Antonio Esfandiari: How Much Did He Really Win?July 4, 2012 12:51 pm
Take a look at Antonio Esfandiari’s poker results this morning and you will see that the 33 year old US pro now has an incredible $23,245,828 in live tournament cashes to his name, including 2 WSOP bracelets.
The Iranian born pro’s first bracelet came in 2004 at the $2k PLO event for $184,860, but yesterday in Las Vegas Esfandiari’s latest WSOP paycheck netted him around 100 times that amount at a staggering $18,346,673. Consequently, the player known as ‘The Magician’ proudly heads poker’s ‘All Time Money List’ while Erik Seidel (2nd) and Phil Ivey (3rd) are a good $6.5 million adrift from the top spot.
It took three days of weaving his poker magic to beat out the 48 player field consisting of top pros and super rich businessman at the $1 million buy-in ‘Big One For One Drop.’ However, Antonio Esfandiari stayed the course admirably and almost seemed fated to win the mega-tournament finishing Day 1 fourth in chips before entering the final table with a handsome chip lead.
Exuding incredible confidence throughout, Esfandiari announced to Kara Scott before the final table got underway that it wasn’t a case of “if” he wins but “when” and aside from 2nd place finisher Sam Trickett wrestling the chip lead at one point, Esfandiari’s victory was never in doubt.
Despite the incredible $18,346,673 first place prize, after his winning night in Las Vegas The Magician declared; “I swear to you, believe it or not, I never thought about the money. I just wanted to win.”
Esfandiari’s good friend Brian Rast finished 6th and offered this explanation as to Antonio’s focus on the bracelet: “If he had 100 percent of himself the money would be the most important thing to him. He sold pieces, just like every other pro who played this. There are no poker players who are billionaires or hundred millionaires, like the businessmen who played. The money, while significant to him, might not even mean as much as the publicity from winning the title.”
Likewise, 4th place finisher Phil Hellmuth, too, was more intent on winning the WSOP bracelet but was too card dead for most of the final table, to make it a reality. After yet another impressive WSOP run came to an end, Hellmuth tweeted:
“Finished in 4th place for $2.6 Million, a lot of money, but I had only 15% of myself…$18.3 Million would have come in handy!”
Nevertheless, it may not be certain just how much of the money Antonio Esfandiari will keep for himself, but what is certain is that he deserves all the glory for his remarkable achievement. Congratulations to Esfandiari on making poker history and being the envy of his peers.
The final table payouts were as follows:
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