Patrik Antonius loses $500,000 in Vegas, shares rare emotional insight


After losing $500,000 playing high stakes cash games in Bellagio’s Bobby’s Room, Patrik Antonius shares a rare insight into his emotional state in an Instagram video.


[Image credit: Wikimedia Commons]

J.K. Rowling created the word to describe the mere mortals blissfully unaware that a Wizarding World exists hidden behind a magical portal in King’s Cross Station.

Only this morning, I watched an iris dilate when I explained that in a few short weeks a group of people will compete in a £1m buy-in poker tournament and that £1m+ losses, playing poker, happen frequently.

As I said, it’s another world, but it’s not always magical—ask Patrik Antonius.

There was a time when the Finnish star made a media-shy Phil Ivey seem like Daniel Negreanu such was his reclusive nature. Handsome, intelligent—a cold, hard stare, Antonius is a legend of the online and live cash games, winning $11.3m profit playing on Full Tilt Poker (FTP) back in the golden days.

More recently, Antonius has stepped out from the shadows, mainly to promote his First Land of Poker (FLOP) social poker app, and Instagram is one of his more common gateways to the poker community.

Recently, Antonius recorded a six-minute video on Instagram, giving Muggles and Wizards alike a rare insight into the emotional turmoil of going bust in a high stakes cash game.

Antonius has competed in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio all summer, and until three days ago, the Finnish star had been a daily winner at stakes ranging between $2k, $3k, $4k, and $6k.

Then it all went as wrong as killing a fly in a microwave when he developed a case of food poisoning and began a losing streak that would wipe him out.

Speaking on Instagram, Antonius said that he lost ‘all of the money’ he had brought to Vegas during three days of playing $5k/$10k and $6k/$12k Omaha 8-or-Better, and that, Ladies, Gentlemen, Muggles and Wizards is $500,000.

Antonius shared how he was feeling, and if you know the man, it’s highly unusual for him to go there.

“It always hurts a lot to lose that kind of money,” Antonius told the camera. “It does not feel as good when you win. It feels like normal when you win. But when you lose that much, it’s the biggest anti-adrenaline feeling to me, at least. It really puts you down, and that’s when you test yourself—how strong you are mentally, and how fast you can recover to that better state of mind.”

Antonius continued to share that his losses on the felt also affect his regular life “because you feel so bad,” saying it’s tough to have a good day, play sports or communicate effectively with others.

“I get this angry feeling,” says Antonius. “I am unsatisfied. Especially when I play poorly, but I can’t recollect playing poorly yesterday. I just always had the second-best hand.”

If you think that high stakes players get used to these swings, think again. Antonius says that unless the money doesn’t matter to you—and that’s going to be a select few—he ‘doesn’t see anyone getting used to it.’

To worsen affairs, Antonius also revealed the recent death of his 13-year-old French Bulldog.

“That hurt more than I thought it would hurt, and it still hurts,” said Antonius. “It’s weird for me to get emotional about anything in life. I don’t get my feelings hurt too much, but my dog was close to me. It’s going to be tough to go back home and not see him again.”

He left the Muggles and Wizards on a positive note.

“I am still in Vegas, and the games are still running,” said Antonius. “Who knows, if I manage to get some money to play and get back to the action, but first I need to get back into the right mental frame of mind. It’s the life I have chosen, and I am strong enough for all of this bullshit. I will be fine. Having a rough day today. Hopefully, I can share some more positive news soon.”