Antonio Esfandiari: Wins $18.3 million

Professional poker

ESPN:$18,346,673. It's a monumental number, the kind that only Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and one or two other athletes will get in one lump payment throughout their careers. Now, you can add Antonio Esfandiari to that very limited list. Esfandiari was one of 48 professional poker players and amateurs who put up $1 million each to participate in The Big One for One Drop, the Guy Laliberte brainchild that concluded Tuesday at the 2012 World Series of Poker >>>


Recently by Ghormeh SabziCommentsDate
Majid Tavakoli: Prisoner of the day
Dec 02, 2012
Nasrin Sotoudeh: Prisoner of the day
Dec 01, 2012
Abdollah Momeni: Prisoner of the day
Nov 30, 2012
more from Ghormeh Sabzi
Mohammad Alireza

To rbnfl:

by Mohammad Alireza on

You are correct that only 10% are winners in poker and that it can be a problem for some players, the same way booze, marijuana, TV, donuts, and sex can be for some.

But poker is a combination of skill and luck; about 70% skill and 30% luck. Besides it's gambling aspect it does teach many lessons of life; controlling your impulse, managing your resources, ability to read another person, dealing with loss, and bluffing.

If anybody wants to enjoy the game and not get caught up in the gambling aspect of it there are play money versions on all the poker sites. Personally I think anybody that is in business in America needs to know how to play poker because it is a very useful skill that is useful in negotiations.

But I would disagree with you about it being the worst kind of gambling. The lottery and all casino games are far worse, with terrible odds, and little skill.

Mohammad Ala

Gambling . . .

by Mohammad Ala on

Through my trips to various countries, Far Eastern people seem that they cannot live without gambling.

I am a lousy gambler but good at controlling my losses.  No one has won in gambling as the odds range from 80% to 95% in favor of gambling houses.  In short term people can win but good reasons are given in comments why gambling is not for everybody or a good profession.

Soosan Khanoom

It is all about bluffing

by Soosan Khanoom on

And having a poker face!   And who is better in that than Iranians. LOL


Poker is the worst form of gambling

by rbnfl on

This post is not an attempt to diminish the accomplishment of Mr. Esfandiari because he is arguably one of the best poker players in the world.  His ability to guess the cards of opponents at a  poker table is magical.  Additionally, from all accounts he is always talked about as one of the nicest people in the poker community. 

It is unfortunate that poker is becoming or has become an acceptable form of gambling worldwide.  Numerous TV shows based on broadcasted poker games have caused removal of the stigma associated with gambling.

Poker, whether in tournament or cash game format is gambling. 90+% of people who play poker regularly lose money.

There is a very small % of players with the right skill set who win more than they lose; these are the 50 or so people that are on TV all the time.  Mr. Esfandiari is one of these people. All other poker players are losers in the long run. 

Poker is the worst type of gambling because daily losses are relatively small but because its played frequently the losses add up.  Also, poker sessions generally last 3-10 or more hours; $ losses can sometimes be recuperated but lost time can not.  According to marriage counselors, most gambling related divorces are related to poker. 

The worst of all things, on line poker will become legalized in the U.S. within the next year or two and this will have disastrous consequences for the youth of this country.

I hope Iranian-American parents take time to educate their kids about the perils of gambling and specially poker.  It is not all glorious and not everyone wins $18M every time they enter a tournament.


Good going, Antonio

by MM on

  • He, often, thanks his parents for bringing him here.  A magician by training, he found poker to be his ultimate calling.
  • 18 million dollars may not buy him happiness, but I bet you, he will have a much better time crying in a ferrari than in a yugo!


Lucky in Gambling, Unlucky in Love!

by Faramarz on


Now who is going to spend all his money for him!

Friendly Notes

Dear Immortal Guard

by Friendly Notes on

Antonio is his nick name. His real name is Amir.

Immortal Guard

Why is his first name Antonio?

by Immortal Guard on

Maybe a second-generation Iranian?


Esfandiari for President! (of Iran)

by bahmani on

Clearly E knows how to bluff and gamble.

2 characteristics I like in my next Iranian President.

That and we know he would not be tempted by money and corruption.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //



by zztop on

هنر نزد ایرانیان است و بس!

Mohammad Alireza

Good Play Esfandiari!

by Mohammad Alireza on

Hey Antonio,

Care to tell us how much taxes you will have to pay and how much your investors will get?

Been a long time fan.

Finally hit the big one after so many close ones. Good for you!