Esfandiari Melts Down, Misses Second WSOP Bracelet

Antonio Esfandiari
Antonio Esfandiari went from hero to zero in a matter of minutes.

Antonio Esfandiari was on the verge of winning his second WSOP bracelet but went from prohibitive chip leader to out in third place in less than an hour, paving the way for Craig McCorkell’s first WSOP victory.

Three-handed in Event 36, the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, Antonio Esfandiari had roughly 73 percent of the chips in play against American Jeremiah Fitzpatrick and Craig McCorkell.

It was such a prohibitive lead that at one point Esfandiari’s two heads-up opponents were discussing a deal to chop second and third place, something that’s altogether unheard of in tournament poker.

But what began with a small double-up for McCorkell with A-4 against Esfandiari’s K-J quickly turned into a torrent of chips flowing from the Magician’s stack.

Shortly after doubling up the Brit, Esfandiari had his other opponent, Jeremiah Fitzpatrick, all-in and at risk of elimination.

Pocket nines for Esfandiari were miles ahead of Fitzpatrick’s pocket sevens but a seven on the flop turned the tables and knocked Esfandiari down to third in chips.

Things went from bad to worse when Esfandiari called an all-in from McCorkell holding A J. The Brit had big slick and it held up to put Esfandiari deep in the danger zone.

It became painfully apparent that it wasn’t Esfandiari’s night when he moved in shortly after holding K 9 and ran into McCorkell’s K T.

Esfandiari failed to suck out and was eliminated in third place for $151,613. It marked Esfandiari’s 19th WSOP cash.

Boisterous British Rail Throws Esfandiari

In addition to bad luck Esfandiari was forced to deal with the loudest crowd of spectators we’ve seen so far this summer.

UK Rail
McCorkell's rail was so rowdy many of them were asked to leave the final table area.

British poker players have a reputation of being unruly when a UK player makes a WSOP final table and they lived up to it tonight.

At one point a group of them were tossed out of the room for allegedly throwing a shoe at another spectator.

But that wasn’t the only thing the Brits were using their shoes for. At one point a British fan actually drank a beer from his own shoe.

In addition to the noise Esfandiari was faced with a very unusual situation. When the Magician’s stack was at its biggest, Fitzpatrick and McCorkell stood up from the table and began discussing a deal to chop second and third place money.

“I don’t want to be a dick but you can’t do that can you?” asked a confused Esfandiari. The three ended up speaking for a few moments off to the side of the final table area but no deal was reached.

From that point on it was nothing but downhill for Antonio Esfandiari.

Here are the full final table results:

1. Craig McCorkell - $368,593
2. Jeremiah Fitzpatrick - $228,261
3. Antonio Esfandiari - $151,613
4. Jonathan Lane - $112,512
5. Athanasios Polychronopoulos - $84,436
6. Allesandro Longobardi - $63,988
7. Roberto Romanello - $48,924
8. Thiago Nishijima - $37,707
9. Joe Tehan - $29,277

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