Oxford was graced on Tuesday by one of the best-known and most controversial poker players in the world, Antanas Guoga, commonly known as “Tony G.”
The Lithuanian/Australian professional poker player played with the Oxford University Poker Society in a warm up event for the Oxford Cup poker tournament, which is happening this Sunday.
Tony G, who has career winnings of over $5 million, regularly features on televised poker programmes, where he is best known for making outlandish comments, which have earned him nicknames such as “The Mouth from Down Under” and “The Australian Airbag.”
Tony G, in an interview with Pokernews.com before the event, commented:”I’m looking forward to going in there. I am a student in another UK university myself at the moment, battling on for my master’s degree and I would like, maybe, someday to enter Oxford somehow as a student.
“I mean you only live once, and I think that it is something that would be fun as well. It will be my first time there, and we will see; we will see what the boys and girls are made off.
“I’m not really expecting much, they will probably be in awe of me there. I will go have a look, see how good they are, and give them a few challenges.”
In the past scathing comments which Tony G made to one Russian player led one commentator to say: “Tony G could single-handedly reignite the Cold War”
There are suggestions that this kind of language was also present in the Oxford competition, as even before the event started Tony G made a comment on Facebook advising competitors to “get the bike ready!”
However during the tournament Tony G didn’t’ have it all his own way, getting knocked out around 8 times meaning that by the end of the re-buy period he ended up pushing all-in on the majority of hands.
Eugene Lowrie, the organizer of the event, commented: “it was great. Tony was basically exactly what I expected, because I knew he wouldn’t come across exactly as he would on the tables on TV.
“Although there were a couple more aggressive and confident players, well basically arrogant players and he did start pushing them, making fun of them, which was funny.
This is not the first time that the Oxford Cup has been visited by professionals. In previous years the competition has seen the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliot and Gus Hansen play as the guests of honour.
The Oxford Cup was originally started by students from Oxford University as an inter-university competition, but it has since grown into one of the biggest poker tournaments in the Europe, with students and amateur players from all over the country competing against a number of invited professionals.
In recent years the prize for the event has been in excess of £16,000, although the exact value changes year on year.