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Antonio Esfandiari Wins WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari has captured his second World Poker Tour title after defeating high stakes cash game player Andrew Robl heads-up for the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

The final hand came about when Esfandiari opened for 800,000 on the button and Andrew Robl moved all-in for 6.3 million. The Magician quickly made the call and was in good shape with Kc Jd against Robl’s Qd 10c.

An all-action flop of Ad Kd 6d gave Esfandiari middle-pair, but handed his opponent a queen-high flush draw and gutshot straight draw. Blanks on the turn and river, however, handed him the tournament’s final pot and $870,124 prize.

It was a fitting result for Esfandiari who lead the chip counts for much of the tournament, though he began the final day’s play in the middle of an extremely formidable pack as Vanessa Rousso lead the way with an incredible 97 big blinds.

Short-stack Ted Lawson was unsurprisingly the first to go and he was followed onto the rail by Kirk Morrison and World Series of Poker runner-up John Racener. That left just Rousso, Robl and Esfandiari contesting a three-way tussle for the title.

Unfortunately for Rousso, a final table that had started so promisingly turned sour when she was forced to make a stand with Qh 2h and Esfandiari was duly on hand to call with a dominating Ac Qs to eliminate her when the board ran out 7d 6h 5c 3s 8s.

That meant Esfandiari and Robl began heads-up play with the latter holding a slight chip lead, but after an epic heads-up session that lasted long into the morning, The Magician was able to conjure up enough resolve to turn the tables and take the title.
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