The World Series of Poker crowns a handful of millionaires every summer, and with the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop falling so early in the 2017 schedule, one of the biggest winners of the entire WSOP stood to be crowned in the first week of action.
Doug Polk outlasted a field of 130 players to claim that prize, a cool $3,686,865, along with his third career WSOP gold bracelet. Once the tournament got down to heads-up play, Polk defeated Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who entered the final table with a considerable chip lead, for the title and the fourth-largest non-main event or $1 million buy-in event prize in WSOP history.
After winning his first two bracelets in smaller buy-in events, Polk, who rose to prominence thanks to success in online poker (and specifically heads-up play), was a bit overwhelmed by the massive sum he had just pocketed.
"In those events, the money was really not a very big deal, whereas this is huge for me," Polk told WSOP.com's Steve Schult. "This is a lot of money. Just the fact that it's ... I'm sorry, I'm struggling for words right now. It's surreal. To win that much more money against tough people in a real, world-class event, it's way different."
Polk continues to maintain a significant online presence through his training site, Upswing Poker, and a popular YouTube channel that boasts more than 110,000 subscribers and more than 18.7 million views. It was clear in the aftermath of this victory that he appreciated what he had accomplished, but despite such a prolific victory, his vision for the future remains fairly grounded.
"I think most of my goals in poker right now are more on trying to build my name in the game and less so on individual events," Polk told WSOP.com. "This is amazing for this to happen, but you can't count on this. This is very fortunate. I'm not going to set goals like that. I'm going to continue to play good events and take it from there."
For the upper-echelon talent that entered this event, the final table of the One Drop High Roller largely featured players who had success away from the WSOP. After losing Phil Hellmuth on the bubble in 10th place, only Polk, Grospellier and 2014 WSOP main event champion Martin Jacobson came in having previously won WSOP bracelets; Polk was the only multi-time winner in the bunch.
The final table was still littered with big names, however, including prolific sports bettor and longtime online poker stalwart Haralbos Voulgaris (fourth), 2016 Super High Roller Bowl winner Rainer Kempe (seventh) and Andrew Robl (8th), among others. Polk, Grospellier, Voulgaris and Dario Sammartino (third) each walked away Monday with seven-figure paydays.
More than $500,000 was raised for One Drop, a charity dedicated to clean water initiatives that has partnered with the WSOP for several yearly events since 2012.
Final table results
Doug Polk -- $3,686,865
Bertrand Grospellier -- $2,278,657
Dario Sammartino -- $1,608,295
Haralabos Voulgaris -- $1,158,883
Chris Moore -- $852,885
Martin Jacobson -- $641,382
Rainer Kempe -- $493,089
Andrew Robl -- $387,732
Mike Kamran -- $312,006