Guy LaLiberte is known for many things. A poker player, a nice guy, founder of Cirque du Solei, and one of the most generous people on the planet. Hence why he founded the Big One for One Drop tournament.
First appearing at the 2012 World Series of Poker, the Big One was a $1 million buy in tournament that was designed to raise money for Guy's charity – “One Drop” In its first showing, only 48 seats were available and all filled quickly. Caesars worked hand in hand with Guy by waiving their normal 10% rake on buy ins and instead, donated $111,111 of each buy in to the One Drop foundation.
A total of $7.28 million was raised in the inaugural year. Guy would donate his $1.83 million he won for finishing in 5th. And Caesar CEO Mitch Garber would donate an extra $111,111. Needless to say, it was a huge success.
The following year, it was brought back, but this time with a much smaller buy in of just $111,111. It remains a part of the WSOP and is even a bracelet event. While still keeping in theme with the charity – its main purpose.
Now we even have a little for one drop event with a $1,111 buy in that helps raise money for the same cause.
Earlier this week, Guy announced that he is expanding his One Drop tournament into Monaco. It will be a standalone event that will serve two purposes. First and foremost is the raising of funds for his One Drop charity. The second goal is to allow a select group of players in to the tournament.
The 5-day event will feature high stakes cash games, and concluding with the One Drop tournament. The $1 million buy in will return, as will the limited number of seats. Most notable will be the no-pros allowed rule.
It's no secret that rich businessmen love playing high stakes poker. Some can hold their own, but most just aren't that good. When Guy was toying with the idea, and trying to figure out how to raise more money for his charity, most businessmen who wanted to play the One Drop, did not because of the tough competition.
With the main goal to raise money, he decided to make it an invitation only event that will not allow professional players. Businessmen, celebrities and anyone not a professional poker player who wants to donate is eligible to get an invite.