Elton Tsang Wins The Largest Buy-In Tournament In Poker History
The largest buy-in tournament in poker history was actually a bit of a disappointment. Elton Tsang won the 2016 Big One For One Drop taking the promised €1,111,111, but the €1 million ($1.1 million) buy-in tournament failed to meet other expectations.
For starters, founder Guy Laliberte failed to keep out the professionals. This was one of the big changes to the Big One from previous years. Laliberte had promised to ban professional poker players from this year's game so that the businessmen would stand a better chance.
The “rule” prohibiting pros from the table was violated by Talal Shakerchi, Paul Newey, Andrew Pantling, and Mark Teltscher. Laliberte himself hired Daniel Negreanu, one of the biggest names in pro poker, to be his personal coach for the tournament.
As Negreanu so aptly explained to PokerNews, “If Guy wants to let someone play he can let them play. It's that simple.”
Then there was the disappointing turnout. Laliberte had reportedly rounded up 35 committed players willing to fork up the massive buy-in, but in the end only 26 turned out. Two of which, Laliberte and Pantling, re-entered the competition bringing the total number of entries paid to 28.
Therefore, the competition failed to meet the expected payouts. Aside from the winner, the pay structure for the players who cashed, all five of them, was lackluster. As the Big One Drop is held to benefit Laliberte's charity which provides clean water to around the world, €111,111 was withheld from each buy in. The remaining prize pool left just €1.5 million for the sixth place finisher and only $250,000 more for fifth place.