2013 World Series of Poker: Antonio Esfandiari Eyeing One Drop Repeat

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After Thursday night’s controversy surrounding the close of Day 2 and a table re-draw on Day 3, the 2013 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #47: $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold’em Event forged ahead on Friday. There were 26 players remaining to begin Day 3, but only 24 of them would avoid exiting one-tenth of a million dollars poorer.

The short stacks to begin play were World Poker Tour commentator and “Ambassador of Poker” Mike Sexton with 740,000 chips and 2012 “Octo-Niner” Jeremey Ausmus with 995,000 chips. Neither of them, though went out on the money bubble. That dubious distinction went to famed NBA sports bettor and accomplished poker player Haralabos Voulgaris (26th place) and Yevgeniy Timoshenko (25th place). After their eliminations, everybody remaining was guaranteed at least $173,723 in prize money. That also gave Sexton and Antonio Esfandiari the distinction of being the only two players to cash in bother last year’s Big One for One Drop and this year’s One Drop High Rollers Event.

Speaking of Esfandiari, he was involved in one of the biggest pots of the day. Shortly after his good friend Phil Laak was eliminated in 19th place, Esfandiari three-bet over the top of Connor Drinan’s pre-flop raise and Bill Perkins’ call, putting all of his 1.85 million chips at risk. After contemplation, Drinan called and Perkins folded. It was a race, with Esfandiari holding A♠-Q♣ and Drinan showing 6-6♠. Through the turn, the board read 9-7♠-9-5, keeping Drinan in the lead, but at least giving Esfandiari a chance to counterfeit his opponent’s pair. Before the river was dealt, Esfandiari uttered the famed poker player’s prayer, “One time.” He’ll probably be required to shelve that one for a long time, as his prayer was answered with an Ace on the river. Esfandiari exalted and watched his stack pile up to 4 million chips.

At the end of the night, play ended with just four players remaining, all of whom will win at least $1.4 million. Leading the way is Bill Perkins with 14.7 million chips. It is anybody’s tournament, though, as Anthony Gregg is close behind with 13.9 million and Chris Klodnicki is in third with 12 million. All eyes will be on Esfandiari, though, who used that good fortune on the river to propel himself to Day 4, where he will start in fourth place with 9.2 million chips. Esfandiari already made history last year, winning the Big One for One Drop event and the $18.3 million that went along with it. He is now looking for back-to-back One Drop wins (though this one, while huge, pales in comparison to last year’s), a feat which would be one of the more impressive recent memory. If he were to win, he would add $4.83 million to the $24.1 million he has earned in his career, which is already the most in poker history by more than $4 million.

Action will pick up at 1:00pm PT on Saturday.

2013 World Series of Poker Event #47: $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold’em – Day 3 Chip Counts

1.    Bill Perkins – 14,700,000
2.    Anthony Gregg – 13,900,000
3.    Chris Klodnicki – 12,000,000
4.    Antonio Esfandiari – 9,200,000

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