Tony G is one of poker’s most recognizable faces.
His career highlights include 2nd place at the 2004. WPT Grand Prix de Paris, 1st place at the European Poker Championship in London in 2005. and a 3rd place finish at the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller in Monte Carlo in 2009. He’s had 15 money finishes in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and 4 at the World Poker Tour (WPT). He won the Asian Poker Tour event in Singapore in 2006 and most recently took down two events at the Super High Roller Series in Northern Cyprus in August 2021 for over $1.5 million.
But his contribution to the game of Poker is bigger than that. In 2002, he founded pokernews.com, the world’s leading poker news website today. Pokernews has been the exclusive live reporting partner to the World Series of Poker since 2007.
He’s also known in the world of poker for his charisma, characteristic style of play, and casual attitude that helped push poker as a game closer to the mainstream.
Tony G (born Antanas Guoga) was born in Lithuania but he moved to Australia at the age of 11. His activities are global and go beyond any geographical area, and yet he’s still very attached and devoted to his home country.
He’s been one of the sponsors of the Lithuanian basketball team, their team manager as well as the vice-president of the Lithuanian basketball federation. He’s also the founder of the Lithuanian Poker Federation and used to be the vice-president of the Lithuanian Rowing Federation.
Tony G also had a notable role in Lithuanian politics. As a member of the Lithuanian Liberal Movement, he was elected for the European Parliament in 2014, where he was perceived as one of the most influential MEPs, fighting for better conditions for European businesses. He also served as a Chief Investment Officer to the Mayor of Vilnius.
Tony G has earned more than $8,8 million throughout his career, which puts him at the 124th place on the all-time money list at this moment, despite the fact that he hasn’t played much since 2013.
The biggest prize money he’s ever won at a single event was $1,196,000, and it happened fairly recently, in Northern Cyprus in August 2021. He’s also won $882,000 at a Super High Roller event in Rozvadov, Czech Republic in 2019. He exceeded $400,000 of prize money 4 more times: in Monte Carlo in 2009 ($552,239), in London in 2005 ($456,822), in Singapore in 2006 ($451,700) and in Paris in 2004 ($414,478).
By the latest estimates, around $36 million, which earns him a place in most lists of top 10 richest poker players in the world at the moment. However, most of this money didn’t really come from playing the game.
Tony G obviously never played poker just for the money and never relied on the game alone as a source of financial well-being. The same year he started playing professionally (in 2002), he launched pokernews.com, which grew to become the biggest poker website in the world today.
This was just the first of his entrepreneurial undertakes, with many more to follow.
Most of Tony G’s money comes from his business projects. But he’s earned quite a lot as a poker player as well. He’s won more than 8 million dollars of prize money so far, plus he used to be one of the faces of PartyPoker as a sponsored pro.
Tony’s arguably biggest project lies at the intersection of media and poker – in 2002, he founded pokernews.com and made it the world’s number #1 online spot for poker enthusiasts. Since then, Tony has been investing successfully in many sectors – media, sports, online betting, trading, real estate, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and more.
One of his most ambitious projects was TonyBet, a gaming company that provided sports betting and live gaming services. Established in 2011, it was sold 5 years later to Betsson for 6 million euros.
Today, he’s at the head of Tony G Co-Investment Holdings, a company investing in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, payment processing services, syndicated credit opportunities, online commerce, and online gambling industries, as well as ancillary industries.
Well, nothing exactly happened. Poker fans might’ve seen less of him in the media in the last few years, but Tony’s still alive and kicking.
He’s spent most of this time doing business and politics, although he retired from the latter in 2021. He used to be a member of both European and Lithuanian Parliaments, a member of the European People’s Party, and managed to run several successful businesses at the same time.
Today, Tony G is the executive chairman of Tony G Co-Investment Holdings, a Canada-based investment company. He also plays poker again, not as much as he used to, but he still managed to causally win a million dollars at an event in Cyprus in the summer of 2021.
Tony invests a ton of resources in new, promising technologies. He is the Chairman of Cypherpunk holdings, a crypto-investment company that takes interest in crypto trading, NFTs, blockchain AI, crypto hedge funds, privacy technologies, and much more.
On top of that, he founded Blockchain Centre Vilnius in 2017, a worldwide organization with HQ in Lithuania. The Blockchain center helps individuals and start-ups with cutting-edge ideas to develop their blockchain business through guidance and strategic partnership.
Finally, Tony does a lot of charity work as well, especially in his homeland. He’s got his own charity fund that sponsors, among others, the University of Vilnius, Vilnius Community Center, Food Bank, Prienai basketball club, and Lithuanian Armed Forces.
Known as a top-class trash-talker in his peak, he’s not always been easy to deal with at the poker table. However, his openness, charisma, and hard-to-impress attitude also made him one of the most loved poker players of our time.
Tony has talked several times about his table manners and why he behaves the way he does during the game. Apart from trying to acquire valuable information about other players, he also believes that this is good for the popularity and recognition of the game. A little bit of unnecessary drama and benevolent teasing never hurt anybody and they may improve the chances of poker getting more attention in public.
To put it in his own words: “We also have to remember that as poker lovers we have a duty to try and take the game into the mainstream. 6 nits in headphones saying not a word do not do that.”