Wednesday, Jul 4, 2012 Esfandiari Win Something Special for Poker
Photo: Joe Giron, WSOP
The $1 Million buy-in Big One for One Drop Event concluded on Tuesday night with Antonio Esfandiari winning the largest prize in poker history and moving into the top spot on the all-time money list.
Today, Poker Junkie blogger compncards gives us his take on the event and Esfandiari's magical run. Final Table Surprisingly Balanced
Heading into the final table of the Big One for One Drop, what stuck out to me was the amazing balance at this final table. I'm not talking about the balance of amateur to pro players, but also the balance in respects to the quality of player.
You had Richard Yong, probably the only real "amateur" at the final table although he plays in the highest-stakes games in Macau with Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius.
Next, you have David Einhorn, a man who many think would be a force to reckon with in the poker world should he ever decide to truly take the game seriously.
Then you have Guy Laliberte, the founder of One Drop and a known high-stakes cash-game player.
It's hard to really consider a former WSOP Main Event Champ just a businessman, but that's how Bobby Baldwin is portrayed. Anyone that has played with him knows better.
Your "poker pros" were Phil Hellmuth, Brian Rast, Sam Trickett and Antonio Esfandiari.
Hellmuth is an all-time great and as old school as they come. Antonio is a transitional pro that is a combination of old school and new school theory. Then you have Rast and Trickett, clearly new school guys with Trickett being one of the fastest rising stars in recent years.
Fans saw all types of poker players at this final table and it gave them a vast array of styles to compare as opposed to just a table of nine 20-somethings trying to be the next poker "baller." Television Product Very Understated
We've had a year of hype for this One Drop event and millions raised by the buy-ins. Yet when it came to the actual broadcast of the event, there was very little mentioned of the charity other than a feature.
Could One Drop nor the WSOP afford to put up any commercial spots for the organization? Why not have the broadcasters or others come on at times and solicit the support of others.
With all the time and effort put into this event, it seems to me that there could have been more emphasis on the charity, the work they do and a call to action for fans and viewers to help.
Or was this what many have called it - a made-for-TV event that used charity as a way to hold the ultimate super-high roller event? Esfandiari Refreshingly Humble in Victory
I wanted Phil Hellmuth to win this event. Partially, I wanted him to win because I am a fan of Phil, but the other reason is that I like to hear people complain about how "bad of a player" he is irrespective of the fact he has 12 bracelets and finds a way to win.
With that said, in the end it's best for poker that Esfandiari won this event. His speech at the end was amazingly refreshing for a younger poker champion and I thought it was a nice touch giving the bracelet to his dad.
My favorite part was his quote that many of you are going to just use half of for weeks. When asked by Kara Scott how that he "knew" he was going to win, he said that "It's called clear intention. You put it out there and you just have to believe it. And sometimes it actually comes true."
Esfandiari's performance at this final table has to be one of the best of the summer thus far. He held the chip lead nearly the entire time and in the end took down the richest prize in poker ever.
He conducted himself as a true professional and came off as a great ambassador for the game like he has in years past.
Some, including myself, may tout his place atop the poker all-time money list as inflated but you cannot deny that he accomplished something special last night.