Several people have asked me to comment on a story in Card Player about poker pro Antonio Esfandiari being disqualified from a big tournament for doing something disgusting:
Esfandiari and poker-playing businessman Bill Perkins had a prop bet that called for Esfandiari to lunge everywhere he went for 48 hours. It’s unclear how much it was for, but the three-time WSOP bracelet winner called the prop bet “massive.”
“Been lunging around my hotel room all day,” Esfandiari later Tweeted. “Just going to the bathroom and back is starting take a toll on my legs. I am in trouble [tomorrow]!”
After awhile of avoiding all methods of getting around besides lunging, Esfandiari apparently found himself with the need to use the restroom during play on Monday and didn’t want to lunge all the way there to the use the toilet. He decided to urinate in a container underneath the table, according to various Tweets and media reports. Esfandiari himself hasn’t explicitly said what he did, but he did confirm what had transpired when replying to a flood of comments on social media.
Esfandiari has apologized for the incident, calling his actions “unacceptable” and saying that he was “not happy with myself today.” He did say he won the prop bet.
It’s bad enough that we have people at the table sneezing and coughing into their hands and then touching the same cards and chips that we’re all going to come in contact with at some point — which is why I’m amazed at players who eat sandwiches and other food without utensils during the game without washing first — but to have someone touching their junk under the table, too? Extremely gross.
However, I can beat that with a true poker story from St. Louis.
About 14 years ago, before the no-limit hold’em boom, the big game in town was $20/40 limit hold’em. Most nights, we’d have three or four full tables with a waiting list, and the action was great. At the time, we were playing on The Admiral, a casino boat permanently docked on the Mississippi River near the Gateway Arch.
One of the regulars was a very cranky old guy named Ed. He hated everyone and complained about the dealers, the other players, the floor staff, the food, the waitresses — pretty much everything. Sounds like the kind of guy you don’t want to play with, right? Well, we didn’t mind because as obnoxious as Ed was, he also lost a lot of money by playing virtually every hand and every street. Since we’re all there to win some cash, even an obstreperous jerk will be put up with as long as he continues to lose.
On the night in question, Ed was being his usual self. We’d been there for a couple of hours and there was a lull in the normally non-stop conversation at the table when the dealer suddenly pushed his chair back and yelled, “What the hell???”
To make a long story short, Ed had done the same thing Antonio did under the table — but without the courtesy of using a container, thus peeing on the dealer’s leg. As the dealer continued to scream at Ed, “What is wrong with you?”, the floor supervisor came over, summed up the situation, and promptly evicted Ed from the premises while another dealer was called over to work our table. We later learned Ed had been banned permanently from The Admiral.
It only took a few seconds for the story to spread to every table in the room, and only slightly longer than that for someone at the table to joke, “I’ve heard of gamblers having a leak in their game, but that was ridiculous.”