It took three days for the 2016 Monte Carlo One Drop Extravaganza €1,000,000-buy-in Big One For One Drop to crown a winner and hand out the hefty first-place prize. (I’ll tell them to work on that mouthful of a name for next year.) Elton Tsang of Hong Kong was finally named the top dog this Sunday. Only 28 people competed for one of the biggest prizes in poker history – €11,111,111 (roughly $12,218,555 USD).
The One Drop Extravaganza was a week’s worth of high-roller tournaments and cash games at the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. The Big One For One Drop no-limit hold’em tournament, an invitational, donated a portion of the significant entry fee (€111,111 per entry) to charity, benefiting the One Drop’s water-access projects.
On day three, seven players came to the table and the drama started early. In just two hands, Tsang had stolen the chip lead from Andrew Pantling, who had lost two-thirds of his stack. Tsang had over 47,000,000 at this point, and no other player would hold that many chips at once for the remainder of the tournament.
Brandon Steven was the last player to go home empty handed, dropping out just before the money bubble burst and confirming the final table of six. It was against American Cary Katz that Steven met his end, holding a K, Q to the A, K of Katz. A board of blanks sent Steven home down €1,000,000.
Pantling was the first to go home in the money; the start-of-day chip leader fell to Tsang’s ace-high, hitting the rail with a $1,500,000 pay day. It was another 20 hands before Katz was eventually knocked out in fifth, leaving just one other American vying for the first-place title.
Through these knock outs, Tsang maintained his big chip lead. The other three players were virtually tied in chip count. Anatoly Gurtovoy and James Bord clashed and created a pot of around 30,000,000; both held top pair, but Gurtovoy’s kicker held on to send Bord home in fourth.
It took another 70 hands before the table saw any big action. The short stacked Rick Salomon three-bet-shoved with a Q, J and Gurtovoy called with an A, Q. A bad draw on the river forced Salomon to make his exit.
When heads-up play began, Tsang held over twice as many chips as his Russian rival and, by the time it came to blows, Gurtovoy held just six big blinds. The eventual runner up went all-in on an A, 5, but Tsang’s 6, 5 made a straight thank to a 2, 3, 4 on the board after the turn. Gurtovoy was sent home with €5,427,781 for his second-place finish.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: Neil Stoddart.
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