WPT Big One for One Drop Kicks Off: Ivey, Salomon, and Holz in the Running

wpt big one kicks off

4 minutes

Last Updated: January 25, 2024

The Encore Ballroom was buzzing with action since the early morning hours today, as hundreds of players took to the felt in the $3k NLH event.

The remaining players in the $25k High Roller also came back to finish the job and play down to the final table, while just over 100 players returned to the tables in the WPT World Championship event.

One event eclipsed all others, however, as 16 players made their way to the special fenced-off are of the room where the Big One for One Drop, the biggest buy-in tournament of the year, kicked off just after 2:00 pm.

The atmosphere it the room was electric, as hundreds of interested rail birds, tournament staff, and media were circling the tournament area in the hopes of seeing their poker idols before cards were in the air.

The event was scheduled to start at 2:00 pm sharp, but ended up running a little late, as it took a while for players to take their seats and everything to be ready for action.

Some thirty minutes after 2 pm, the shuffle up and deal was announced and the tournament kicked off with exactly 16 players in the running, and a few more possibly arriving      late, as the late registration will be open throughout the day.

WPT Voyage

Phil Ivey Headlines a Stacked Lineup

When the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop was first announced, it was always going to be one of the most attractive events of the year from a poker fan’s perspective.

As the tournament was getting ready to get started, a lot of familiar faces were among those taking their seats, with poker’s G.O.A.T. Phil Ivey headlining the lineup.

A number of other high rollers and successful poker players like Adrian Mateos, Fedor Holz, Isaac Hexton, Nick Petrangelo, and Jason Koon were among those showing up for the event on time, along with the likes of Talal Shakerchi and Santosh Suvarna, representing the “businessmen” in the field.

ivey wpt big one for one drop

Images courtesy of WPT

One interesting last minute addition to the event was the Czech high roller Martin Kabrehl, who has been making plenty of appearances in high stakes games of all sorts in recent months, firmly establishing himself as a staple of the high stakes poker community.

As the day goes on, we can expect at least a few more players to take their seat at the tables, with the first of them already arriving, although the extremely high buy-in does serve as a disqualifying factor for many of those who would otherwise like to play an event of such prestige.

Rick Salomon Joins the Action

The first late registration of the day came early during level one, with high stakes cash game legend and Hollywood actor/producer Rick Salomon taking Phil Ivey’s seat at table 242.

Salomon is best known to the poker audience for his willingness to play cash game poker for nearly any stakes, and being a personal friend of Dan Bilzerian.

Salomon’s exploits in the private cash games are legendary, although his incredibly loose and splashy playing style we saw in the televised events he entered over the years has made some question his actual poker skills and even the extent of his success.

Rick will have something to prove to the poker audience today, as he enters yet another Big One for One Drop event, after cashing the same event in 2014, 2016, and 2018, netting him over six million dollars in pure profit.

From a technical standpoint, Salomon will be one of the underdogs against the seasoned pros like Ivey, Holz, and Jason Koon, but his incredible people reading skills and exploitative plays may prove enough to help take him on yet another deep run in the biggest buy-in event in poker.

jason koon the big one

Several Players Drop Their Interest

Over the last couple of months, WPT has been unveiling the names of some of the players who have committed to play in the return of the Big One for One Drop.

However, a few of those players ended up making last-minute cancelations, as Daniel “Jungleman” Cates cancelled his appearance, and Orpen Kisacikoglu also unlikely to show up for the event.

One player who had interest to play in the Big One and still might jump in is Artur Martirosian, who entered Day 4 of the WPT World Championship as one of the overall chip leaders, but has taken a significant hit to his stack since.

Should Martirosian bust the Championship, it would not be a surprise to see him late-reg the million dollar charity event and take a shot against one of the most elite playing fields out there.

Stay Tuned for More WPT World Championship Updates

As the Big One for One Drop kicks off, and the WPT World Championship event nears its final stages, the biggest moments of the festival are still in front of us.

For the players who made the final table in the $1,100 WPT Prime Championship, those big moments will come tomorrow, as each of them looks to take down the trophy and score the biggest result of their tournament poker career.

For everyone else still playing in one of the events, the coming days will also be critical, as each of the events plays down to the final table and names a champion over the course of the next five days.

Stay tuned for more updates from the WPT World Championship, as our team continues to monitor the events in real time and bring you the all the biggest stories from the Wynn as they happen.

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