Think Antonio Esfandiari’s $18.3 million prize in the 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop was huge? Then perhaps you haven’t heard about the proposed $1 million buy-in Royal Poker Challenge, which is set to pay $50 million to the winner.
Okay, so if you’re having a hard time believing this one, you aren’t alone. After all, the largest poker prize before Esfandiari’s huge score was the $12 million that Jamie Gold collected in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. But according to this press release, Royal Poker Challenge is very serious about the matter.
48 players have allegedly signed up for this tournament, which will be held in Sydney, Australia on March 30th. And members of the British, Danish and Monaco royal families are supposed to participate in the festivities too. Their role will be to serve as ambassadors for the game and, if they win money, donate the cash to charity.
Dave Chen, director of the Royal Challenge, spoke about this upcoming event by saying, “Poker is a true game that cuts across all class and income barriers. It tests skills, nerves and courage in a way that’s incomparable to other card games. There is no higher drama and examination of character and personality than a high stakes poker game. With the splashing 50 million dollar prize, in the remarkable city of Sydney, this should be an historical event indeed.”
This all sounds great and everything, but there’s just one problem: no names have been released on who’s playing. As if this tournament isn’t already shrouded in enough mystery, we don’t even get a glimpse at the participants. And if the press release is correct, we may never know the “high profile Hollywood celebrities” and “wealthy and successful individuals” who front the $1 million buy-in.
As the PR states, “All participants value privacy, so Mr. Chen is primarily focused on providing a secure and private environment for this unique tournament.” Well, so much for finding out who the winner is and if they indeed get $50 million.