Other Sport

Esfandiari wins mega poker pot

2012-07-04 09:56
Antonio Esfandiari (File)
$18 346 673.

It's a monumental number, the kind that only Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and one or two other athletes will get in one lump payment throughout their careers. Now, you can add Antonio Esfandiari to that very limited list.

According to the ESPN website, Esfandiari was one of 48 professional poker players and amateurs who put up $1 million each to participate in The Big One for One Drop, the Guy Laliberte brainchild that concluded on Tuesday at the 2012 World Series of Poker. The 11.111 percent of the total entry fee that went to Laliberte's One Drop charity made the event an altruistic endeavour, but that was over and done with when the first cards were dealt on Sunday.

Through three days, Esfandiari glowed. He ran from table to table, joking with friends and seeming entirely at home in the largest-buy-in tournament in poker history. He seemed like a man who knew what awaited him.

Esfandiari entered the final day's play with a small chip lead over England's Sam Trickett, with whom he flip-flopped in the standings for most of the table play.

Malaysian businessman Richard Yong was eliminated during the first few hours of the final table. After the dinner break, 1978 world champion and City Centre CEO Bobby Baldwin went out next in seventh and Esfandiari's close friend, Brian Rast, was stopped by Sam Trickett in sixth.

As Esfandiari took out the event's creator, Guy Laliberte, A-K over Q-Q, he suddenly held a commanding chip lead. Phil Hellmuth's quest for his 13th bracelet ended with a fourth-place finish, and David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager who donated his prize purse to the education-focused non-profit City Year, finished third.

In a match that many expected to see as the final table played out, it was Esfandiari versus Trickett for the $18.3 million. Esfandiari got Trickett all-in on a Jd-5d-5c board, holding 7d-5s for three of a kind. Trickett showed Qd-6d for a flush draw.

The diamond never came. The turn was 3h, the river 2h, and Esfandiari was the champion. He was immediately swarmed by his friends and family on stage.

In addition to the money, Esfandiari won a special edition platinum bracelet, which he immediately gave to his father. This was Esfandiari's second career WSOP title. With the $18 346 673 first prize, his total tournament winnings come to $23 245 828, the most any player has won in organised tournament history. Trickett's $10 112 001 consolation prize gives him a career total of $16 471 097, good for fourth all-time behind just Esfandiari, Erik Seidel and Phil Ivey. Trickett's cash was also the third largest single prize awarded in WSOP history behind Esfandiari and 2006 WSOP champion Jamie Gold.

Complete results:

Event 55: The Big One For One Drop
Buy-in: $1 000 000
Entries: 48
Prize pool: $42 666 672
Players in the money: 9

1. Antonio Esfandiari ($18 346 673)
2. Sam Trickett ($10 112 001)
3. David Einhorn ($4 352 000)
4. Phil Hellmuth ($2 645 333)
5. Guy Laliberté ($1 834 666)
6. Brian Rast ($1  621 333)
7. Bobby Baldwin ($1 408 000)
8. Richard Yong ($1 237 333)
9. Mike Sexton ($1 109 333)

Read more on:    poker

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How excited are you about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.