William Hill and Amaya are still considering a potential merger. Elton Tsang is the latest One Drop Champion. PokerStars NJCOOP underway. And more.

Elton Tsang wins the Big One for One Drop

26 players registered for the 2016 incarnation of the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament, and with two players deciding $1 million wasn’t enough and reentering after busting, the total number of entries in the “amateur-player-only” field was 28.

This time around pros were excluded from the tournament, although a few questionable businessmen did sneak into the field.

The event was also moved (somewhat fittingly) to Monte Carlo, and Hong Kong businessman Elton Tsang became one of the winningest poker players in history thanks to the €11,111,111 (it’s called One Drop for a reason) first place prize.

Here’s how the top six players finished:

  1. Elton Tsang – €11,111,111
  2. Anatoly Gurtovoy – €5,427,781
  3. Rick Salomon – €3,000,000
  4. James Bord – €2,100,000
  5. Cary Katz – €1,750,000
  6. Andrew Pantling – €1,500,000

Quick Hitters

– Despite’s it’s top shareholder expressing doubts about the merger/acquisition, it sounds like William Hill is still in active discussions with Amaya. If it comes to fruition, the deal would create a super company in a world of already existing super companies due to recent M&A’s across the industry.

– The man who ran several online payment divisions for online poker sites over the years, Paul Tate has pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal gambling business. Tate was most recently the Director of Payments at PokerStars, a job he held up until Black Friday. This is an important point because PokerStars has denied they miscoded credit card transactions during that time period. Interestingly, Tate did not plead guilty to the UIGEA or money laundering charges, which means PokerStars can still argue this point.

– For the next two weeks, PokerStars New Jersey will be hosting its inaugural NJCOOP tournament series. The $1.2 million series features a total of 43 events and will lead into the upcoming PokerStars Festival New Jersey – PokerStars first live tournament series in the US in five years – that will get started at the end of the month.

– The 2016 Poker Hall of Fame inductees have been announced (Carlos Mortensen and Todd Brunson if you’ve been living under a rock) but did the Hall of Fame voters get it right? I attempted to answer that question in this column.