Hong Kong Pro Elton Tsang Wins €11M in One Drop


Monaco Extravaganza in incredible interiors and neat costumes ended. Elton Tsang defeated Russian businessman Anatoly Gurtovoy heads-up and received €11,111,111! There were 26 participants in the event, less than expected.

When acrobatic tricks of Guy Laliberte (they made a real performance on the tournament opening), when the price of Monaco Albert II told his speech; when they all gathered in luxurious Casino de Monte-Carlo hall – the tournament with the most expensive buy-in in history of poker began.

The spectacle was extraordinary.


Let us start with the participants list. Guy promised at least 35 people… and failed. 26 multi-millionaires and billionaires played in it with two more re-entry buy-ins. By the way, Laliberte himself and Andrew Pantling who played highest stakes online at ClockWyze nickname.

There were many names of people who played other super highroller events. For instance, Alfred Decarolis, Pal Phua, Rick Salomon, Paul Newey, David Einhorn, Haralabos Voulgaris, Dan Shak,  Talal Shakerchi and many others.All the above mentioned people went to the second day of competition  24 persons total.


Who invited pro players?

As Guy Laliberte claimed, participating was prohibited to professional players. Really, most of them were coaching and stayed on a short distance from their players. Laliberte hired Negreanu, Phua decided to take class from Daniel Cates, Daniel Shak partnered with Scott Seiver, Antonio Esfandiari took Bob Safari’s side and so on.

Real pros were among the participants of the event. For instance, Andrew Pantling. Now he is a head of his own company Matchbook (totalizator), but in 2010 and the following years he actively competed with Phil Ivey and other top regulars in Full Tilt poker room. HighstakesDB safely saved the profile of this player, which is really doesn’t show how high Pantling went. This person can certainly be not called an active professional but he is far beyond being an amateur.


Andrew Pantling and James Bord

Same goes for Dan Shak and Talal Shakerchi. The latter actively plays online under raidalot nickname, and he won $10,000 SCOOP Main Event High ($1,468,000) in the May. In addition to that, Shakerchi is EPT champion.

In comparison with Negreanu or Kates these people are lower-skilled but they have clear edge over the squad of One Drop Extravaganza

Final table

Gurtovoy was the only Russian player in the event. Feruell once said he wanted to participate in the event, and as Anatoly was the only one who spoke Russian in the event, one can make clear conclusions of it. But let’s leave this gossips.


So, the second day of the tournament shortened the player’s pool to 8 players:

  1. Andrew Pantling – 31,775,000 (79 BB)
  2. Rick Salomon – 26,900,000 (67 BB)
  3. Elton Tsang – 23,550,000 (59 BB)
  4. James Bord – 18,125,000 (45 BB)
  5. Anatoly Gurtovoy – 16,775,000 (42 BB)
  6. Cary Katz – 9,550,000 (24 BB)
  7. Brandon Steven – 8,000,000 (20 BB)
  8. Haralabos Voulgaris – 5,375,000 (13 BB)

Aforementioned “semi-amateur” Pantling took the lead as the resting pro. Gurtovoy also comfortably went to the final day, having more than 40 big blinds.

Paul Phua shined in the beginning of the second playing day. He eliminated four (!) players, including Guy Laliberte.


In one of deciding hands of the whole tournament on the turn of the board J-9-2-8 Bob Safari and Andrew Pantling went all-in. The first one had nuts (Q-10), and the second was dreaming on catching one of the outs, having two pairs (9-8)… River was another 8, that caused traditional Esfandiari’s reaction: “Sick”.

After that, the stack of Pantling reached incredible sizes and that allowed him took the lead in chip count.

Tsang vs. Gurtovoy

The final playing day started with Tsang-Pantling battles. The latter lost most of his stackin couple of hands and crowned a new chip leader and future champion. Second of their hands had over 16 million chips in the pot preflop (4-bet pot)!

The flop was К-7-10 rainbow. Being an aggressor and having just 17 million chip stack, Pantling bet 6.5 million chips but after continuous thinking and sighs he had to fold his hand to Tsang’s push.

Elton Tsang ruled 4-max, Anatoly Gurtovoy, Rick Salomon and James Bord were surviving short stacks. By the time the Russian eliminated Bord, Tsang’s stacked exceeded the mark of 100 million chips (total chip count of the tournament is 140 million).

Heads-up started with these numbers (600,000/1,200,000 blinds, 200,000 antes):

Tsang: 93,700,000
Gurtovoy: 46,300,000.


Unfortunately, that was not the fight of equals. Tsang was unstoppable. He was put on a cruel cooler in the last hand. Q-3-4-2 board, Gurtovoy pushes with made straight (A-5), but his opponent had a better straight (6-5)…


€1,000,000 One Drop Extravaganza Results:

  1. Elton Tsang (Hong Kong) – €11,111,111
  2. Anatoly Gurtovoy (Russia) – €5,427,781
  3. Rick Salomon (USA) – €3,000,000
  4. James Bord (Great Britain) – €2,100,000
  5. Cary Katz (USA) – €1,750,000
  6. Andrew Pantling (Canada) – €1,500,000.

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