Antonio Esfandiari wins Big One for One Drop
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Antonio Esfandiari was a picture of disappointment last week after losing a huge chip lead in the WSOP $3k Shootout event to bust out in third place. What a difference a week can make though as the Magician erased any bad memories from that horror show after winning the Big One for One Drop tournament for an eye popping $18m.
The Magician walked away with the biggest prize in tournament poker history after working his way through a final table that included a high rolling businessman, a hedge fund manager, Main Event winners, online legends and one of the best cash game players in the world. Esfandiari sealed victory against Englishman Sam Trickett to earn more in one tournament than any player had previously won in their entire career.
With so much at stake play got off to a somewhat cagey start with but the action soon warmed up after David Einhorn doubled up with AA against Esfandiari's KK. Richard Yong was the first to go though. Starting as one of the short stacks, the Malaysian businessman took a stand with A2 which couldn't hold against Brian Rast's KJ.
Former Main Event winner Bobby Baldwin was the next to depart, his A-10 unable to come from behind to beat Guy Laliberté's pocket Jacks.
Last year's $50k Players Championship winner Brian Rast was on the receiving end of the most memorable hand of the final table, a hand that saw him hit the rail in sixth. Sam Trickett opened to 1.2m from under the gun with Esfandiari and Rast both making the call. Trickett bet 1.8m on the 8-4-3 flop, all hearts with Rast calling and Esfandiari folding. The turn was 10s. Trickett bet 3.8m and Rast again called. The river was 3s. The Englishman tanked before going all in with Rast insta-calling. The American tabled AhJh for the nut flush but was sent to the rail after Trickett tabled pocket 3s for quads.
One Drop founder Guy Laliberté's great run ended in fifth spot when he lost a flip with QQ against Esfandiari's AK while Phil Hellmuth's quest for WSOP bracelet number 13 stalled in fourth when his A10 couldn't overturn Sam Trickett's AQ. The result was still Hellmuth's biggest ever live cash.
The last amateur standing, David Einhorn, departed in third, unlucky to run his K9 into Esfandiari's K10. The elimination gave the American a more that two to one chip lead going into heads up play and despite a brave effort it was deficit that Sam Trickett could not overturn.
It was all over after just 16 hands with all the chips hitting the middle on a Jd5d5c board. Trickett tabled Qd6d for a flush draw against Esfandiari's 7-5 for trips. The 3h and 2h on the turn and river gave Esfandiari the title, a WSOP bracelet worth $350,000 and a first prize of $18,346,673.
The final table positions and 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