The biggest poker news of the week is no doubt Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari winning the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament. He navigated through a 48-player field and on towards victory as much of the poker world watched with intent interest. And a huge reason for all the interest was the $18,346,673 first place prize on the line!
Once Esfandiari finished Sam Trickett off in heads-up play, he was the recipient of this insane fortune….or at least he and his backers were. Seeing as how The Magician sold a lot of his shares in order to meet the hefty buy-in and cut down on variance, he likely received less than 50% of the $18.35 million. However, the full amount goes down in the record books and vaults him towards the top of the all-time live poker tournament winnings list with $23,245,828.
This is certainly nice for the headlines and could definitively bring some more recreational players into the game. However, it completely obliterates any sort of relevancy that the all-time tournament winnings list used to have.
These days, the tourney winnings list doesn’t mean much to a lot of players because they can’t compete with top-level pros who have lots of backing. Furthermore, events like the Big One for One Drop are more like glorified sit and go’s than anything since only a small number of players are competing, yet ridiculous amounts of money are up for grabs.
So how should we view the poker tournament winnings list in today’s era? Well it’s a fun little thing to look at from time to time, but you certainly can’t measure one’s overall tourney success from this. That said, there are still some very fine players towards the top of the winnings list – it’s just that the average grinder will never have an opportunity to compete with them.
Big One for One Drop Results
1. Antonio Esfandiari — $18,346,673
2. Sam Trickett — $10,112,001
3. David Einhorn — $4,352,000
4. Phil Hellmuth — $2,645,333
5. Guy Laliberté — $1,834,666
6. Brian Rast — $1,621,333
7. Bobby Baldwin — $1,408,000
8. Richard Yong — $1,237,333
9. Mike Sexton — $1,109,333