Las Vegas Resident Antonio Esfandiari Wins Record Largest Poker Payout In History
On Tuesday night July 3rd, 2012, professional poker player Antonio Esfandiari made history by winning eighteen million dollars, the largest jackpot ever paid out in the history of poker. He won in the World Series of Poker championship round televised by ESPN. Not only is this jackpot the biggest jackpot ever paid out in any poker tournament, it has set a record that will be hard to beat. The previous record was twelve million won by Jamie Gold in 2006. Antonio Esfandiari returned to the poker tables the following weekend to try to increase his already very profitable week by another nine million. If he is successful throughout the week, it would bring his total winnings to over twenty-six million. He is at the poker tables this week at the Rio hotel in the Main Event in the World Series Of Poker making the attempt to increase his winnings. He planned to take part in the No Limit Texas Hold-em Championship on Sunday, July 8th.
The Iranian immigrant who moved to the United States when he was just nine years old had only won three million over a ten-year span of playing the game up until his big win on July 3rd. Antonio gave credit to two very supportive people in his life, his father and his life coach. The bracelet he won was given to his Dad for all of his support and sacrifices made to move the family to America. He was in tears and hugging both of them after the win. Incredibly, Antonio Esfandiari wasn't even going to play in the tournament, but was going to be an announcer at the game instead. He decided at the last minute to enter and proceeded to make history. The same week, he also launched a new phone app with several other entrepreneurs, an app that is meant to offer secrets to poker enthusiasts for winning tournaments. Other big winners were Sam Trickett from England who won a second place prize of over ten million, and in third place was David Einhorn from New York. David's prize winnings totaled over four million.
The tournament was a charity event for One Drop, a charity involved in helping people all over the world to have clean, safe drinking water to improve the quality of life in the most desperate places.