With 101 days until the 2014 World Series of Poker $1 Million Big One for One Drop, nearly half of the tournament is already sold out.
On Wednesday, Caesars Interactive Entertainment announced that 23 entries have been confirmed for the seven-figure bracelet event scheduled for June 29 through July 1, and all of them are returning players. Among them are 2012 One Drop champion Antonio Esfandiari, One Drop founder Guy Laliberté, and Phil Ivey.
"I can’t wait to defend my title," Esfandiari said in a statement. "That event was life-changing, but so was my trip to El Salvador after it with the One Drop organization to see first hand what a difference the money raised from this event can do for those in dire need of help."
When asked how he thinks this year's tournament will differ from the inaugural 2012 version, Esfandiari told PokerNews, "I think there will be more mainstream media around [the event]. There was a lot around the first one, but I think that with the two-year wait people are really anxious and excited. Not to mention, the bigger prize pool is always a nice draw." Then, when asked which players he fears most heading into the tournament, Esfandiari responded, "I fear any good, aggressive player on my left. That's about it. If he's on my right, I don't fear him one bit."
One of those players who could appear on either Esfandiari's right or left will be Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, and he is equally excited about the event, but for a very different reason.
"I'm really excited to play this tournament again," he told PokerNews. "And I'm looking forward to knocking out Antonio. If he wins, I may quit poker."
If you remember, Esfandiari knocked Mercier out of the 2012 One Drop on this cooler.
Laliberté echoes Esfandiari and Mercier, adding “The inaugural event made history and I look forward to another historic moment again this June... The support from the poker community continues to be just incredible.”
Here is the list of confirmed players:
Players Confirmed For 2014 One Drop
|Antonio Esfandiari||Guy Laliberté||Bobby Baldwin||David Einhorn|
|Phil Galfond||Philipp Gruissem||Phil Ivey||Jason Mercier|
|Paul Newey||Bill Perkins||Vivek Rajkumar||Brian Rast|
|Andrew Robl||Erik Seidel||Brandon Steven||Sam Trickett|
The inaugural event was capped at 48 and sold out, so the WSOP and One Drop decided to add one more eight-handed table, bringing the cap to 56. If it sells out once again, the first place prize would reach $20 million. The event is a first-come first-serve basis, with those providing a deposit guaranteeing their seat.
Of the 23 confirmed entries, three are “anonymous businessmen” and three are satellite seats that will be offered at Aria, Bellagio, and the WSOP. In 2012, the $25,300 buy-in One Drop satellite attracted 96 entries, and the winner was Gus Hansen.
The WSOP and One Drop will now begin to reach out to new players that didn’t participate in 2012. All players at the 2014 WSOP are encouraged to donate one percent of their winning to the One Drop Foundation, as they continue to improve lives in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Burkina Faso, and beyond.