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Friday, July 6, 2012

Magician Makes Competition Disappear to Win Richest Prize in Poker History



Magician Makes Competition Disappear to Win Richest Prize in Poker History at WSOP
Antonio Esfandiari Tops 48-Player Field to Take Home More than $18 Million

Antonio Esfandiari’s fans hoist the 33-year-old poker pro moments after he won more than $18 million at the richest tournament in poker history, The BIG ONE for ONE DROP at the World Series of Poker. Credit: Joe Giron PokerNews/WSOP.

Antonio Esfandiari with his record prize of more than $18 million for winning the richest poker event in history, The BIG ONE for ONE DROP at the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker. Credit: Joe Giron PokerNews/WSOP.

LAS VEGAS (July 4, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — Antonio Esfandiari earned a place in the record books last night by outlasting a field of multi-millionaires and billionaires to earn the richest payday in poker tournament history. Esfandiari, a 33-year-old poker pro and magician from Las Vegas, put up a cool $1 million to enter the BIG ONE for ONE DROP and walked away with a massive return on his investment: $18,346,673 million.


Antonio Esfandiari celebrates winning the largest prize in poker history – more than $18 million – at the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Credit: Joe Giron PokerNews/WSOP.


A total of 48 participants from around the world competed in the three-day event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Esfandiari’s first-place prize in the unprecedented $1 million buy-in event eclipsed the previous record for the largest single payout in poker tournament history: Jamie Gold’s $12 million win at the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

“I’m almost never at a loss for words, but I’m at a loss for words now,” the “Magic Man” told a capacity crowd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. “I’ve played tournaments all over the world, but there’s never been one like this. This is the ultimate. This is the best.”

Full tournament results are available at:
http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/results.asp?tid=12155&grid=887

The BIG ONE for ONE DROP was the 55th of 61 tournaments being held at the 2012 WSOP. Part of the All In for ONE DROP campaign that launched in November 2011, the BIG ONE for ONE DROP was designed to benefit efforts to raise awareness on water-related issues and encourage the poker community to take action and create a powerful ripple effect.

The tournament, a No-Limit Hold’em event, is the creation of ONE DROP Chair and Cirque du Soleil® founder Guy Laliberté in collaboration with fellow Montreal resident and Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber.

Of each $1 million entry fee, $111,111 was donated to ONE DROP, generating a total charitable contribution of $5,333,328 million. The funds will be directed to ONE DROP projects around the world, where teams are hard at work addressing local water crises.

“I’m known for being an imaginative person, but this event surpassed even my expectations,” said Laliberté. “While only one person can walk away with the largest prize in poker history, everyone who participated in the BIG ONE for ONE DROP made an important contribution to a critical cause that impacts millions of people around the world.”

Click here for a full list of those who participated in the record-setting event.

Media Contacts:
Dave Curley
Sandy Hillman Communications
443-683-0920
dcurley@hillmanpr.com

Harry Hammel
Sandy Hillman Communications
443-880-8877
hhammel@hillmanpr.com





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