The Big One for One Drop poker tournament with a $1,000,000 buy-in ran from December 19th to 21st. With a buy-in this large, entries are always limited. This year, only 17 players entered the event. It became something like an SNG with four places paid – even reaching the final table of six players didn't guarantee a cash prize.
Phil Ivey was the first to register, which should have piqued the interest of top tournament professionals. Surprisingly, there were even a few amateurs – like David Einhorn (pictured), Talal Shakerchi, Rick Salomon, and Santosh Suvarna.
Martin Kabrhel was one of the controversial figures at the One Drop tables.
The rest represented the elite of modern MTTs, minus those few who had the audacity (or sensibility) to reach the final table in the main WPT tournament running at the same time (that one had a guarantee of $40 million).
Deep starting stacks and a slow structure set this tournament apart from most high-roller get-togethers, where the structure is designed to save wealthy players time. So, the affluent poker players had to fend for themselves with less variance.
The first player dropped from the One Drop was Shakerchi, who lost 30 blinds with AQo in a coin flip against pocket Jacks. He was followed by Einhorn, whose QJs fell victim to Fedor Holtz's pocket nines.
The last victim of the first day was Ivy. In a 3-bet pot on the board Phil called three barrels from Dan Smith and couldn't part with .
Smith showed a straight and finished the day in first place with 184bb. Adrian Mateos and Santosh Suvarna also collected more than a hundred blinds. Mikita Badziakouski had more than 80 big blinds.
Day Two of the Big One for One Drop
The second day began with the eliminations of Chris Brewer and Kabrhel. Later on, the tournament lost Stephen Chidwick and Fedor Holtz.
In 10th place, long-struggling short stack Jason Kuhn was eliminated.
Matthias Eibinger went out in 9th place, hitting the ultimate cooler with the second nut flush against the first.
Mikita Badziakouski was then the shortest, with a stack dropping down to 21bb. Holz University graduate Mario Mosböck was also competing for the unwanted title of the shortest stack. (Given the tournament results Mikita had, this is another lesson to never give up!). Mikita caught Rick Salomon next. There was a 3-bet and a shove after a continuation bet on the rainbow flop . Mikita called, showed Jacks, and beat Rick's hopeful pair of nines. When the seven survivors left for dinner, he was the chip leader.
Shortly after the break, Adrian Mateos raised and then 4-bet all-in with KQs, Dan Smith held with Jacks, and day two was over.
Day Three of the Big One for One Drop
The third day was dedicated to the prizes.
Here's who was at the Big One for One Drop final table:
Dan Smith – 4,865,000 chips (61 bb)
34 years old. Born in Manalapan, New Jersey. Lives in Las Vegas. Live Career Tournament Prizes: $49,631,818.
Mario Mosböck – 3,340,000 chips (42 bb)
27 years old. Lives in Austria. Live Career Tournament Prizes: $4,485,754.
Six years ago, Mosböck played football in the second and third divisions of the Austrian football league. However, poker turned out to be his true calling. He was also the winner of the main SCOOP tournament in 2021 on Stars.
Mikita Badziakouski – 2,935,000 chips (37 bb)
31 years old. Born in Belarus. Lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Career earnings: $43,743,118.
Isaac Haxton – 2,570,000 chips (32 bb)
38 years old. Born in New York. Lives in Las Vegas. Career earnings: $45,483,212.
The established top player caught his biggest boost this year. He not only won his long-awaited first WSOP bracelet – but also won more than $15 million in tournaments.
Santosh Suvarna – 1,845,000 (23 bb)
43 years old. Lives in India and the UAE. Career earnings: $6,658,584. Indian businessman, millionaire, former owner of a poker club in Bangalore.
Nick Petrangelo – 4,865,000 (18 bb)
36 years old. Born in Massachusetts, lives in Las Vegas. Career earnings: $32,390,608.
The 2023 Big One for One Drop prizes:
1st Place: $7,114,500
2nd Place: $4,663,950
3rd Place: $2,806,750
4th Place: $1,224,800
The 2023 Big One for One Drop Final Table Begins
The first hand of the final table turned out to be symbolic, even though it was completely standard. Chip leader Dan Smith opened and Mikita 3-bet from the button with . Dan was forced to fold the better hand.
The next hand saw Smith raise-fold again, this time with to Ike's . A couple of minutes later he opened from the button with and was robbed of almost 20 blinds by Petrangelo, who shoved with . Mikita thought for a long time with in the hand, but still folded.
"How can I fold?!" – Dan probably thought and made a snap call. Both players made a pair on the flop, but Lady Luck did not smile upon Dan. The stacks of all the finalists, except Santosh, were relatively even.
Over the next few minutes, Dan Smith 3-bet raised to 42o and 93o. He won the first hand preflop, but was bluffed in the second.
The last of the amateurs remaining in the game didn't play too hard and shoved 10 blinds from UTG with . Mario Mosböck made a routine call with and caught the on the river.
The bubble has started. Crushing short stacks is always fun – or is it?
Mikita was in a tough spot here with his tournament life on the line.
Instead of losing, Mikita doubled up!
A few minutes later, Nick Petrangelo (not for the first time) became a bubble boy at a very expensive tournament.
Hands that Made Mikita a Winner
A tight reg 4-max battle begins. Here are some highlight hands with Mikita.
– At the new blind level 75k/125k/125k, Mikita opens A6o and folds to Dan Smith's 3-bet from the BB with Pocket Queens
– Against Haxton's raise from the cutoff, Mikita defends the big blind with KTo. On the flop , Haxton sends a continuation bet of half the pot. The turn was a , also a rainbow and quite a brick. Ike bet 2/3 of the pot and Mikita Badziakouski folds. Luckily for him, his opponent had T9s.
– From the cutoff, Mikita raises to 250k with QTs. Mosböck 3-bet to 675k from the small blind. Despite the seemingly small size and availability of position, Mikita (in a moment of clairvoyance) chooses to pass. The opponent has ATo.
– Mikita opens QJo from the button and gets a call from Mosböck in the BB. On the flop rainbow, he takes the pot with a small continuation bet of about 1/5 of the pot. The opponent has JTo.
– Mosbek raises 250k from the cutoff, Mikita in the small blind puts almost all-in 3,225,000 with two tens (leaving 125k behind), and his opponent immediately folds a pair of fours.
– Mosbek raises from the button and Mikita calls from the BB with . The flop comes out , Mosböck bets less than 1/5 of the pot, our player calls. The turn is a and the action goes check-check. On the river, the hits the felt. Mikita bets 175,000 into a pot of 1,000,000, his opponent calls with .
– Across the table in the same positions, Mikita defends and catches second pair on the flop. Until the river, the action goes check-check.
Mario makes about a half-pot-sized bet on the river. After thinking a little, Mikita makes the correct call.
Mario Mosböck nevertheless takes the lead.
Then, there's a preflop cooler between Ike and Mikita. It is worth noting the amazing composure of Mikita, who behaved as if he knew the result in advance.
Unfortunately for Ike's , he was almost drawing dead by the turn, chasing the two remaining 8s. After a professional handshake, he was gone.
With only seven blinds remaining, Dan Smith goes all-in with . Mosböck calls with a slightly worse , but ends up with two pair.
Heads-up stacks: 10,325,000 for Mosbek, 6,675,000 for Mikita, effective stacks of 53 bb. Wads of cash are brought onto the table to add a bit of thrill, and the game resumes.
Mikita Delivers a Crushing Blow to Mario's Stack
Mikita limps and calls a raise with . Both check the flop with an ace. On the turn, Mikita patiently calls his opponent's bet after making the nuts...
On the river, the former soccer player puts the former chess player all-in.
This action was quite similar to a hand where Mikita played tricky on the Hustler Casino live stream.
After taking a big blow to his stack, Mosböck has 27 bb left.
The Dramatic Final Hands of Mikita's One Drop
Trying to deal finishing blows to his opponent, Mikita attacks Mario's continuation bet on a paired board. It was unfortunate timing since his opponent's two-pair was never going to fold – but things weren't over yet.
The opponent calls. On the turn, the is dealt. Mikita g – gives up and checks. Mario decides not to bet and also checks – but this ruins his hand. The river card is a . Mikita block-bets a third of the pot. Mario insta-calls and his stack shrinks to 14bb.
However, the unexpected happens immediately: Mikita puts Mario all-in with Q2o and receives a call from pocket eights. The dealer doesn't help our player and Mosböck doubles up.
However, Mario still doesn't give his chips away easily, even with some postflop play. On the next hand, he tries to turn the situation around by check-raising the turn with absolute air.
Mikita thinks for a long time and calls.
On a fairly innocent river, Mosböck bluffs. Mikita, in thought, moves the cards with a sweeping movement. From a distance, it may seem as if he is pushing the cards away from himself and folding them.
After about a minute, that's exactly what he does! Mosböck's desperate bluff is through and he's in the clear! The difference in stacks is still significant though – Mikita has twice as many chips.
He limp-calls with and gets a very decent flop.
The turn is a . On his opponent's check, Mikita again bets an enticing third of the pot, and again the call follows.
On the river, the dealer flips over a . Mikita makes a big bet and Mosböck quickly gives up with .
In the next hand, Mikita limps and pushes all-in, in response to Mario's raise.
He gets a call in what would be the final hand of the 2023 Big One for One Drop.
The strongest hand holds and Mikita Badziakouski scores a historic victory and collects a whopping $7,114,500!
A full replay of the final table One Drop action can be enjoyed on YouTube.