Power Lunch

Monday - Friday, 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET
Power Lunch

Poker Player Apologizes, Donates $50K to Charity


Pro poker player Antonio Esfandiari apologized for urinating in a bottle at the poker table and pledged to donate the $50,000 he won in a prop bet to charity.

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.

His actions were deemed a "serious breach of tournament etiquette" and he was disqualified from the $5,300 buy-in main event tournament at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament series.

Esfandiari released this statement:

"It makes me quite sad to write this. All the things you have heard are all true. I can sit here and try to explain and justify but at the end of the day my actions were completely unacceptable. What's done is done. All I can do is learn from my mistakes and grow from them. I have apologized to anyone and everyone who may have been affected and will continue to do so.

This happened because of a big prop bet I had with my buddy Bill Perkins that mandated I lunge everywhere for two days. I cannot explain the pain I felt in my legs. I did what I thought was the best play at the time. Looking back now I realize it was a terrible judgment call on my behalf. I am a new father now, and this is not the kind of example I want to set for my son.

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.

I won the prop bet and $50,000, but I lost my way. It was a grueling two days, both emotionally and physically, but that is no excuse.

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.

25k is going to One Drop, which provides drinking water to impoverished nations, and the other 25k to REG, a charity dedicated to reducing suffering in the world. Both are amazing organizations that I am passionate about. I believe in balance, and my life would not be in balance if I kept this money for myself.

(Thank you) all for taking the time to read this. Lesson learned."