Four Reasons the 2014 $1m Big One Failed
The first Big One for One Drop in 2012 was a smash hit. 2014, not so much.
The 2014 Big One for ONE DROP was supposed to award the largest prize pool in the history of poker at $20 Million.
Unfortunately, the event failed to attract enough players and saw a six-player drop from 2012.
Some will claim the economy as one reason behind the drop in participation. However, there are a few other considerations behind why the ONE DROP failed to draw including whether Guy Laliberte may have inadvertently sabotaged his own event.
1) Too Pro Heavy
If you take a look at the final field you'll notice that it's primarily pro players with a few random players mixed in.
Unfortunately, two of the big fish in the event were among the first players to bust the event.
In effect this has become an elite-field $1 million buy-in event. While it is great for television it's not so great for the pros looking to turn a profit in the event.
Unless your name is Daniel Negreanu or Phil Ivey, you want to play against inferior players to make your money and not against the best in the world.
2) One-Time Favor
When the first Big One for ONE DROP was held a couple years ago several of the players that entered the event did so either as a favor to Guy Laliberte or for the novelty of the tournament.
It was the "biggest poker event off all time" and not meant to be a repeat event.
Two years later the WSOP decided it wanted to do it all over again.
The novelty is gone and some of the players that were in the first event aren't going to put up $1 million just to donate to the poker community.
3) Very Little EV for Players
The reality is that the event is -EV for all but maybe about five per cent of players.
First, you have to battle against elite players in the hopes of making the money. Then you have to at least finish 5th in order to double your money.
Speaking of money, many of these pros are playing for 5 to 15% of themselves. Even if they win the $15.3 top prize, most will not even clear $1 million.
A player in the event for 10% of his action will receive just $612,267 after taxes and paying backers. Those in at 5% will get just $306,000.
4) Guy Made His Own Bed
Haralabos Voulgaris conducted an interview with PokerNews on Tuesday and revealed that Guy Laliberte himself may be part of the reason behind the drop in attendance.
According to Voulgaris, there is a dispute between Laliberte and some Asian businessmen regarding a private game that was not settled amicably. As such, many of these players pulled out of the event.
It is rumored that some pros chose not to play after this incident. Otherwise this event may have met its cap.
The fact that the ONE DROP failed to even live up to its 2012 numbers may spell the end for this "made for TV" charity event.