The 2016 Big One for One Drop (€1,000,000 buy-in and no pros allowed for the first time) kicked off last Friday at luxurious Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. With 28 entries (26 players and 2 re-entries), a prize pool of €24,888,892 was generated and €3,111,108 was raised for charity!
Elton Tsang, a 35-year-old entrepreneur with investments in IT, travel agencies and internet firms, was in the middle of the chip counts throughout the first two days, but then dominated Sunday's final table. He became the chip leader already on the second hand of the final day, then held on to it for the rest of the tournament! When heads-up started, Tsang had 93 million in chips to Anatoly Gurtovoy's 46 million stack.
The tournament nearly came to an end already on the third hand of heads-up-play. The money went all in on a nine-six-five rainbow flop. Gurtovoy of Russia had top pair wit ace kicker and Tsang had two pair. The two remaining cards created a straight on the table and the pot was chopped.
Despite the unlucky runner-runner chop, Tsang kept a cool head and dominated play to win the battle just 90 minutes later. Gurtovoy received €5,427,781 for his second place finish and Tsang earned €11,111,111 and a special bracelet fashioned by jeweler Richard Mille for his victory. His fans, including Mustapha Kanit who had coached him for 2 weeks, celebrated him with a round of applause.
"I was feeling good, feeling comfortable, getting cards," he said of his final table performance. "My bluffs were working, [I was] getting a good read on the table. It was just going my way."
The €11,111,111 first-place prize is the third biggest prize in poker history and Tsang is now 21st on the all-time money list!
1 Elton Tsang, Hong Kong, €11,111,111
2 Anatoly Gurtovo, Russia, €5,427,781
3 Rick Salomon, United States, €3,000,000
4 James Bord, United Kingdom, €2,100,000
5 Cary Katz, United States, €1,750,000
6 Andrew Pantling, Canada, €1,500,000