World Series of Poker Adds $1 Million Buy-In Benefit Tournament for 2012

The World Series of Poker has added a $1 million buy-in benefit tournament to be included in its 43rd annual event in 2012.

The tournament will benefit One Drop, which fights poverty worldwide by supporting access to water. Commitments to enter have been made by 15 participants including Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil and chairman of the charity; Bobby Baldwin, chief executive officer of CityCenter Holdings LLC, and Phil Ruffin, owner of Treasure Island Resort in Las Vegas.

Baldwin, a four-time gold bracelet winner in past tournaments, will have a chance to add a platinum bracelet to his collection with a win if at least 22 participants enter.

The three-day tournament is expected to begin July 1, 2012, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with a maximum of 48 players putting up $1 million each. Organizers said 11 percent of each tournament buy-in would be donated to One Drop, with $889,889 going to the prize pool. ESPN will broadcast the event.

“Since its creation, One Drop has reached out to millions of people to support access to water and raise each and every one’s awareness of water-related issues.” Laliberté said in a statement. “And today, knowing that one person dies from a water-borne disease every 20 seconds, I urge everyone to do even more.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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