Posts Tagged ‘Antonio’

Antonio Buonanno Wins 2014 EPT Grand Final Main Event

Antonio BuonannoAfter ten hours of heads-up play, the longest one-on-one battle in European Poker Tour history, Italy’s Antonio Buonanno finally defeated Britain’s Jack Salter to win the 2014 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final main event. At around 7:00 AM in Monaco, roughly 18 hours after the eight-handed final table began, the 47-year-old finally lifted the trophy.

“It was very hard and very long. Salter is a good player and it was very difficult to win this EPT,” said Buonanno after the marathon battle. “I played five days very short-stacked but I think I played good poker yesterday and today.”

In addition to the title and the trophy Buonanno also earned the €1,240,000 ($ 1,715,439 USD) first-place prize and 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points, enough to move him into a tie for tenth place in the overall Player of the Year race standings.

In 2013 the EPT Grand Final main event final table featured some of the biggest names in the game, including Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Jake Cody, Johnny Lodden, Noah Schwartz, Andrew Pantling and eventual champ Steve O’Dwyer. This year’s final table was remarkable for quite a different reason: seven of the eight finalists satellited their way into the event. Eighth place finisher Sebastian Bredthauer didn’t even have to invest any of his own money, making his was to a $ 178,184 payday after qualifying using PokerStars VPPs (loyalty points).

Jack SalterBuonanno, a former clothing store owner who has traveled the EPT circuit for the past four years and has a big final table at the WSOP under his belt, was the only player to directly buy-in. The other seven combined to invest only €1,700 between them in qualifying for the €10,600 buy-in event. They cashed out for a total of €2.7 million.

Runner-up Jack Salter earned €765,000 and 1,750 POY points for his deep run, but surely will be disappointed after holding the chip lead for much of heads-up play and having three huge all-in hands where he was ahead or flipping to win the tournament, but failed to win any of them. He kept his composure, but the steady Buonanno was able to stretch his advantage until the final hand arose.

With unprecedented (for the EPT) blinds of 150,000 /300,000 with a 40,000 ante, Buonanno raised to 600,000 from the button with the ASpade Suit4Heart Suit and Salter moved all-in for just under 5 million with the KDiamond Suit7Diamond Suit. Buonanno called and the board ran out JHeart Suit9Spade Suit2Heart SuitQDiamond Suit3Spade Suit to secure the pot and the title for Buonanno. Salter, who had one prior final table finish in 2014 already, now sits in 13th place in the overall standings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Photos courtesy of PokerStars / Neil Stoddart.

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 6:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , 2014, Antonio, Buonanno, Event, Final, Grand, Main, Wins

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Antonio Esfandiari Going For Back-To-Back ‘One Drop’ Titles: ‘Would Feel Fantastic To Take Another Big Bite Out Of’ Poker Economy

The money bubble burst at around 4 p.m. local time after a lengthy hand-for-hand process, and the player leaving empty handed in 25th place was Yevgeniy Timoshenko.

However, the focus was quickly shifted back to the remaining players, one of whom could defend his “One Drop” title from last year, when the buy-in was $ 1 million. This year the entry fee was dropped down to $ 111,111, but the cap on the number of players was lifted. A total of 166 players built a prize pool that would divvy out $ 4.8 million for first.

That player is none other than Antonio Esfandiari, who sat, in his usual pajama-like attire, with about an average chip stack when the field was condensed to the final three tables.

When asked about the possibility of sucking another huge sum from the poker economy, the veteran grinder, winner of three World Series of Poker bracelets remarked with a laugh:

“Luckily the poker world has a lot of money, and I will not be bankrupting it. However, it would feel fantastic to take another big bite out of it, and punish them all.”

When asked if he has had any thoughts of playing longtime friend Phil Laak for the bracelet, Esfandiari said yes, and that it would be “amazing.” Laak also made the money, and had a stack of about the same size as Esfandiari when play resumed after a short break.

“I would LOVE to play Phil and beat him,” he said. “That would go down in history. It would be a forever-needle, but actually that would be the least of my concerns.”

“Winning the One Drop last year was the greatest thing that could ever happen, and to win it again would, I think, be one of the biggest stories in poker — ever.”

If Esfandiari were to win, he would have more than $ 9 million more in earnings than the second best on the all-time list (Sam Trickett). Thanks to the $ 18 million score last year, Esfandiari has nearly $ 23.7 million in career cashes. It’s worth noting that it isn’t actually his amount won when you factor in tournament buy-ins over the years, and that he sold an undisclosed but significant chunk of himself for the $ 1 million buy-in.

“It would be really hard for second-place to catch up,” Esfandiari said of the prestigious spot.

The event was scheduled to wrap up on Friday or early Saturday morning, but the World Series of Poker will likely let the event go into an official fourth day of play.

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Published on 6:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , 'One, Another, Antonio, BackToBack, Bite, Drop, Economy, Esfandiari, Fantastic, Feel, Going, Poker, take, Titles, would

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Antonio Esfandiari Signs With Ultimate Poker

Online poker is coming back to the United States in a big way, and Ultimate Poker — along with poker superstar Antonio Esfandiari — is leading the way.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Esfandiari signed on as “brand ambassador” for Ultimate Poker, a licensed online poker room in Nevada. It plans to launch its real-money games this year, becoming one of the first ever to legally take action from Americans.

According to the company, Esfandiari is the first professional poker player to represent a U.S. licensed online poker site. “Antonio is the ultimate champion and modern poker player,” Ultimate Poker Chairman Tom Breitling said in a statement. “He brings the gaming lifestyle to the online arena with his work-hard, play-hard attitude.”

On paper, Esfandiari has won more in tournaments than any other poker player in history. Thanks largely to a record $ 18 million first-place prize last year in the World Series of Poker $ 1 million buy-in, Esfandiari sits with more than $ 23 million in earnings to his name. He has three WSOP wins, plus two prestigious World Poker Tour titles.

Ultimate Poker and Esfandiari were the subject of the latest Card Player Magazine (cover image above), which was distributed to casinos and subscribers in late March.

The poker pro has been garnering attention outside of poker as well. Last fall, “The Magician,” as he is sometimes called, appeared on the Howard Stern Show.

Ultimate Poker is the exclusive online gaming partner of the the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and is the online poker product of Nevada’s Station Casinos. Ultimate Gaming, which is Ultimate Poker’s parent company, acquired CyberArts in order to create the cutting-edge software needed to debut strong in a Nevada marketplace.

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Published on 6:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Esfandiari, Poker, Signs, Ultimate

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Poker Hand Matchup: Ravi Raghavan vs. Antonio Esfandiari

Outcome

Final table, six handed, with the blinds at 20,000 and 40,000 and a 5,000 ante, Esfandiari raised to 90,000 from the cutoff, Raghavan called in the big blind. On the Flop, Raghavan checked, Esfandiari bet 130,000, Raghavan called. On the Turn, Raghavan checked, Esfandiari bet 260,000, Raghavan folded.

Analysis

Raghavan flopped a promising hand with second pair and a redraw to the broadway straight, but he had a vulnerable stack and was out of position to Esfandiari who had him badly out chipped. Having made the final table of this tournament for the third year in a row and with the best year in the history of tournament poker locked down, Esfandiari was in his element and quite comfortable. Leading out, check-raising and check-calling were all viable lines from Raghavan, but he chose the most passive with his check call on the flop. Raghavan further abdicated control on the turn with a second check, and Esfandiari kept the lead and bought the pot while drawing dead. Raghavan didn’t want to invest too many chips in a marginal spot, and he had his work cut out for him with Esfandiari, Andrew Lichtenberger, and Shawn Buchanan at the table. Raghavan started the final table as the shortest stack, but he was able to win some key coin flips against Lichtenberger to chip up. Esfandiari was subsequently eliminated in 4th for $ 329,339 when he ran Big Slick into Raghavan’s pocket Aces all-in preflop.

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Published on 11:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Esfandiari, Hand, Matchup, Poker, Raghavan, Ravi

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Antonio Esfandiari Shrugs Off All-Time Tournament Earnings Title

Esfandiari Compets At NBC Heads-Up ChampionshipAntonio Esfandiari has three World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles. Thanks to his outgoing personality and undeniable charm, he’s been one of the most recognizable faces in the poker world for the last eight years.

With nearly $ 23.5 million in career winnings, the 34-year-old former magician currently holds the distinction as the all-time live tournament earnings leader. But when asked about the title, Esfandiari shrugs it off without much thought.

“I mean, it’s a fantastic honor, but I honestly don’t really feel like the all-time earnings leader, because the bulk of those winnings really came from one tournament,” he said.

The tournament in question is last summer’s Big One For One Drop, a $ 1 million buy-in event. The tournament drew a field of 48 players, many of whom were wealthy businessmen. Esfandiari outlasted them all, taking home $ 18,346,673, but the Iranian-born poker pro doesn’t think his reign on top will last forever.

“There are guys near the top who have done it for years without a lot of huge scores,” said Esfandiari. “Personally, I’m not a guy who likes to travel around and play a lot of tournaments these days.”

The guys he refers to are the rest of the all-time live tournament earnings top ten, which includes well-known poker pros Sam Trickett, Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Michael Mizrachi, Jamie Gold and Scotty Nguyen.

Trickett, the current second-place resident with over $ 17.5 million in earnings, is just as guilty as Esfandiari is on relying on one tournament for the bulk of his winnings. His second-place finish in the Big One For One Drop added $ 10,112,001 to his total.

The same can be said for Gold, who has managed to only add an additional $ 230,000 onto the $ 12 million he won in the 2006 WSOP main event.

But others, like Esfandiari suggested, have spent years building up their poker resumes. Hellmuth, for example, didn’t earn his first seven-figure score until the 2011 WSOP. Negreanu has three seven-figure cashes of his own, but they make up less than a quarter of his $ 16.1 million in winnings.

Esfandiari At One Of His Three WPT Five-Diamond Final TablesTo be fair, Esfandiari hasn’t exactly been a slouch when it comes to his other major tournament finishes. Even if he hadn’t made the money in the Big One For One Drop, he’d still have cashed for over $ 700,000 in 2012 alone. In December, he managed to make the final table of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for an unprecedented third year in a row, proving he’s still as hungry as ever to compete at the highest level.

Though he currently holds a $ 6 million lead on his nearest competitor, Esfandiari believes it’s just a matter of time before he has to give up his spot at the top.

“I believe that those guys will continue to play a ton of high roller events and eventually, I’ll get passed. I may have won the biggest buy-in event of all time, but I don’t look forward to flying to Macau to put up $ 250,000 to play against a bunch of wizards like these other guys do. Unless I see some value in the tournament, like there was with the One Drop event, then I’m not really interested. I’m not really looking to gamble. There needs to be some kind of edge, or else I’m probably not going to play it.”

Here’s a look at the all-time live tournament earnings leaderboard as we head into the new year.

Tags:
Antonio Esfandiari,   Sam Trickett,   Phil Ivey,   Erik Seidel,   Phil Hellmuth,   Daniel Negreanu,   John Juanda,   Scotty Nguyen,   Jamie Gold,   Michael Mizrachi,   All-Time Tournament Earnings,   Live Tournament Poker,   Tournament Winnings,   Tournament Rankings,   Money Rankings

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Published on 11:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , AllTime, Antonio, Earnings, Esfandiari, Shrugs, Title, Tournament

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Antonio Esfandiari Headlines World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Final Table

For the third year in a row, Antonio Esfandiari has made the final table of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic main event at the Bellagio. He won it all in 2010, and nearly defended his title last year before ultimately finishing sixth.

On the day of his 34th birthday, Esfandiari eliminated seventh-place finisher Jonathan Aguiar to take a chip lead into the final six where he is joined by fellow pros Shawn Buchanan, Ravi Raghavan Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, who also made the final table of this even last year.

You can watch right here on Card Player starting at 4:30 PM PST as these top players battle it out for the title and the $ 1,268,571 first-place prize on the 30-minute delayed final table live stream with hole cards, featuring commentary from Tony Dunst, Dan O’Brien, and Jonathan Little.

Here’s a look at the final table seating assignments and chip counts:

Michael Phelps is all-inAll-time Olympic gold medal leader Michael Phelps was on the rail rooting on Esfandiari during play down to the final six. Phelps’ roommate, poker pro Jeff Gross, finished third in the WPT Montreal main event recently and Esfandiari was in his cheering section along with Phelps, who himself is a big fan of poker. Phelps made a final table in a Caesar’s Palace event in 2008, and after the final table was set he was sitting in a cash friendly cash game with Daniel Negreanu, Eddie Sabat and Gross at the Bellagio.

A total of 503 entries were made in this $ 10,300 no-limit hold’em re-entry event, made up of 368 individual players and 135 re-entries. As the fifth day of play began, only 22 players remained. Numerous notables made deep runs including Jonathan Aguair (7th – $ 143,933), Theo Tran (8th – $ 102,461), Jason Somerville (10th – $ 56,110), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (11th – $ 56,110), Freddy Deeb (12th – $ 56,110), Greg Mueller (13th – $ 43,912), Andrew Robl (15th – $ 40,250), Scott Clements (16th – $ 40,250), Noah Schwartz (17th – $ 36,593), Jeremy Ausmus (18th – $ 36,593), Brian Rast (19th – $ 31,714), Eddie Sabat (21st – $ 31,714) and Joseph Elpayaa (22nd -$ 31,714).

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Published on 5:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Classic, Diamond, Esfandiari, Final, Five, Headlines, Poker, Table, Tour, World

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Antonio Esfandiari Not Chasing A Poker ‘High’

Last week, poker pro Antonio Esfandiari appeared on the Howard Stern Show. He was hit with a lot of questions about the game of poker and the lifestyle of a professional.

Stern and his co-host, Robin Quivers, tried to figure out what percentage Esfandiari had of himself in the $ 1 million buy-in World Series of Poker event this summer, but Esfandiari was tight-lipped about it as always. He maintains that he “did alright.”

“What’s the big secret?” Stern lamented.

“It’s just personal,” replied Esfandiari, who, on paper, is the most successful tournament player of all time. He has $ 23 million in lifetime earnings.

The 33-year-old was also asked about the sex life of a high-stakes card player living in Las Vegas, Nevada. With pressing from Stern, Esfandiari talked about sleeping with married women and “celebrities.”

“We’ve all done it, we’re not proud of it,” Stern responded to the married-women part.

After his record $ 18.3 million win this summer, Esfandiari said that the tournament was “better than sex.” Also known for his partying, the win was sort of affirmation on Esfandiari turning his life around, his long-time friend Brian Rast said in July.

Asked about why he plays, Esfandiari said poker is a business and that he’s not chasing what Stern called a “high.” He told the show’s hosts that he could stop playing if he wanted to. At one point, Stern asked directly: “Do you think you have a gambling problem?”

During the end of the interview, when Stern fielded listener phone calls, Esfandiari was confronted by a caller who said the poker pro is “considered a little bit of a dick at times.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Esfandiari replied.

As for his personal finances, Esfandiari said that he’s never had a losing year over the past decade. He earlier admitted that a lot of players in the game are “struggling.”

Esfandiari told Card Player the night before the Stern interview that he was looking to cast poker in a positive light, helping the game “get out of the shadows” after it suffered a dramatic blow with Black Friday last year.

Listen to the audio below:

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Published on 12:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Chasing, Esfandiari, High, Poker

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Antonio Esfandiari Cashing In On $18 Million World Series of Poker Win

Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari won the $ 1 million buy-in event this summer at the World Series of Poker and since then has been using it as a way to increase his marketability off the felt. On Tuesday morning, he will appear on the Howard Stern Show to talk poker.

“I’m going to have a lot of fun with it,” Esfandiari said of his scheduled appearance. He added that he’s looking to cast poker in a positive light, helping the game “get out of the shadows” after it suffered a dramatic blow with Black Friday last year.

Esfandiari snagged a record prize of $ 18.3 million by outlasting the 48-player field in July, but he’s never disclosed exactly what percentage of himself he had. Many players in the event, which also featured capitalists from the business world, sold action in order to play.

Brian Rast, who finished sixth in the tournament, is a long-time friend of Esfandiari and said after the event: “The [prize] money, while significant to him, might not even mean as much as the publicity from winning the title.”

Esfandiari said Monday that his friend’s statement is “probably true.”

“The value of winning the tournament is long lasting,” he said.

The California native, like many in the poker community, has represented online poker sites in the past. Esfandiari said he will likely do so again, this time in a licensed and regulated U.S. environment. “Things are in the works,” he said.

So far, web poker is only legal in Nevada and Delaware. The Silver State has already begun licensing companies and will likely see games begin this fall.

In addition to having the opportunity to appear on Stern’s radio program, Esfandiari inked a deal in the wake of his big win with the company that runs a mobile free-play poker application called “Insta Poker.” He does consulting work for the firm.

While the offers are trickling in, handled by Esfandiari’s agent Brian Balsbaugh, who many say is the best in the business, the 33-year-old is still enjoying the chance to call himself the champion of the priciest open tournament in poker’s long history, which also benefited a charity.

“You get to have that for the rest of your life,” he said.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 12:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Cashing, Esfandiari, Million, Poker, Series, World

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Poker Hand Matchup: Sam Trickett vs. Antonio Esfandiari

Outcome

Final table, heads-up, with the blinds at 400,000 and 800,000 and a 100,000 ante, Esfandiari raised to 1,700,000 from the button, Trickett called. On the Flop, Trickett checked, Esfandiari bet 2,025,000, Trickett raised to 5,400,000, Esfandiari reraised to 10,000,000, Trickett reraised to 15,000,000, Esfandiari went all-in, Trickett called.

Analysis

The narrow board got Trickett into trouble in this hand, but so did his inability to find the brakes after Esfandiari made it 10 million. Trickett’s initial check raise had plenty going for it on the flop, as his opponent was likely inclined to follow his preflop raise with a continuation bet and the pair on board made it less likely that Esfandiari caught a piece of the flop. When Esfandiari made it 10,000,000 Trickett got caught up in meta-game considerations, he may have reasoned his opponent might be inclined to put in a reraise on the narrow board as well, also surmising his opponent had missed. But Trickett’s reraise to 15,000,000 would do as much to stall a bluff as a simple call would have, and he could have carried 32 big blinds into the turn instead of pot committing himself to the hand as a 3:1 dog on the flop. Depending on Esfandiari’s action on the turn, he could have seen the river for less or gotten away from his hand had Esfandiari bet big. Esfandiari did quite well to continue to reraise his opponent, charging him the maximum to pursue his flush draw as his opponent relied on the paired board and semibluffs in hopes Esfandiari had missed and was just using his stack and board texture to make a play. Antonio held off the diamonds and won $ 18,346,673, the largest prize in the history of tournament poker which catapulted him to the top of the all time money list. Trickett earned an incredible $ 10,112,001 for his runner up finish which should serve as nice consolation.

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Published on 12:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Esfandiari, Hand, Matchup, Poker, Trickett

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Poker Hand Matchup: Guy Laliberte vs. Antonio Esfandiari

Outcome

Final table, eight handed, with the blinds at 200,000 and 400,000 and a 50,000 ante, Laliberte raised to 950,000 from early position, Esfandiari reraised to 2,300,000 from the cutoff seat, Laliberte called. On the Flop, Laliberte checked, Esfandiari bet 2,125,000, Laliberte went all-in, Esfandiari folded.

Analysis

Esfandiari tried a position play on Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, but the philanthropist/space tourist absorbed the three bet with his suited cards and proceeded to the flop. Laliberte checked his open ended straight draw to Esfandiari, who bet less than half the pot with his middle pair. No stranger to high stakes poker, Laliberte sprung an aggressive check-raise semibluff with his draw, foiling “The Magician’s” position play. If Esfandiari had been raising with a big Ace, he would have missed the board and have to fold. If he had a calling hand such as a big overpair, Laliberte was still live to his straight draw. Esfandiari knew he would muck, but that didn’t stop him from putting Laliberte on the rack for a few minutes as he tank-folded. Laliberte organized the event for his charity One Drop, whose goal is to make safe drinking water accessible to those suffering from poverty. The event raised $ 5.3 million for the charity, and additionally gave poker it’s biggest tournament in history. A former street performer, Laliberte went on to finish in 5th for $ 1,834,666 when he lost a race with QQ to Esfandiari’s AK.

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 12:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Antonio, Esfandiari, Hand, Laliberte, Matchup, Poker

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