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WSOP What to Watch For: The Big One for One Drop Is Back!

With six events in action including three entering scheduled final days, there will be no shortage of excitement today at the 2014 World Series of Poker. But grabbing a great deal of the spotlight will be the return of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, back again after debuting in 2012.

Here’s a rundown of all that’s happening today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino

Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

On Thursday an enormous field of 7,864 turned out for Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack, the third-largest tournament field ever and the largest for an event with one starting day.

Three days later they are down to 62, and while the schedule calls for this to be the fourth and final day, we’ll find out late tonight whether or not an extra day might be needed to learn who among that big field will emerge as the winner to collect the huge $1,327,083 first prize (the biggest so far this summer outside of the $50K Poker Players Championship).

Sean Drake returns to the biggest stack today with 4,975,000, putting him just ahead of Austin Bursavich (4,915,000) with a bit of space between them and Lynne Beaumont in third position (3,950,000).

Also starting today well-positioned are Joseph McKeehen (in fifth, 3,740,000), Jason Duval (ninth, 3,465,000), Thayer Rasmussen (11th, 3,005,000), and Bolivar Palacios (16th, 2,595,000).

While this one may not get all of the way down to a winner tonight, the tension should be high regardless as all nine of the players who make the final table will earn at least six-figure paydays. (Check out those final table payouts above.)

They’ll start mashing the “Monster Stack” again at 3 p.m. PDT, so begin following the Event #51 live updates then to see who gets deep enough to have a shot at those riches.

Event #53: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship

Meanwhile after two days of play in the Event #53: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship they’ve worked from a starting field of 793 down to a nine-handed final table, with Mikiyo Aoki the big leader to start play today with 742,000 — well ahead of her nearest competitor, Meikat Siu with 460,000.

While Aoki has no previous WSOP cashes, Siu picked up a couple last year in NLHE events. Of the rest of those remaining, Elizabeth Montizanti (sixth, 184,000) has the longest WSOP résumé with five previous cashes.

Also at today’s final table will be Patty Landis (fourth, 219,000), which means Daniel Negreanu will have to do without the help of his personal assistant this afternoon while in the Big One for One Drop. Landis has worked with Negreanu for several years, and with Event #53 is making her first WSOP cash and harbors hope to grab a bracelet before her boss does this summer.

They begin play at 1 p.m. today, so check those Event #53 live updates starting then to see who wins the Ladies Championship bracelet and $153,470 first prize.

Event #54: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low

They are down to just 20 from a starting field of 474 in Event #54: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low, meaning they have a good chance to find a winner today as well.

Jonathan Depa (first, 442,000), Shiva Dudani (second, 405,000), and Gary Bolden (third, 382,000) return as the pace-setters today, with Fabrice Soulier (fourth, 347,000), Florian Langmann (seventh, 265,000), and Ted Lawson (10th, 199,000) among those in the chase pack.

The bottom 10 also include a number of notables, with Dylan Wilkerson (13th, 162,000), Lee Markholt (14th, 136,000), Eoghan O’Dea (17th, 96,000), and the Event #13: $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship winner Paul Volpe (20th, 50,000) still alive and with hopes of challenging for the bracelet and $297,650 first prize.

They’ll start making those pot-sized bets and raises at 2 p.m. today, so start following the action on the Event #54 live updates then.

Event #55: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

A big group of 2,396 came for yesterday’s Day 1 of Event #55: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, with 268 making it through to today led by Michael Malm with with Zo Karim, Erkut Yilmaz, and Aaron Massey currently just behind him atop the counts, and Brandon Cantu, George Kapalas, and Davide Suriano among those also positioned well to start Day 2.

The top 243 finishers make the cash, so an early highlight today will be the bursting of the bubble after which players will begin claiming pieces of the big $3,234,600 prize pool as they all continue to battle for the bracelet and $582,321 first prize.

They’ll have a 1 p.m. start today for this one, so begin refreshing the Event #55 live updates then.

Event #56: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em

Getting a busy Sunday going today will be another $1K NLHE event as Event #56: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em gets underway.

Kyle Cartwright, Jeff Smith, Dominik Nitsche, Dutch Boyd, and Will Givens won the first five $1K NLHE events on the 2014 WSOP schedule, with the average turnout for those events being exactly 1,947 players.

This one begins at 12 noon local time, which is when the Event #56 live updates will begin as well.

Event #57: The $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop

The most anticipated tournament of the day will of course be Event #57: The $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop, an event that returns to the WSOP schedule for a second time after debuting in 2012.

A total of 48 top pros, businessmen, and others with deep pockets (and well-bankrolled backers) participated in the event two years ago for which $111,111 of each $1 million entry fee is set aside to go to One Drop, the charitable organization begun by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté that is dedicated to improving access to safe water around the world.

Antonio Esfandiari won that event, taking away an incredible $18,346,673 first prize, the largest ever for any poker tournament. Here’s how the payouts went for the top nine finishers who made the money in the event two years ago:

Antonio Esfandiari after winning the 2012 Big One for One Drop

PlacePlayerPrize
1Antonio Esfandiari$18,346,673
2Sam Trickett$10,112,001
3David Einhorn$4,352,000
4Phil Hellmuth$2,645,333
5Guy Laliberté$1,834,666
6Brian Rast$1,621,333
7Bobby Baldwin$1,408,000
8Richard Yong$1,237,333
9Mike Sexton$1,109,333

With a 56-player cap, there’s a possibility this year’s version of the Big One will draw a larger field, and thus create a larger prize pool, with a $20 million-plus first prize within the realm of possibility.

Last night Erick Lindgren and Connor Drinan each won seats into the event via a $25,300 satellite, the live updates from which you can read through here at PokerNews.

Those two will join the following list of players already announced as confirmed to participate: Max Altergott, Bobby Baldwin, Jean-Robert Bellande, Dan Cates, Daniel Colman, David Einhorn, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Galfond, Anthony Gregg, Philipp Gruissem, Tom Hall, Isaac Haxton, Niklas Heinecker, Phil Ivey, Igor Kurganov, Guy Laliberté, John Morgan, Jason Mercier, Greg Merson, Daniel Negreanu, Paul Newey, Doug Polk, Fabian Quoss, Vivek Rajkumar, Brian Rast, Tobias Reinkemeier, Andrew Robl, Noah Schwartz, Erik Seidel, Scott Seiver, Vanessa Selbst, Talal Shakerchi, Brandon Steven, Sam Trickett, and Christoph Vogelsang.

Three “anonymous businessmen” have confirmed as well, with a couple more satellite winners from the Aria and Bellagio also expected to play.

You’ll definitely want to start checking the Event #57 live updates at 1 p.m. today when the tournament is scheduled to begin to see who else might show up to battle for what may well be the largest ever first prize in poker tournament history.

Here again is a rundown of the full Sunday schedule at the 2014 WSOP (all times PDT):

  • 12:00 p.m. — Event #56: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 1 of 3)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #57: The $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop (Day 1 of 3)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #53: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship (Day 3 of 3)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #55: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2 of 3)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Event #54: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low (Day 3 of 3)
  • 3:00 p.m. — Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack (Day 4 of 4)

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