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Third-largest poker event prize ever awarded at One Drop Extravaganza

17 October 2016

(PRESS RELEASE) -- In a scene seemingly out of a James Bond movie, poker players donned tuxedos, surrounded by would-be Bond girls wearing blue wigs and guitar-playing musicians as festivities kicked off for the final day of the Big One Invitational charity poker tournament in the famed 153-year-old The Monte Carlo Casino to compete for more than $25 million in prize money.

When the final hand was dealt, China's Elton Tsang (Canadian-born, now living in Hong Kong) became the champion of the 2016 Big One Invitational, walking away with the Richard Mille-designed bracelet and a whopping €11,111,111, the third-largest prize ever awarded in a poker tournament.

"I was feeling good, feeling comfortable, getting cards, my bluffs were working, getting a good read on the table," said Tsang afterwards. "It was just going my way. It was going good."

The third iteration of the Big One for One Drop poker tournament made the move to Monte Carlo, Monaco, and became an Invitational event for recreational players.

Twenty-six players took to the felt in the largest buy-in poker tournament ever held: €1,000,000. And at the end of it all, more than €3,000,000 was raised for One Drop. Tsang walked away with the €11,111,111 top prize and the Richard Mille-designed bracelet for winning the event. Russia's Anatoly Gurtovoy's runner-up finish came with a nice €5,427,781 payday.

A total of 28 entries (two players re-entered) created a massive €24,888,892 prize pool, paying out the top six finishers.

Those collecting prize money were as follows:

6th place: Andrew Pantling, 33, Canada, €1,500,000
5th place: Cary Katz, 46, U.S., €1,750,000
4th place: James Bord, 35, U.K., €2,100,000
3rd place: Rick Salomon, 47, U.S., €3,000,000
2nd place: Anatoly Gurtovoy, 43, Russia, €5,427,781
1st place: Elton Tsang, 35, China, €11,111,111

One Drop, one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to sustainable access to safe water, along with Group Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer and Caesars Interactive Entertainment, joined forces at the Casino Monte Carlo in Monaco to put on a five-day fun-filled extravaganza featuring poker, performances and, most importantly, philanthropy.

The final tally of charitable contributions from this event will be released in the near future after all events conclude and all proceeds are tabulated.

The WSOP began working with One Drop in 2012, creating the Big One for One Drop event, the first-ever $1 million buy-in poker tournament, which included an 11.11% charitable component. Since the WSOP-One Drop alliance was formed, more than $17,000,000 in proceeds has been raised for One Drop via the CIE/WSOP platform.

One Drop uses donations to directly implement water access projects, where an average of $100 can transform someone's life forever.

The contributed funds will be dedicated to One Drop water projects in West Africa, India and Central America aimed at providing safe access to water today, and for future generations as well as sustainable income generating opportunities. One Drop continues to increase the scale and impact of its work to transform as many lives as possible.

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