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WSOP confirms 12 more players for The Big One for ONE DROP

8 June 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The 43rd Annual World Series of Poker is off and running which means Event #55, better known as the BIG ONE for ONE DROP, is nearing commencement.

The largest buy-in poker tournament ever conceived, with a $1,000,000 entry fee, is slated to take place from July 1-3, 2012 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and will be televised on ESPN.

Less than one month before the exciting moment, ONE DROP Chair and Cirque du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberté announced today the following list of player commitments for this historic event at the 2012 World Series of Poker.

Anonymous (U.S. Hedge Fund Manager)
John Morgan (CEO, Winmark Corporation)
Eugene Katchalov (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Jens Kyllonen (Finnish Professional Poker Player)
Jason Mercier (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
David Peat (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Vivek Rajkumar (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Andrew Robl (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Nick Schulman (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Noah Schwartz (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Roger Teska (U.S. Professional Poker Player)
Sam Trickett (U.K. Professional Poker Player)

In addition, Carlos Nahas will take his seat in this prestigious event after winning the Loto Quebec/Casino Montreal satellite seat that was previously announced. Carlos’ friend Keith Hamilton had originally won the right to participate in the final satellite step, which was a poker tournament at Casino Montreal. However, Hamilton had initially won his step seat via a slot tournament. Unfamiliar with the game of poker, he had his friend Nahas play the poker tournament for him. And play Nahas did. He won the poker tournament, that included several notable professional poker players, and thus Nahas will take his seat in The Big One for ONE DROP as Hamilton has decided to keep the winning formula intact.

Giovanni 'Malibu" Guarascio won the satellite that was held by what was listed as “Montreal private citizen group (Sean O’Donnell).”

Frederic Banjout, previously listed as “Anonymous French Businessman” is now confirmed as the player for that previously announced seat.

The prize pool is projected to now exceed $35,000,000, with the winner to walk away with a 10-figure payday – the largest amount ever awarded in a poker tournament, breaking Jamie Gold’s $12 million haul at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Confirmed players have secured their entry to The Big One for ONE DROP via advance deposits. Some players have requested and the World Series of Poker will respect a players right to remain anonymous prior to the tournament, so publicity doesn’t impact their personal and professional matters.

A profile of most of these players are posted on All In for ONE DROP website at The All In for ONE DROP campaign, launched last November, is designed to raise awareness on water-related issues and encourage the poker community to take action and create a powerful ripple effect.

Currently, Caesars is organizing a comprehensive series of step-satellites to The Big One for ONE DROP with licensed casino partners. All will lead to a mega satellite with guaranteed entry to the $25,300 Big One Satellite on June 30th at the Rio.

Last month and throughout June, more than a dozen properties are expected to hold qualifying tournaments with starting buy-ins under $100, culminating in a guaranteed $25,300 entry awarded at each venue to the June 30th satellite in Las Vegas, with airfare and hotel provided by Caesars Interactive Entertainment. The satellite locations, times and schedule will be updated regularly at

The culminating mega satellite on June 30 will award a minimum of one guaranteed entry to the BIG ONE for ONE DROP regardless of the number of participants and will create one seat for every 40 entries. The satellite will run one day, have a $25,300 entry and allow rebuys. It will include all of the regional qualifiers and also be open to the public.

The tournament, to be played as No-Limit Hold’em, is expected to pay out 20 percent of the field —- double the typical World Series of Poker tournament payout structure and a specially-designed WSOP platinum bracelet, created by renowned jeweler Richard Mille, will be awarded to the victor. Subject to the rules of the tournament, anyone age 21 or older is eligible as long as they have the $1 million entry fee.

The Big One for ONE DROP is the creation of ONE DROP Chair and Cirque du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberté in collaboration with fellow Montrealer and Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber. Making use of WSOP’s poker expertise and global reach, it is an unprecedented effort to raise awareness of water-related issues amongst the poker community and to raise funds to allow ONE DROP to continue to deliver on its important mandate. Funds will be directed to ONE DROP projects around the world, where the team is hard at work dealing with the local water crisis.

From each entry fee, $111,111 will be donated to ONE DROP with a goal of raising enough money for a legacy project that will help a country with access to clean water. The event will be rake-free allowing $888,889 of each entry fee going directly into the prize pool.

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