Last night we put our poker chips away at the Texas Poker Store while we watched the end of the biggest tourney in poker history “The Big One For One Drop” with the biggest prize paid to any winner in ANY sport! The event took only three days to complete. The first day saw a field of 48 players (all of whom put up one cool million just for the privilege to sit) get whittled down to 37 by the end of the day.
By the end of the second day there were only eight players left. One of them was a professional magician turned poker player, 33-year-old Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari.
We watched and cheered on our faves. We watched Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth get taken out in 4th place. Then we felt bad, but not too bad, for David Einhorn, the hedge fund genius, who was knocked out in 3rd place and picked up $4,352,000, all of which he vowed to donate to “City Year”, a charity focused on education.
Then we were heads up between Esfandiari and Sam Trickett, the 26-year-old pro poker player from the UK. Heads up was very quick. Only 16 hands were dealt and finally, in a raise, check-raise, and “The Magician” re-raising all in; Trickett calling with a diamond flush draw to Esfandiari’s set of 5s after the flop. Both the turn and the river were blanks and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari wins “The Big One”…he wins $18,346,673.00 and his second WSOP bracelet. Of course, in this case the bracelet is not a gold bracelet. This one is a platinum bracelet with a 0.78-carat diamond shaped like a drop over the WSOP logo worth $350,000.00.