Elton Tsang Wins Big One for One Drop Main Event

Elton Tsang – a Canadian born, Hong-Kong based businessman – took down this weekend´s Big One for One Drop Extravaganza Main Event for €11,111,111.

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Big One for One DropElton Tsang – a Canadian born, Hong-Kong based businessman – took down this weekend´s Big One for One Drop Extravaganza Main Event for €11,111,111.

This weekend´s Big One for One Drop Extravaganza Main Event was the biggest recorded buy-in poker tournament in history. Twenty-six players ponied up the €1,000,000 buy-in and – after €111,111 was deducted from each buy-in for the One Drop charity – the prize pool reached €24,888,892 due to two of the players re-entering.

Despite being promoted as an event from which professional players were banned, several well-known faces appeared at the Casino de Monte Carlo tables. Paul Newey, Andrew Pantling and Mark Teltscher bought directly into the event, while Talal Shakerchi picked up his seat in a live satellite at the beginning of the Extravaganza schedule.

Pantling Leads at Start of Final Day – for Three Hands

Going into the final day of three, Andrew Pantling held a 15 Big Blind advantage over Rick Salomon and Elton Tsang, with 2010 WSOP Europe Main Event winner James Bord and previous WSOP Big One for One Drop final tablist Cary Katz among the eight remaining players.

As only six players were due to cash in the event, the action was anticipated to be tense – but nobody told Elton Tsang. Within three hands Tsang moved into the chip lead after twice forcing folds from Pantling in two valuable pots.

Pantling´s chip stack continued to freefall, but it was Haralabos Voulgaris who was first to leave the final table after moving all-in with K 3 and failing to improve past Anatoly Gurtovoy´s A♣ Q♠. Gurtovoy moved into third place in the chip counts, but was still almost 50 million chips behind Tsang as the blinds increased to 300,000/600,000.

Brandon Steven Bubbles Big One for One Drop

After a quiet spell of “no flops, no drops”, Brandon Steven bubbled the Big One for One Drop – calling Cary Katz´s pre-flop shove with K Q♠ and running into Katz´s A♣ K. With the remaining six players guaranteed of a €1.5 million payday the action picked up, and Andrew Pantling wasted no time in losing the last of his chips with K♠ 3♠ against Elton Tsang´s A 9♣.

Elton Tsang´s good fortune continued when he bust Cary Katz in fifth place K♠ J♠ > A♣ J and, as the blinds increased to 400,000/800,000, Tsang´s chip stack was double the combined size of the three other players´ stacks at the table – Anatoly Gurtovoy, Rick Salomon and James Bord.

Anatoly Gurtovoy emerged as the challenger to Tsang´s dominance – busting James Bord in fourth place A♣ K > A♠ 10♠ and Rick Salomon in third place A Q♣ > Q♠ J♣ – but going into the head-ups, Tsang still had a commanding advantage of 93.7 million chips vs Gurtovoy’s 46.3 million chips.

A Fitting Hand to Conclude an Extravaganza

The heads-up lasted almost fifty hands, during which time Tsang´s dominance continued. Prior to the final hand, Elton Tsang held a chip lead of 118.2 million vs 21.8 million, and it was Anatoly Gurtovoy who made the deciding move in the final hand, moving all in on a board of Q♣ 3♣ 4♣ / 2. Tsang snap-called and the cards were on their backs.

  • Gurtovoy: A 5 for a Five-high straight.
  • Tsang: 6♣ 5 for a Six-high Straight.

The River (J♣) improved Tsang´s hand to a Jack-high Flush and enabled him to take down the first place of €11,111,111 – Gurtovoy being rewarded with €5,427,781 for his second place finish. The full list of payouts is as follows:

1 Elton Tsang € 11,111,111
2 Anatoly Gurtovoy € 5,427,781
3 Rick Salomon € 3,000,000
4 James Bord € 2,100,000
5 Cary Katz € 1,750,000
6 Andrew Pantling € 1,500,000