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Magician Wins $18.3 Million in WSOP Charity Event

Last updated: July 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm. Posted by in Charity, Gaming, Las Vegas Casinos, Rio Las Vegas, Things to Do in Las Vegas. 1 Comment on Magician Wins $18.3 Million in WSOP Charity Event.

You know how sometimes you pony up a million bucks to enter a poker tournament, and then you win the biggest prize in poker tournament history, more than $18.3 million? Yeah, it happened for Antonio Esfandiari, too.

Antonio Esfandiari Big One for One Drop

Antonio Esfandiari pitches some woo to his giant stack of cash.

Esfandiari, a pro poker player and magician, made history when he outmaneuvered a field of 48 millionaires and billionaires to earn the richest payday in poker tournament history at Rio Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker.

Each of the players bought into the event for a cool million, with a portion of the pot ($5.3 million) going to One Drop, a nonprofit that fights poverty by supporting access to safe water. Read more about One Drop.

Antonio Esfandiari WSOP

Best part of a magician winning? New summer homes for the bunnies and doves.

Esfandiari’s prize makes it the largest single payout in poker tournament history. Second place goes to Jamie Gold for his $12 million win at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event.

A few words with Antonio Esfandiari.


“I just wanted to win so I could give my dad the bracelet,” he told Yeah, we’re thinking the 18 mil never entered his mind even once!

The World Series of Poker Main Event starts this weekend. There are so many participants, the opening rounds have to be spread out over three days, July 7-9, 2012. This is the 43rd WSOP, with a buy-in of a mere $10,000. A bargain compared to the One Drop fundraiser, right? Visit the official WSOP site.

The prize pool for the WSOP Main Event is expected to be in the $60 million range, with the winner taking away about $9 million. Not too shabby.

A big, sloppy, saliva-saturated welcome to everyone taking part in the World Series of Poker Main Event at Rio Las Vegas. Just make sure you’re in poker shape, folks.


Thanks to our pal Brandon Muller for the great video he made awhile back to help promote the WSOP (ignore the dates, the event started May 27 and runs until July 16).

Special note to Antonio Esfandiari: This blog would not turn down the offer of a cocktail and/or a Lamborghini. FYI.

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