WSOP 2012: The $1M Big One for One Drop Preview: Part Two

Erik Seidel will hope to carry his 2011 form into The Big One and assert himself at the top of the all-time money list.
Gus Hansen has been running good for the past 18 months and he will hope to run good in this event.
Guy Laliberte pioneered the event and he could recover a lot of his (rumoured) online poker losses with a victory in this.
Patrik Antonius is always one of the favourites in any event he plays especially one where the amount of money is in the millions.

We recently published the first part of our four-part series preview of the WSOP The Big One for One Drop event. You can find full details of the tournament and an introduction to the preview in the part one preview. The tournament is the biggest buy-in event in poker history with each player putting up $1 million to play in this prestigious event which will donate 11.1% of the prizepool to The One Drop Foundation. There are currently 44 players registered for the event with a player cap of 48, and we will continue to give a brief description of the players already registered in this part two preview:

Erik Seidel: The 52 year old Poker Hall of Fame inductee has a remarkable tournament record. He is predominantly a tournament player and he has over $16.9 million in live tournament winnings which puts him at the top of the all-time money list. He had a phenomenal year in 2011 coming 3rd in the A$100,000 Aussie Millions High Roller Event for A$625,000 and winning the A$250,000 Aussie Millions Super High Roller Event for an astonishing A$2.5 million. His record shows that he has performed extremely well in the high buy-in events and he will hope to continue this form in The Big One. Furthermore in 2011, he won the LAPC $25k High Roller Event for over $140k and he won the NBC $25k National Heads-Up Championship for $750k. He also won the World Poker Classic $100k Super High Roller Event for more than $1 million and came 2nd in the EPL $20k six-handed Event for more than $600k. This meant that his tournament winnings in 2011 alone were over $6.5 million. He is certainly one of the favourites in this event.

Frédéric Banjout: He was previously listed as “Anonymous French Businessman” and is now confirmed as the player for that previously announced seat. Very little public information is known about him except that he has played in one WPT event in the past and is also a serious backgammon player, finishing as runner-up in the 1997 World Championship of Backgammon.

Giovanni "Malibu" Guarascio: Very little information is known about this player as he does not appear on any poker tournament records online. He was confirmed as the official seat for what had previously been listed as 'Montreal private citizen group (Sean O'Donnell)'.

Gus Hansen: The Great Dane was one of the first players to sign up to this event and he has been very active in the big live cash games in Macau recently, winning and losing pots exceeding the buy-in for this event on a fairly regular basis whilst playing there. Gus Hansen was the biggest winner in online poker in 2011 when he managed to win just under $4 million in the first five months of the year before Full Tilt closed down. He also has an impressive tournament record with over $10 million in live tournament winnings including three WPT titles and an Aussie Millions Main Event victory. Furthermore, he won Poker Million IX for $1 million and finished 2nd in a WPT $25k Championship Event for $1.7 million. He also started 2012 in the right direction by coming 3rd in the A$250,000 Aussie Millions Super High Roller Event for A$800k.

Guy Laliberté: The founder of Cirque du Soleil is the pioneer of this event and one must give credit to him in trying to raise more than $5 million for his charity One Drop. He is one of the richest men in Canada and can certainly afford to play a tournament this big, and Doyle Brunson famously quoted on High Stakes Poker that "Guy is the only player who can afford to play this high" when the buy-in was for a minimum of $500k. He is predominantly a high stakes cash game player who plays in the biggest private games across the world and his only tournament score came in 2007 when he finished 4th in a WPT $25k Championship Event for just under $700k. He is rumoured to be behind many online screen names with many speculating that he is currently playing as Zypherin.

Jean-Robert Bellande: He was probably the biggest surprise of all the names to see registered for this event as he is not a wealthy businessman or an extremely successful poker player. He may have over $1.3 million in live tournament winnings but has not had any major victories and is not known to have done very well in the high stakes cash games with many people on the forums suggesting that he is a big loser in the games. One would assume he has found backing for this event but it seems strange that he will play and Phil Hellmuth is unable to find backing.

Johnny Chan: The Orient Express has won 10 WSOP Bracelets including two Main Event Championships. He does not have any notable tournament scores in the past couple of years but he is believed to be doing extremely well in the nosebleed live cash games in Macau. He has over $8.5 million in live tournament winnings and has made millions playing cash games. He is certainly one of the best all-round players in the game.

Jonathan Duhamel: He is most well-known for winning the 2010 WSOP Main Event for close to $9 million but he has been able to do well in tournaments after that unlike some previous Main Event champions. His live tournament winnings are just under $11 million and he has a great 2012 so far. He came 4th in the PCA $100k Super High Roller Event for over $310k then won the PCA $5k 8-Max Side Event for $240k. He also had another big score at the 2012 PCA coming 2nd in the $25k 8-Max High Roller Event for $634k. He will hope to carry on this form in the high roller events to this, the biggest high roller event of all-time.

Justin Smith: BoostedJ is a great tournament and cash game player. He is one of the new generation of poker players who started their poker career with a $50 online deposit which he has turned into millions. He has over $2.1 million in live tournament winnings including a 2nd and 3rd place finish at WPT events for combined winnings of more than $1 million. He is a regular is the high stakes live cash games in Vegas and Los Angeles where he is reported to have done extremely well.

Patrik Antonius: The Finn needs little introduction for most readers as he is one of the most feared cash game players in the world. He has a remarkable online cash game record and we have tracked him under two of his screen names, Patrik Antonius and FinddaGrind, in which he has a combined profit of more than $14 million. He has played the biggest games online as high as $500/$100 and also the big live cash games in Macau at mind-boggling stakes such as HKD $10k/$20k. He also has over $5 million in live tournament winnings and has had a great run in tournaments so far in 2012, coming 2nd in the A$250,000 Aussie Millions Super High Roller Event for A$1.2 million and coming 4th in the EPT Grand Final €98,500 Super High Roller Reload Event for €443k. He doesn't generally play too many tournaments, usually playing the high roller events, but he would not miss an opportunity of playing in such a prestigious event.

Paul Newey: He will be unknown by most readers but will be well-known by mid-high stakes cash game players in London. He sold his debt consolidation business, Ocean Finance, for a rumoured £200 million in 2006, and he is currently a co-founder of New Wave Ventures LLP. He very rarely plays tournaments and there is no online record of him cashing in an event but he prefers to play high stakes cash games often sitting extremely deep. He is also a big roulette player and once won £3 million at Star City Casino in Birmingham which forced the casino owner, Stanley Leisure, to issue a profit warning.

Check out the other parts of the $1M Big One for One Drop preview series - Part 1Part 3 and Part 4.


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