Antonio Esfandiari returned to Hustler Casino Live last night for the weekly high-stakes stream ($100/$200, with a $200 big blind ante).
Esfandiari was a key part of launching HCL appearing on its first high-stakes stream back in August 2021. This was a $50/$100 game that also brought Mikki Mase to many in the poker world’s attention for the first time.
The cards weren’t with Antonio that night. He walked away from the table down $88,175.
Esfandiari doesn’t come out to play as much poker as he did in the old days. His previous appearances on the HCL stream and as Hellmuth’s first opponent on High Stakes Duel are pretty much the totality of his pandemic poker performances. So the audience was excited to see him hit the felt again.
High Stakes Duel went even worse for Esfandiari than HCL, costing Esfandiari $350,000. He was planning to make back some of his losses last night. Maybe to break the run of cold cards in the process. But men plan and the gods laugh.
Instead, Esfandiari did off $171,000 in the six hours he was there.
A rough night
There were plenty of opportunities for Esfandiari. Several weaker players were sitting deep. There was well over a million on the table. And that number rose as multiple $100k reloads were chucked into the mix.
But the cards were brutal all night for Esfandiari. He was down almost $40k by the first chip count, about an hour into the stream.
Cooler after cooler took their toll, and the usually chatty and upbeat Esfandiari had a cloud over him by the time he’d done six hours at the table. At one point he was adding a $2k straddle in an attempt to get unstuck.
After losing a $101k pot in a straight-over straight situation at the tail end of the stream, Esfandiari asked, “Is it eight-thirty yet?”
“Eight-twenty-seven,” replied the dealer. Esfandiari looked miffed at that. S
Someone else asked if he wanted to leave. “Yeah,” Esfandiari replied. “I’m sure I want to get out of this hell-hole.”
A few minutes later he got out alright, but not unscathed.
This was the third big stream in a row on HCL, following Johnny Vibes’s Home Game and the Creator Live Stream earlier this week. Tomorrow, Mr. Beast, Phil Hellmuth, and Tom Dwan will be playing on the HCL stream.
You can watch the full stream on Youtube.
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