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Gossip Column: Antonio Esfandiari Confirms Boxing Match With Kevin Hart, Phil Hellmuth Gets a Hair Transplant & More

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  • Namita Ghosh January 30, 2019
  • 4 Minutes Read

After staying quiet and low key over the year end, Antonio Esfandiari is back in the news and this time again, for his earlier announced prop bet with comedian Kevin Hart. Ring a bell?! Esfandiari had sometime last year announced that he would be entering the boxing ring with comedian Kevin Hart. He has just a few days back confirmed that the match is on! The stakes seem to be pretty high in the boxing match but Esfandiari is not in the mood to back out now. In fact he’s been training hard, and plans to give in his best for the upcoming bout. The grapevine tells us the duo will fight sometime in mid-April. We sure can’t wait!

Moving over to Phil Hellmuth, well the brat is simply un-putdownable when it comes to antics and dramatic overtures. Hellmuth recently called Daniel Negreanu “Delusional” but of course that was in context. While he may have snapped up a HU title at the ongoing Borgata Poker Open…, it looks like he was also working on his looks as he recently underwent a hair replacement procedure to get his lost ‘hair’ back.

It’s not been so good for pros Micah Raskin and Ali Fazeli who have been facing a fairly serious criminal investigation for over a year now. While Raskin’s troubles have multiplied ever since he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, Fazeli was convicted for his involvement in a high-dollar scam and is looking at a minimum five years prison sentence.

But for poker player Trevor Savage there’s reason to rejoice. Savage has often canvassed stories from the poker world in videos. The crafty vlogger has roped in his three children, Andrew, Ava and Cameron who played varied roles, and enacted scenes in these vlogs, calling for a good laugh! The videos uploaded on his YouTube channel ‘Raising The Nuts’ are so funny that they have been getting rave reviews. No wonder then, that Savage’s channel recently hit the 1,000-subscriber mark.


Antonio Esfandiari Says Boxing Match With Kevin Hart is ON!

Okay, so we did hear that Antonio Esfandriari would be fighting a boxing match with none other than comedian Kevin Hart. Why Esfandiari chose to clash with Hart is beyond us, but while we were busy following the live tournament action across the world, Esfandiari it seems, didn’t quite forget the prop bet.

Antonio Esfandiari
Antonio Esfandiari

In fact, the poker player has, in a recent talk with online site Card Player admitted that the match was happening for sure.

“It’s definitely happening,” Esfandiari said. “Kevin and I talk about it quite frequently, and we joke about it often. It will be sometime in mid-April, as of the last update.”

Not that Esfandiari is really young and in the best of shape, but he has been preparing hard for the match. Hart, for that matter happens to be one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed entertainers.

The odds are clearly stacked up against the 40-year old Esfandiari, since Hart is quite fit. But it was Esfandiari who was approached to take up the match, and being the typical gambler that he is, he just couldn’t say no!

“As a professional gambler, I just can’t turn down a good bet. When somebody offers me 35:1, I just can’t say no. How can I? Yeah, I’m not athletic. I’m a skinny Persian. And he’s a great athlete, in incredible shape, who has been boxing for a while. I’m not a favorite by any means, but at 35:1… I can’t turn it down.”

The two will also use headgear during the match.

“My son sees me training. He’s four years old, he knows what is happening. There’s no way I’m going to back out. Once I committed, I have to go through with it. My pride is on the line.”

Now when your own kid is watching you, and waits to see you fight, you just can’t back out, can you?! Well, all the best to Esfandiari. April is not far and while there have been several boxing bets in the past, most famously the one between Brian Rast and Sorel Mizzi, we just cannot wait to watch this one!


Phil Hellmuth Gets a Hair Replacement Procedure

Poker brat Phil Hellmuth loves to dress up as fictional, dramatic characters from the movies. He even picks them up from mythology and can go all out when it comes to ‘living it up’! So when Hellmuth went in for a hair replacement procedure, we weren’t really surprised.

Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth

Yes, Hellmuth did go for one of those super hi-tech surgeries, and true to his bashful and outgoing character, he didn’t take the trouble to stay quiet about it. On the contrary, Hellmuth requested to click a picture with his doctors, and shared it on Twitter.

In four months my hair will be everywhere, and one year from now, should be at its best!” Hellmuth announced.

Well, I went for a hair replacement procedure w these guys, Dr Lieberman and Dr Parikh, at @ForTheFaceBay In four months my hair will be everywhere, and one year from now, should be at its best #NoMoreBaldSpot pic.twitter.com/228G1z0qDM

Hellmuth’s Twitter followers cheered on. Some even poked fun at him’

Hellmuth’s elder brother, David Hellmuth also had something to say.


Micah Raskin Pleads Guilty to Trafficking, Ali Fazeli Sentenced

Poker players have been known to court controversy and legal troubles. So when Micah Raskin and Ali Fazeli found themselves at the wrong side of law last year, not many were surprised.

Micah Raskin & Ali Fazeli
Micah Raskin & Ali Fazeli

Both players were spotted regularly on the felts despite the ongoing investigations. Raskin was arrested last February on various charges, the biggest of them being possession of marijuana. In fact, the police raided one of his properties and found 358 pounds of marijuana, hash oils, weapons and other paraphernalia. The seized property was worth at least $1 Million.

Further disgrace awaited Raskin as the law office stepped up its investigation against him. The district attorney’s office even described him as the “supplier of large amounts of marijuana and hash oils to the Baltimore area.”

Cornered with the possibility of facing up to eight years in prison, Raskin chose to plead guilty. Last weekend, ‘The Baltimore Sun’ reported that Raskin has admitted to “trafficking hundreds of pounds of marijuana from a grower in California”.

Even as the sentence hearing for Raskin will take place in June, another poker pro Fazeli was sentenced to 18 months in prison along with a $7.5 Million restitution order, after he pleaded guilty to a high-dollar scam last July.

The poker player was charged of using some of his connections to mastermind and execute a scam centered on the reselling of sports ticket. Fazeli reportedly used a company called “Summit Entertainment” and collected over $6 Million in investment money from players including John Juanda, Zachary Clark and Erik Seidel. He has been charged with wire-fraud felony in his home state of California.

It sure looks like Raskin will follow in Fazeli’s footsteps all the way to prison.


Trevor Savage is Busy ‘Raising The Nuts’

Professional poker player Trevor Savage has been gathering a lot of praise and fan following for his channel, ‘Raising The Nuts’ on YouTube. Trevor adds a distinct comic streak to his vlogs, and his rising popularity is showing in the results as ‘Raising the Nuts’ recently crossed the 1,000-subscriber mark!

Trevor Savage
Trevor Savage with his family

It seems that his kids have a big role to play in this success. The vlogger does feature standard poker videos that document his cash game and tournament endeavours but the real treats on his channel are the comic videos he’s been uploading. Picking incidents, tournaments, or statements involving poker celebs and other personalities, Savage has his three kids to act them out.

“Cam and Andrew love doing it. Ava’s a little more… She wants to be behind the scenes, do some editing – and that’s cool too. But they love doing it and it’s fun to do,” he says.

We remember Savage’s four-year old son Andrew Savage play the role of a suitor for new vlogger Marle Cordeiro two months back. Titled, ‘Andrew is looking for a Poker Girlfriend’, the vlog also had Savage’s two daughters Ava Savage and Cameron Savage playing the role of Andrew’s ex-girlfriends.

Marle herself found the video funny. “Hi, Hello! This is amazing!” she said. Fellow vlogger Andrew Neeme found the video endearing. “Marle for the love of everything, #givedrewachance!”

Three more videos have popped up on ‘Raising the Nuts’ since then. One of them has Andrew analyzing poker hands like Doug Polk while in the other the Savage kids played out an epic Friday Night Poker hand. They also mimicked poker pro Daniel Negreanu while enacting highlights from the Super High Roller Bowl, in the fourth vlog.


It certainly looks like Savage is ‘raising the kids’ to learn about the world of poker from an early age.

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