Amidst a packed festival schedule at the Wynn Las Vegas, 17 players took their seats and ponied up $1,000,000 to take part in the first-ever WPT Big One for One Drop poker tournament.
Mikita Badziakouski outlasted the star-studded field to win the prestigious event, taking home $7,114,500, the largest score of his already impressive career.
“I mean, I feel great… the tournament itself is the biggest title I’ve ever had,” Badziakouski said after his victory on Wednesday evening. “I just got lucky in a couple of big coolers. That’s how it goes, one of the sides has to get lucky and that was me today.”
$1 million Big One for One Drop results
Two firsts for the Belarusian high-stakes pro
Badziakouski crossed two items off of his professional career with the multi-million dollar victory.
First, he had never cashed a World Poker Tour event before. Check. Second, he had never cashed a tournament at the Wynn Las Vegas. Double-check. To accomplish both in such dramatic fashion is something he, and we, will remember, especially in such a prestigious setting.
“We were honored to host the first WPT Big One for One Drop with the help of the One Drop Foundation and our casino partner Wynn Las Vegas,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “The iconic event added an extraordinary level of prestige to the WPT World Championship festival.”
The final table: A bubble no one wants to bust
As far as tournament bubbles go, this is one of the largest you’ll see. $1,224,800 for fourth place, $0 for fifth place. So, when six players returned for play at the final table, each wondered on which side of the bubble they would fall.
It was Santhosh Savarna who fell first, going home in sixth place and leaving the remaining five to fight for four spots that cash. The final outsider looking in on the millions was WPT Champion Nick Petrangelo.
After Isaac Haxton ($1,224,800) and Dan Smith ($2,806,750) fell in fourth and third, it was Austrian footballer-turned-poker professional Mario Mosboeck left to battle Badziakouski. He eventually also fell, earning a hefty $4,663,950 for his efforts.
A charitable endeavor to aid the One Drop Foundation
The Big One for One Drop has been around for over 10 years now, debuting in 2012. For the first time this year, the charitable event partnered with the WPT, and $60,000 from each buy-in went toward the Foundation.
“A big thank you to all the players that participated in the WPT Big One for One Drop,” said Alexandre Meunier, One Drop Foundation’s Chief Marketing and Events Officer. “The charitable contribution of each buy-in is a tremendous help to progressing our worldwide efforts.”
A heartfelt congratulations to Mikita Badziakouski on his epic victory, his largest tournament score to date, and his first-ever WPT cash!
All photos courtesy WPT