Highlights from day 38 of the 2012 WSOP (July 3)
Just like that … poker has a new name at the head of the all-time tournament winnings list after Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari’s victory in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop (pictured left, with thanks to wsop.com). Esfandiari’s first prize was an almost unthinkable USD $18,346,673 after he topped a field of 48 poker players and billionaire businessmen.
Indeed, this was a match for the ages – pitting the most successful business executives, investors, and philanthropists from all over the world – places like the United States, Russia, China, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Great Britain – who came together for a duel cause.
The first objective was to compete in an event of historical proportions. The second was to give something back in the form of a charitable component.
This final table had just about everything any poker fan would want in a line-up of this monetary and historic proportion. Four highly respected poker pros, including the WSOP’s all-time leader in just about every statistical category, facing four powerhouse minds from the world of business and entertainment.
As soon as Esfandiari won the final pot of the tournament, defeating Sam Trickett heads-up, he was overtaken with emotion as he embraced his father. Esfandiari’s brother joined the riches hug in poker history. The site of three very close people on the stage, beaming in the spotlight, with tears in their eyes, in front of the world’s television cameras and the watchful eye of every poker player in the universe was about as special as it gets.
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 Laliberte $1,834,666
6 Brian Rast $1,621,333
7 Bobby Baldwin $1,408,000
8 Richard Yong $1,237,333
• Play was suspended for the night with Will Jaffe battling Brazilian Luis Campelo for the Event #54 $1000 No Limit Hold’em title, which started with 3221 players. Neither player was able to make much of an impact so it was decided the duo would return this morning with the New Yorker holding a 2:1 chip lead.
Campelo rallied to take a narrow lead but Jaffe regained the momentum to claim the victory and the first prize of $500,075. Campelo earned $309,429 as runner-up. Aussies Gary Benson (214th) and Grant Levy (221st) also cashed in this event. After making his first trip to the WSOP in 2008, this was Levy’s first in-the-money finish in a WSOP event.
• Event #56, a $1500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament has reached day three with 22 players remaining from the starting field of 2798. Day one chip leader Donald Vogel maintained his chip lead, while Aussie David Borg finished well in contention, fourth in chips.
A field of 474 signed up for Event #57, the $10,000 buy-in Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament with 176 back for day two. Stan Barshak leads the way, while the Hachem brothers Joe and Tony will also be back in pursuit of gold.
Roman Varenko topped the list of 173 players who survived day one of Event #58, the $3000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha High-Low Split tournament after 526 took their seats for the opening hand. Kel Beattie is the sole Aussie still in the hunt for this title.
• Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla, WSOP.com