Professional poker player Antonio Esfandiari was disqualified from a $5,300 buy-in main event tournament at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament series for discreetly urinating in a bottle while he was sitting at the table. Esfandiari, who had a $110,000 fat stack of chips at the time, was forced to forfeit it all.
The only logical conclusion to draw from Antonio’s actions is that the tournament prohibited players from using the restroom while the tournament was in play. But, that was not the case, as bathroom breaks were allowed.
So what drove the former magician and the man who once won the largest cash prize in the history of poker at $18,346,673 to commit such a bonehead violation?
A prop bet with a friend.
According to CNBC,
Esfandiari and businessman Bill Perkins made a $50,000 bet that required Esfandiari to do lunges everywhere he went for two days. No walking was allowed, just lunging. By the end of Day 2 Esfandiari’s legs were so tired that he felt he couldn’t lunge to the bathroom. So while the rest of the players were on break, he stayed at the table and urinated in a bottle.
I gotta tip my cap to honoring the bet but you gotta dig deep bro.
Tournament regulators deemed the behavior a “serious breach of tournament etiquette” and he was forced to bow out of the tournament.
Esfandiari released a statement apologizing for his actions.
I am embarrassed of the actions I took to win that bet. On paper I won, but in life I lost. No matter how much one loves a prop bet there is a limit to how far you should go. And in this case I failed.
Getting disqualified from the tournament is not something I contest. I believe PokerStars made the right call. I would do the same in their position. Knowing that I let people down is what hurts. Sometimes we as humans get caught up in the moment. I let this bet get the best of me.
To bury the hatched, Antonio vowed to donate the $50,000 he won in the pop bet to charity.
All’s good that ends good.