Antonio Esfandiari is no stranger to prop bets, but his latest high stakes challenge turned him into persona non grata with tournament staff at PokerStars’ Caribbean Adventure (PCA) this week.
The Magician is one of the biggest poker stars in the world, of course, having achieved his greatest fame after winning the inaugural Big One for One Drop charity tournament back in 2012, and taking home a landmark high haul of $18 million and change.
But now he will forevermore be famous for something else: peeing into a cup, in public, while at a poker table.
It was the side effect of a prop bet he’d made with businessman Bill Perkins, who bet that Esfandiari would not be able to lunge everywhere for 48 hours, including, it turns out, to relieve himself when required.
One might wonder why a mere prop bet would be of such importance that he behave, shall we say, in rather Neanderthal fashion during a $3,500 side event at the PCA.
And that’s what lit up the poker forums this week with speculation and, of course, various opinions on whether the PCA was right to disqualify him from the event for his inappropriate behavior.
Outlining the terms of the bet, Esfandiari explained on Twitter that Perkins had bet him $50,000 that he couldn’t lunge every for 48 hours.
Naturally, having to lunge everywhere will take its toll on the quads, as anyone who’s ever been to a gym knows. And by the time day two rolled around, Esfandiari was barely able to move, apparently.
Unfortunately, after registering for the side event, Esfandiari had to relieve himself. But with his quads on fire, he decided not to walk to the restroom and instead, used a cup under the table.
As you’d expect, the tournament directors weren’t too impressed with the Magician’s latest trick and decided to disqualify him from the event for a breach of etiquette. Naturally upset with his actions, Esfandiari took to Twitter to express his regret.
“WHAT a day. Some highs, definitely some lows, but in the end my bet w @bp22 is over. A lot of lessons learned today. A LOT. #PerkeeGotTheBEstOfMe.”
Following his Twitter statement, Esfandiari provided a written apology to the poker community. Realizing that he’d taken his antics a little too far, the poker pro apologized and explained that he would be donating his $50,000 winnings to charity.
“I am embarrassed of the actions I took to win that bet. On paper I won, but in life I lost. I have been mulling over how to have some good come from this sorry situation and to this end I have decided to donate the entire amount to charity. $25,000 is going to One Drop, which provides drinking water to impoverished nations, and the other $25,000 to [poker charity organization] REG,” wrote Esfandiari.
Although PeeGate wasn’t his finest hour, Esfandiari is still a legendary prop bettor. Over the last few years, he’s entertained us and boosted his bankroll in a variety of weird and wonderful ways, to boot:
The 7-2 Game: Made famous on High Stakes Poker, Esfandiari was one of the main supporters of a game where everyone had to pay a $1,000 fee to anyone who won a pot using 7-2.
The Push-Up King: Being someone that enjoys his exercise, Esfandiari has bet thousands on push-up bets in the past. His most entertaining occurred during an episode of High Stakes Poker when he managed to win with 47 push-ups.
The No Sex Bet: By far his most demanding, Esfandiari agreed to a bet, also with Bill Perkins, that he wouldn’t have sex for one year. Rumors were that it was worth $500,000, but after nine days of abstinence, the poker pro had to buy out for an undisclosed amount.
We’re thinking he might want to avoid “little head” bets going forward.