Quick glimpse of the biggest semi-open event in poker history
Cirque du Soleil drums pounding in the Rio Amazon room, a crowd of poker fans with phone cameras aloft, the WSOP’s first ever $1 million buy-in tournament started Sunday afternoon. Guy Laliberte’s One Drop charity, which helps provides safe drinking water worldwide, sponsored the event and had raised more than $5.8 million.
The 48-player tournament is a veritable who’s who of the poker world — Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Bobby Baldwin, Mike Sexton, Antonio Esfandiari, “Elky” Bertrand Grospellier, Jason Mercier, Phil Galfond, Gus Hanson, Roland De Wolfe, Haralabos Voulgaris, among others.
More than an hour into the tournament, however, fans were still awaiting a (grand?) entrance from 12-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, known for his self-aggrandizing late arrivals in big tournaments.