WSOP reporters refer to it as a “David and Goliath story,” which is so very fitting, to say the least. It could also be called “Daniels in the Lion’s Den,” as the final play came down to Daniel against Daniel. There are only a handful of other players that could have made The Big One for One Drop any more dramatic. The stage for the final table of the one and only $1 million buy-in tournament, Event #57 of the 2014 WSOP was set up with Daniel Negreanu on one side and Daniel Colman on the other. Behind Negreanu was a huge congregation of fans and supporters on the rail, as well as more poker experience than anyone else might ever catch up to. Behind 23-year-old young gun, Colman, was a strapping online poker career and apparently the skills to best the best.
This was Colman’s first final table appearance at a WSOP event, so the pressure was on for the $15+million prize and the platinum gold bracelet, which ultimately went to Colman after a highly honorable heads-up showdown. This ups his all-time money list exponentially, as previously he had only just under $160K in WSOP cash outs. However, Negreanu is not without title because after a second-place payout worth more than $8.2 million, Negreanu is now the world’s biggest all-time money winner with more than $40 million in career tourney earnings, surpassing previous all-timer and 2012 Big One for One Drop champion, Antonio Esfandiari.
Day 2 seemed to drag out, but by Day 3, a winner would submerge. Nine players sat at the final table, only two of which had won WSOP titles before. Scott Seiver, who finished in sixth place with $1.6 million in earnings, had one prior bracelet win, while Negreanu had six, hoping to land a seventh by the time it was down to two-handed play, but it only took 118 hands to determine the winner. Unfortunately Tom Hall would bust out in ninth place, the only one not receiving a come up on this tournament, as the Big One for One Drop prize pool only paid the top 8. Hall had been second-to-chip leader by the end of Day 2, trailed only by Esfandiari.
This year’s event attracted 42 players and amassed more than $37 million in prize pool funds and $4.6 million going to the One Drop charity. To add to that donation, US residents may text ONEDROP to 20222 and donate $10 to the charity in honor of this epic event. More than $11 million has been raised for One Drop since the WSOP partnered with the charity three years ago. It’s hard to envision the actual impact that has had on the world, but it’s even harder to imagine the impact that would not have been if it weren’t for the visionary and generous genius of Guy Lalibertè, whose idea for a massive charitable tournament that would be the biggest ever in the world, made all of this possible. And it’s not just the money, but global awareness of this charity that will be enlarged due to television broadcasts of the event, as well as buzz in the poker community both live and online.
As always, there was much speculation about who would participate in this event this year. In hindsight, the WSOP has released the following stats.
Of the 42 registrants, 30 were pros, while 12 were recreational players or amateurs. Eighteen players were repeat participants from the 2012 event; 24 were new to the event. Fifteen participants were bracelet winners, while there was only one Poker Hall of Fame member, Erik Seidel and one WSOP Main Event Champion, Greg Merson. Five of the eight final table players from 2012 were return players (Phil Hellmuth, Bobby Baldwin, and Richard Yong from the 2012 final table did not participate this year).
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