Antonio Esfandiari Day 1A Chipleader at Playground Poker NLH Faceoff and Day 1B Starts

Antonio Esfandiari Playground Poker
Antonio Esfandiari is the chip leader after Day 1A is Live at Playground Poker Club in Montreal for Day 1B of the NLH Faceoff Charity Tournament where members of the professional hockey and poker communities are joining forces to bring incredible poker action while benefiting a great cause. A portion of the total money generated from buy-ins, rebuys and add-ons will be donated to the Jodi Taiger Lazarus Fund for Hereditary Breast Cancer Research.

Yesterday we saw hockey legends Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Mike Bossy, Bobby Dollas and Guy Carbonneau serve as Team Captains for Day 1A along with Assistant Captains, some of the top Poker Pros, including Marc Karam, Valerie Ross, Antonio Esfandiari, Will Molson, and Jennifer Leigh.

All the players in the tournament were drafted into teams to play in both individual and team competition.  The winning team, the team with the most points at the end of the tournament, will return to play for a winner take all $5,000 freeroll tournament.

A total of 143 players played on Day 1A with a total of 280 buy ins and 120 add-ons and the prize pool component from Day 1A is around $60,000 after charity and buy-in fees and judging from yesterday’s overwhelming success, we can expect the total prize pool to reach in the area of $120,000.

Day 1A played down until 15 players were remaining and the chip lead is being held by one of the poker pros Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari who has 953,000 chips. Antonio is the only pro left standing from Day 1A.

Day 1A Chip Count

  Player Name Chips
1 Antonio Esfandiari 953K
2 Grantel Gibbs 934K
3 Vladimir Avetisian 705K
4 Dave Ferrara 668K
5 Joseph Bothamley 618K
6 Michel Paradis 513K
7 Phil Levi 442K
8 Alec Brandstatter 416K
9 Normand Ouellette 332K
10 James Gall 313K
11 Mario Nini 307K
12 Marc-Andre Beaudoin 214K
13 Peter Clarke 154K
14 Sava Malamud 124K
15 Yanick Plante 65K

The hockey pros in Day 1A gave it their all with Guy Carbonneau lasting the longest but unfortunately none of them made it to Day 2. For some of the pros like Guy Lafleur it was their first time playing poker. The players who knocked out a hockey pro got to keep the signed jersey worn by the pro. Players had loads of fun and Day 1B will be great.

Day 1B takes place today Sunday and the Draft just took place. Each team is captained by a Hockey Pro. Today’s hockey pros are all current members of the Montreal Canadiens except for hockey legend Peter Mahovlich who played for the Canadiens during the 1960’s. The pros were on site early to greet eager hockey fans young and old, sign autographs and take photos with them. The Assistant Captains are notable pros from the poker world.

Here are the Team Captains and Assistant Captains:

Peter Mahovlich (former Montreal Canadiens) / Jennifer Leigh (poker pro)

Josh Gorges (Montreal Canadiens Defenseman) / Jeff Madsen (poker pro)

Travis Moen (Montreal Canadiens Forward) / Trishelle Cannatella (poker pro)

P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens Defenceman) / Gavin Smith (poker pro)

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens Goaltender) / Pascal Lefrancois (poker pro)


Good Luck to all players and stay tuned for photos and coverage from the tournament on and on our Facebook Page.


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