of $1.2 million. For Mike Sexton, it was a heartbreak and a triumph all in one as he became the 9th place finisher, winning just over $1.1 million, but falling to the rails as the final elimination that would declare day three, the final table, of the WSOP’s historic million dollar Big One for One Drop.
As the online poker phenom Tom “durrrr” Dwan was most assuredly licking his 7-figure wound, July 3rd saw the start of the final table, which included (in order of highest-lowest chips): Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett, Guy Laliberte, Brian Rast, Phil Hellmuth, David Einhorn, Richard Yong and Bobby Baldwin.
Not surprisingly, Yong and Baldwin (in that order) would be the first to exit the table. Brian Rast and the tournament’s forefather, Guy Laliberte, would end in 6th and 5th place respectively. Hellmuth made a good run but dropped out 4th while Einhorn managed to fight his way back from a very small stack, just long enough to finish in 3rd place. That left Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett to fight it out for the ultimate victory.
When all was said and done, Esfandiari claimed his second WSOP bracelet and the enormous $18,346,637 1st place prize, while UK poker pro Sam Trickett was perfectly exhilarated by the 2nd place finish that netted him a staggering $10,112,001.
In a related story, Sam Trickett was viciously assaulted by 6 men later that same night outside a Las Vegas nightclub. Current reports claim the attack was not a mugging, and that Trickett was not seriously injured or hospitalized – just a few bumps, bruises and a black eye. His girlfriend Natasha Sandhu, who was present at the time of the offense, suffered no injuries.