Phil Ivey talks to other players during the World Series...

Phil Ivey talks to other players during the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (July 15, 2009) Credit: AP

LAS VEGAS -- The World Series of Poker is hosting a first-ever event for players putting up $1 million apiece for a chance to win the richest top prize in poker history.

Forty-eight players are expected for the three-day no-limit Texas Hold'em event called The Big One for One Drop.

It begins Sunday at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and ends Tuesday with one winner earning more than $18 million.

In all, nine players will share nearly $43 million in prizes. The international water advocacy charity also gets a portion.

Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin and MGM Resorts International executive Bobby Baldwin are playing, along with poker pros Phil Ivey, Jonathan Duhamel, Gus Hansen and Michael Mizrachi.

Four winners of play-in tournaments will also get seats.

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