If you watched the coverage of Big One for One Drop on ESPN, you could tell that Antonio Esfandiari was on top of the world after winning the biggest payday in poker history. Fans of Esfandiari will get a chance to see even more of Esfandiari when he is featured in Tuesday's premiere episode of 2012 WSOP Main Event coverage on ESPN, airing from 8pm-10pm ET.
What you may not realize is that the fun didn't end with a platinum bracelet for this poker pro. Thanks to a new-found mindset, new business ventures, and his ever-present zeal for life, Esfandiari has been making the most of his summer.
The past two weeks, Esfandiari and several other poker pros were on hand to cheer on friend and storied swimmer Michael Phelps to another kind of gold at the London Olympics. Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber even Tweeted a photo of Esfandiari and Phelps posing with Esfandiari holding a Details Magazine featuring Phelps and Phelps holding a BLUFF Europe Magazine with Esfandiari on the cover. The travels continued last week for an off-the-grid guy's trip to the Maldives with Phelps, Phil Laak, poker pro Jeff Gross, and some other friends.
Esfandiari's jet-setting lifestyle isn't surprising. Ever since he first came on the poker scene nearly a decade ago, Esfandiari has been known as the life of the party. As Esfandiari told the WSOP's Nolan Dalla shortly after he won One Drop, he recently decided the nightlife wasn't as fulfilling as it used to be.
"I did some self-awareness work, and just kind of took things into perspective; you know, what was and what wasn’t important. And going out and partying at the end of the day, it really didn’t make me that happy, he explained. I loved it, don’t get me wrong. I kind of grew out of it. I’m 33 now and so I just decided to live a better life, and this World Series I decided I was going to wake up every day and go to the gym and just be disciplined and win a bracelet."
Corrine Clement, and the ChoiceCenter Leadership University in Las Vegas was the real difference maker when it came to his lifestyle overhaul according to Esfandiari, who now holds the number one spot on poker's all-time money list. When it came time to attribute his success this summer, Esfandiari was quick to cite them as the secret to his multimillion dollar success.
"I mean it's just one-hundred percent. It’s not even close. I have to thank Corrine June. She’s been coaching me the whole tournament."
Esfandiari followed up his One Drop victory with another strong performance in the Main Event. His efforts got him to Day 3 and earned him a seat at the ESPN feature table, which will take center stage during Tuesday's premiere episode of 2012 WSOP Main Event coverage. The episode also takes a look at Antonio's life away from the tables and gives him a chance to talk more about his new mindset and his new business venture:
Will this new attitude help Esfandiari follow up his One Drop victory with a run in the WSOP Main Event? Tune in to ESPN on Tueday at 8pm ET/5pm PT for the world premiere of the 2012 Main Event coverage, which picks up with the Day 3 action.
Photo Credit: Jay WhoJedi Newnum