The Magician pulls World Poker Tour Five Diamond title out of hat


Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari pulled off one of his greatest tricks on Wednesday, outlasting the most stacked final table in World Poker Tour history.

A total of 438 players handed over their $10,000 buy-ins to the Bellagio, creating a prize pool of more than $4 million.  After leading for days, Esfandiari would bluff chips into Vanessa Rousso, giving the Team PokerStars member the big stack heading into the final table.

  • Seat 1 – Antonio Esfandiari – 2,105,000
  • Seat 2 – Vanessa Rousso – 5,830,000
  • Seat 3 – Ted Lawson – 635,000
  • Seat 4 – John Racener – 3,235,000
  • Seat 5 -Kirk Morrison – 2,650,000
  • Seat 6 – Andrew Robl – 3,210,000

WSOP bracelet winner Ted Lawson was the first to bow out.  Laswon ran his 99 into Rousso’s QQ, and even after spiking a set of nines, Rousso would turn her third queen for the day’s first elimination.  The next to fall was another bracelet winner, Kirk Morrison.  Morrison liked his AJ enough after the A-10-5 flop to get the rest of his chips in, but the 2007 WPT Championship runner-up ran into Andrew Robl’s set of fives and was banished to the rail.  After Full Tilt pro and 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener dumped off his short stack, the table was three-handed.

Rousso would see her big stack dwindle, and eventually had to make a move with Q2.  Esfandiari looked down at KQ and made the call.  After the board ran out a bunch of blanks, it would be Victory Poker pros Esfandiari and Robl heads-up for the $870,124.  It wasn’t long before Robl, down 2-1 in chips, made a move with Q10.  Esfandiari made the call with KJ and the A-K-6-6-5 board meant “The Magician”, who was also celebrating his 32nd birthday on Wednesday, was once again a WPT champ.

Final payouts:

  • 1 – Antonio Esfandiari – $870,124
  • 2 – Andrew Robl – $549,003
  • 3 – Vanessa Rousso – $358,964
  • 4 – John Racener – $232,271
  • 5 – Kirk Morrison – $168,924
  • 6 – Ted Lawson – $126,693

The win was Esfandiari’s second on the WPT. Back in 2004, at the age of 25, Esfandiari conquered the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, earning a massive $1,399,135 payday.  Later that year, “The Magician” would cement himself as a tournament force, grabbing a Pot Limit Omaha bracelet to pair with his WPT trophy.  Esfandiari’s Hendon Mob page now shows more than $4.5 million in career earnings.

Leave a Reply