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On July 10th, Guy Laliberté announced that the Big One for One Drop was moving to Monaco to the Casino De Monte-Carlo. As the featured event of the One Drop Extravaganza, the event has been revamped as an “invitation only” tournament for recreational players. Also, the event now has a €1 million price tag with unlimited re-entry on Day 1.

Since the announcement, this event has been hotly debated with some upset that pros are excluded from the event. While we understand their frustration, we all need to remember the real reason why the event is being held. Also, it’s not as if the Big One is going to be the only game in town.

Some Pros Are Upset – Shall We Call You a Wahbulance?

There are a select number of pros that are upset over the fact that only recreational players can play in the Big One. David Peters took to Twitter saying that poker fans want to see the pros play and not a bunch of unknowns.

Daniel Negreanu took a stance similar to Guy Laliberté in that recreational players and whales don’t want a bunch of young pros staring at them for excessively long periods of time trying to figure out their every move. They want to play poker and the format as it was in the past just wasn’t fun for the recreationals that wanted to play.

We’re not saying that we don’t sympathize with the pros. There’s going to be a lot of money that may not see its way back into the poker community. Pros want a piece of the action.

However, this event is not a straight “poker event” in the traditional sense. The purpose of this event is to raise money for One Drop. The Big One was intended to be a charity event first, and a poker event second. That fact seemed to be largely overlooked back in 2014 and more focus was put on the fact that Dan Colman didn’t want to promote poker than on how much money was raised.

Laliberté has changed the event to make it attractive to philanthropist and businessmen, thus giving the charity the chance to set a record for money raised.

Pros Can Still Get a Piece of the Action

During the original video announcement, Laliberté informed us that pros would be available to serve as coaches for the event. In the brochure circulated to the general public regarding the One Drop Extravaganza, it was revealed that these coaches will receive 2.5% of any money won by a player above the original buy-in amount.

So how much will the pros get for their time as a coach? Regardless of structure, a min-cash in the Big One is going to be €1.5 million (assuming at least 30 players). After subtracting the original buy-in, this leaves €500k, meaning that a coach will earn no less than €12,500 should their player cash.

Crunching the numbers based on the brochure, the cut for a coach of the first place winner will be anywhere from €264,333 to €463,147. That’s assuming a field between 30 to 60 players.

That’s anywhere from €2,500 to €92,629 per day. How’s that for “variance free income.”

Still Some Sick Side Tournaments Bro

Pros are shut out of the Big One, but they are eligible to play in every other event on the schedule. There are 7 side events with buy-in from €10,000 all the way to €100,000. The €50,000 Heads-Up NL and the €100,000 NL will likely be 99% pros.

While there may not be €10 million plus up top, we expect at least 3 or 4 of these events could crack €1 million for first.

Nosebleed Cash Games Anyone?

Did anyone happen to check out the potential cash game selection that will be available. NL cash games will be available from €25-€25 all the way to €1,000-€2,000. PLO will be available in the same limits.

Regular and Pineapple Open Faced Chinese Poker will be available from €100 to €5,000 a point. Finally, mixed games will be available from €300-€600 all the way to an insane €20,000-€80,000. We’re assuming spread limit on that last one. Either that or it’s a typo.

Finally, on October 17th there will be a €1 million buy-in High-Roller Cash Game with rake of just €300 per hour.

The cash games will not be limited to recreationals only. If there was ever a time to travel somewhere just to play cash games. This is the time and Monaco is the place.

Should This Event Award a Bracelet? Why Not?!?

When this event was first announced, it listed that a Platinum bracelet will be awarded to the winner. This sparked debate as some believe that this event does not deserve to have a bracelet awarded because it is an invitational and the pros are shut out.

However, I have recently learned from CIE VP of Corporate Communication Seth Palansky that this event is a non-bracelet event, meaning that the bracelet that will be awarded will not be an “official” WSOP bracelet.

While the bracelet isn’t an official WSOP bracelet, there are a couple of reasons why I wouldn’t have a problem if it was bracelet #71 of 2016. First, the bracelet is an added incentive to get these businessmen and philanthropists out to Monaco to put up €1 million.

Sure, charity is great but when will an average businessman going to have a legitimate chance to win a bracelet outside of this event? Unless they really put in the time to become a world-class poker player, they aren’t.

Next, the WSOP has actually set multiple precedents for this type of bracelet in the past. In the early years of the WSOP, there were “Businessmen’s Events” that non-pros could enter. One of Howard “Tahoe” Andrew’s two bracelets came in this event.

Also, each year we have the Employee’s Event. This event is exclusively for those that work in the casino industry. Fedor Holz and Jason Mercier can’t buy-in to these events to improve their bracelet total.

If you want to get more technical, the Seniors Event excludes all pros under 50 and while the Ladies Event doesn’t officially exclude male pros, most are not willing to put up $10,000 to be ridiculed and scorned.

This event is good for poker and fantastic for charity. The publicity and good karma from this event alone should be worth awarding the bracelet. After all, there are going to be 70 bracelets awarded this year after the Global Championship so what’s one more going to really hurt?

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.