Esfandiari Wins 3rd Bracelet, Nabs POY Lead

Capturing his third bracelet, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari catapulted his way to the top of the 2012 WSOP player of the year leader board.

With a win in the second-largest tournament in the short WSOP Europe history, Esfandiari boosted his total tournament earnings to $19,794,890, which includes 7 final tables and 22 cashes.

Esfandiari called the win in the €1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em re-entry tournament “incredible” on Facebook and Twitter, adding: “THOUGHT I used up my one time’s!”

He leaped over October Niner Greg Merson and Phil Ivey in the player of the year race. Merson could, however, retake the lead, if he finishes fourth or higher in the WSOP Main Event. He enters the final table third in chips.

Behind Esfandiari and Merson in the POY running are Ivey, John Monnette, David “ODB” Baker, Phil Hellmuth and Michael Mizrachi.

Esfandiari’s win on Tuesday came just three months after his victory in the $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop.

The event in Cannes drew 626 entrants and a prize pool of €600,900. Esfandiari took home €126,207 (roughly $163,160) for first.

The WSOP Europe also includes a €50,000 Super High Roller Event with re-buys that is scheduled for October 2, but it is not a bracelet event.