Million Dollar Baby

by Lou on December 6, 2011

World Series of Poker officials yesterday that 22 players have committed a $1 million buy-in, enough to stage what will be the most expensive card tournament ever.  It will be an official bracelet tournament that counts toward series earnings and title records.

In a statement to the Associated Press yesterday, WSOP spokesman Seth Palansky said that if seven more players enter the tournament it would yield pokers richest ever pay day, exceeding the $12 million Jamie Gold won at the WSOP’s 2006 main event.

If the field stays at 22 players, as it is now, first place would pay $8.89 million, which is $173,000 more than Pius Heinz took down when he won the WSOP’s main event last month. But if seven more players pony up the $1 million buy-in, the winner will immediately become the WSOP’s all-time leading money winner.

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte is organizing the tournament, and it includes an 11 percent charity donation.  But it does not include a 10 percent rake series officials usually keep in fees for hosting the tournament. Poker professionals who have said they will enter include Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, Johnny Chan and Jonathan Duhamel.

Other notable entrants include MGM Resorts International executive Bobby Baldwin, a four-time gold bracelet winner who won the main event in 1978, and billionaire Treasure Island casino owner Phil Ruffin.

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