Elton Tsang Wins €1m One Drop for $12.2m

Guy Laliberte's €1m buy-in invitational One Drop Main Event has ended with 35 year old Elton Tsang (described by wsop.com as a "Canadian-born resident of Hong Kong is an entrepreneur with investments in IT, travel agencies, and internet firms) emerging victorious from the 28 entries to earn himself a tidy €11,111,111 ($12.2m) payday.

It would seem that for some reason the event didn't quite attract the number of entries anticipated as several weeks ago it was widely publicized that there had already been some 35 players confirmed whereas in the end just 26 players entered, with two firing two €1m bullets (Laliberte himself and Matchbook CEO Andrew "ClockWyze" Pantling). Nevertheless, the event raised over €3m for the One Drop Foundation, and for that it must be hailed a success.

The tournament was also hailed as a "recreational players only" affair, whereas in reality the likes of Andrew "ClockWyze" Pantling, Mark Teltsher, James Bord, and Tony Bloom all managed to gain entry despite their clear "pro" credentials. As Daniel Negreanu put it "Basically, if Guy wants to let, someone play, he can let them play. It's that simple." Guess so...

In the end, two of those pro players made it to the final six and the payouts. Pantling,  now the CEO of Matchbook started the final day with the chip lead with 8 players left but as it turned out he only just made the money, busting in 6th place after getting short stacked and pushing K3 and losing out to Tsang's A9. Pantling's 6th place prize money of €1.5m was actually less than his entry fees, being as he was one of the players to re-enter on day 1.

Still, at least he didn't bubble the most expensive to enter tournament in history - the dubious honour went to Brandon Steven, who ran his KQ into Cary Katz's AK. Katz himself only lasted one more bust before he too succumbed to Tsang in fifth, winning €1.75m - the Loans Company mogul's biggest cash to date.

Next out was former WSOPE Main Event winner James Bord, who won €2.1m for his fourth place finish after busting at the hands of Anatoly Gurtovoy. Next to go was former producer now high stakes cash game player Rick Salomon, who earned a cool €3m for his third place finish. Three handed play had been all about survival for Salomom and Gurtovoy as by this point Tsang held 100m of the 140m chips in play. Salomon was looking slightly more likely to join Tsang heads-up until his pocket 6's lost all-in to short-stack Gurtovoy's K9 wjen a 9 hit the flop. He held on for several more orbits until eventually he shoved with AJ and lost out to the Russian's AQ. This was Salomon's 2nd cash in a seven-figure entry One Drop event as he finished 4th in 2014's €1m entry WSOP event for $2.8m.

WIth over a 2:1 chip lead when HU play started, Tsang, who was coached for this event by Italian tourney phenom Mustapha Kanit, was in a commanding position. After reducing Gurtovoy's stack by about 50% during the first 30 hands, the end came in the form of an explosive 46m chip pot.

Both players checked a Qc 3c 4c flop before a betting war emerged on 4th street when the 2h hit the turn. All of Gurtovoy's remaining chips went in the middle after he made a straight on the turn holding Ah 5d. However, Tsang's 6c 5h gave him the higher straight, and the Jc river improved him to a flush. Gurtovoy earned a not inconsiderable €5,427,781 for his second place finish but it was Tsang who took the title and more than double the second place prize money for his victory.

 

 

 

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