True Winner of $1m Big One is Charity
Earlier this week the World Series of Poker announced a series of satellites that will award seats into the $1 million "Big One for One Drop" event this summer at the 2012 WSOP.
The winner of the Big One for One Drop will almost be assured a Top 10 spot - if not the top spot - on poker's All-Time Money List.
Poker Junkie blogger Compncards breaks down the three potential outcomes for this event and why the only real winner for this event will be the One Drop charity.
If a Pro Wins, It Cheapens His Accomplishments
The scenario that most expect with The Big One is that a pro player wins the event and likely becomes the new All-Time Money winner in poker.
If this happens, odds are that nobody will take his or her poker career seriously for a long time, if ever.
For example, let's say that Sorel Mizzi earns his way into the event and takes it down.
If the top prize is around $13 million, he's instantly the new #1 All-Time on the money list. While Sorel is clearly a great player, he is nowhere near an all-time great.
Remember how people used to give Annie Duke flack for being near the top of the Women's Money List only because of her $2 million win at the Tournament of Champions?
A pro like Sorel could face the same fate. It wouldn't matter what he did before and it would take a long history of solid performance after winning the event for people to look past being on top based on one win.
If a Businessman Wins, He Bought the Bracelet
While it's true that many businessmen can play poker at a competent level, most would not even have a shot at a regular WSOP bracelet.
While this will be a stacked field, a player that goes on an amazing run could potentially take it down.
If that were to happen, many would say that that person just "bought" a bracelet. If he was in a truly open WSOP field, would would he have any chance of pulling off the same feat?
Businessmen are entering this event because they get the chance to play in an elite field and they are among the 1% that can afford to do so.
This represents their best chance of winning, or rather buying, a bracelet.
If an Amateur Satellites in and Wins, He's the Biggest Flash in the Pan Ever
Say Johnny Mendenhall wins a seat into the super satellite on June 30th and manages to win his seat into the Big One.
Early on, he runs into some good fortune and doubles up through a random player or businessman and proceeds to go on a bit of a run. He then makes the final table and then gets smacked in the face with not only the deck, but everyone else's chips.
In the end, Johnny Mendenhall wins the richest prize in the history of poker, moves into the top 10 All-Time on the money list and takes the first ever platinum bracelet.
Robert Varkonyi then celebrates no longer being the biggest flash in the pan in history.
Ok, so I am assuming Mendenhall becomes a flash in the pan, but that potential is there.
If not for Robert Varkonyi, Chris Moneymaker would have actually been the biggest flash in the pan after his Main Event win in 2003.
Most amateurs that come out of nowhere to win a big event are either never heard from again, or never come close to achieving their prior glory.
There are exceptions. However, for every Joe Hachem there are dozens of Robert Varkonyis.
Granted, a Mendenhall winning the event could be spun into something fantastic for poker that brings in more people to the game but I doubt that's what the WSOP is envisioning.
One Drop is the Only True Winner
While the winner of the One Drop event will be hyped up as having accomplishing something historic, the truth is that he or she will have won the most highly competitive Sit and Go tournament in history.
However, One Drop will raise a minimum of $5 million for its efforts. In addition it's assured of having players donate a portion of their winnings to the charity.
One Drop could walk away with as much money, or more, than the winner.
Think about how much One Drop could do with that money. How many villages or communities will be positively impacted by the money raised during the event?
Furthermore, how many lives will be changed or even saved by this event?
In the end, the entity that emerges in the top spot will not be the winner of The Big One for One Drop.
One Drop and the people that it reaches will be the real winners. Everything else will be second place.