Antonio Esfandiari Wins Big One for One DropThursday, July 5th, 2012 by Ryan
The Big One for One Drop poker tournament at the 2012 World Series of Poker not only featured some of the biggest and best names in all of poker, as well as some of the biggest names in the gambling industry and richest businessmen from all around the world, but it also featured a massive prize pool. When I say massive, this means a first place pay day that was record breaking at $18 million. The eventual winner was one of the biggest names in poker as well, but the final table featured a good mix of poker pros, businessmen, and very strong amateur poker players as well.
Before the tournament even began, Antonio Esfandiari stated that he wasn’t planning on playing this event. One thing that changed his mind though was that he’s come close to taking down a bracelet this year, and that he felt that maybe he was “supposed to play the One Drop.” Obviously with a tournament like this where the buy-in is as massive as $1 million, anyone who puts up their own buy-in is in for a big risk, but for Esfandiari it simply worked out as he went on to be the player to take down that massive first place pay day of $18,346,673. On top of that though, he not only got a bracelet, but took home a one of a kind platinum World Series of Poker bracelet worth $350k!
The final table for this event featured Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Brian Rast, Sam Trickett, Bobby Baldwin, Guy Laliberte, Richard Yong, and David Einhorn. Hellmuth, Rast, Esfandiari, Baldwin and Trickett are all well-known poker players, while Laliberte is actually the creator of the “Big One” and also the founder of Cirque due Soleil. Yong and Einhorn are both big time businessmen. The idea behind this great tournament was not only to create a massive prize pool, but also to donate to the charity One Drop. $111,111 from each player’s buy-in went to this charity, which helps bring clean water to people in need around the world. Potentially the biggest story of this tournament though was the fact that David Einhorn took home $4,352,000 technically, but actually didn’t take it “home”, but instead donated the entire thing to a charity called City Year.
For the poker side of things, it was Esfandiari and Sam Trickett who made it to heads up. Esfandiari was holding a massive chip lead at 102,475,000 chips to 41,500,000, and never looked back from there. Trickett had moved his stack up a bit, but the final hand featured Trickett with close to 38 million chips and they all ended with Esfandiari. Esfandiari raised to 1,700,000 pre-flop and Trickett called. The flop came down with the Jd-5d-5c and Trickett checked, leading to a bet from Esfandiari. Trickett then check-raised, followed by a re-raise from Esfandiari, and then Trickett popping it up again. After this Esfandiari thought and then shoved all in. Trickett called with the Q-6 of diamonds for a flush draw, and Esfandiari had trip fives with 7d-5s. The turn was a 3h followed by a 2h, which led to Esfandiari standing up and putting his hands on his head with an amazed look on his face. The celebration started here. For the second place finish Trickett goes home with an incredible $10,112,001, which is the nicest consolation prize in the history of poker.