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World Series of Poker to host $1 million buy-in event

2 Jun 2011

By Vin Narayanan
The World Series of Poker announced in a news conference Thursday it will host a $1 million buy-in event in 2012.

The No-Limit Hold'em tournament has 15 confirmed players, including poker pros Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu and Tony G. Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte have also confirmed they will play, as well as billionaire Andy Beal.

Ruffin and Laliberte announced the event with Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber.

The tournament will take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on July 1, 2012 and will be structured as a three-day tournament. The event intends to take a maximum of 48 players, and 20 percent of the field will be paid out. The winner of the tournament will be awarded a specially-designed WSOP platinum bracelet, as long as at least 22 participants are entered in the event.

The tournament will donate 11.1 percent of its proceeds to ONE DROP, a Montreal-based charity founded by Laliberte that tries to fight poverty by providing access to safe water.

"A million dollar buy-in seems crazy, and well, it is, but when you factor in a great cause like ONE DROP getting a percentage of the prize pool, all of a sudden it seems like a fantastic idea, and a great way to raise money for charity," said Negreanu. "Count me in."

"I am buying in," Dwan added. "$1 million has a nice ring to it. It's so sick, and for such a good cause, now I just gotta win."

Earlier this year, the Aussie Millions hosted a $250,000 event at the Aussie Millions. Until Thursday's WSOP announcement, this was the largest known buy-in for a poker tournament. Twenty people entered the tournament, which was won by Erik Seidel. Seidel won $2.5 million for taking first place.
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