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As of now, it’s anticipated that someone will walk away with the biggest first place prize in the history of poker tournaments on July 3, 2012 – approximately $12,266,600!  The prize may grow even bigger between now and the time when the inaugural $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop begins on July 1st.  That’s because only 30 people have confirmed their participation in the tournament so far, meaning there’s still room for another 18 players.

Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil, started One Drop in October, 2007.  The charity’s mandate reads as follows:

“In Canada, ONE DROP is a charitable organization that develops integrated, innovative projects with an international scope, in which water plays a central role as a creative force in generating positive, sustainable effects for local and foreign populations and in the fight against poverty. More specifically, ONE DROP Canada, in cooperation with partner Oxfam and others, develops access-to-water and sanitation projects in countries where access to this vital resource is lacking. In addition, ONE DROP is involved in raising awareness among individuals and communities on water-related issues to convince them to mobilize for universal access to water and urge them to adopt sound habits for managing this precious resource for future generations. In closing, ONE DROP Canada is also involved in fundraising—a crucial activity if it is to realize its dream of water for all, today and tomorrow. To this end, the partners of ONE DROP have joined forces with the organization for pursuing this objective.”

More than $111,000 of each player’s entry fee will be given to One Drop which will use the money to initiate a legacy project in a foreign country.  With the current field, the charity is expected to receive more than $3.3 million that will be used to help individuals have access to clean water.

While the WSOP is allowing some participants to remain anonymous leading up to the tournament per their requests, some notable players have already put deposits down for their seats, including Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Jonathan Duhamel, Erik Seidel and, of course, Guy Laliberte.

The first $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop poker tournament will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas beginning on July 1, and ending July 3, 2012.  The event will be aired on ESPN.