The field for the World Series of Poker’s special $1 million buy-in No Limit Hold’em event grew by 12 players this week.
The number of entries for the event, scheduled for July 1-3 at the Rio, is now at 42 players. The final table will be televised by ESPN.
The event benefits the One Drop charity, which was founded by Cirque du Soleil creator Guy Laliberte to address global water issues. Out of the $1 million entry, $111,111 goes to One Drop.
The field is capped at 48 players, which could lead to a top prize of $18.2 million. The initial entries included hedge fund managers, a venture capitalist, several notable professional poker players, Laliberte, Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin, and MGM Resorts International executive Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 World Series of Poker champion.
An additional 10 professional players joined the field, as well as John Morgan, CEO of the Winmark Corp. and another hedge fund manager.
"I think there is clearly a ‘wow factor’ in this event," World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart said last month, noting the entry of Texas banker Andy Beal, who was the subject of the Michael Craig’s 2005 poker book, "The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time."
"This will be the first time he ever plays on television," Stewart said.
The prize pool is projected to now exceed $35 million with the winner to walk away with a 10-figure payday, the largest amount ever awarded in a poker tournament, breaking Jamie Gold’s $12 million win at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Confirmed players have secured their entry to the “Big One for One Drop” via advance deposits. Some players have requested and the World Series of Poker respects a players right to remain anonymous prior to the tournament, so publicity doesn’t impact their personal and professional matters.
On Twitter Thursday, World Series of Poker 2011 Player of the Year Ben Lamb said he planned to play in the event. However, World Series of Poker spokesman Seth Palansky said only players who have made advanced entry deposits are confirmed. As of Thursday, Lamb had not made a payment.