Sports
by Lance Pauker on July 2, 2012

The “Big One for One Drop,” which features money magnets and poker pros alike, has seen its 48 player field narrowed to 37 after one day of play. Among those in contention for the $18.3 million prize include Russian Businessman Mikhail Smirnov, who folded quad eights in a huge hand early on. He had believed he was beaten by a straight flush. 

Smirnov was dealt a pair of 8s. After getting a third eight when three community cards were dealt, he bet only to be quickly called by 71-year-old John Morgan, the chairman and chief executive officer of Winmark Corp (WINA), a Minneapolis-based company that owns and operates 900 franchises that sell used and new merchandise, such as Play It Again Sports.

A fourth community card brought the fourth eight and, after another round of betting between the two, the fifth and final community card was the king of spades. That left four spades, including the seven, eight and jack, on the board, meaning Morgan could have topped Smirnov’s four eights if he was holding the nine and 10 of spades in his hand, which would have completed a straight flush.

When Morgan pushed all of his remaining chips — about 3.4 million — into the pot, Smirnov considered every possible hand Morgan could have had before giving up his almost unbeatable cards.

As of this morning, Bloomberg News has reported that poker pro Bryan Rast is leading the field with $10.7 million in chips.  Loudmouth Phil Hellmuth was reported to be in second place with $8.4 million.

The tourney's namesake is derived from “One Drop,” which is dedicated to increasing worldwide acess to water. A significant portion of the pot is being donated to the cause. 

[H/T: Bloomberg]