Little Antanas Guoga (Tony G) always had a gift for games. When Tony was 6, he was sent to a chess school where only the most gifted young players went. It was always about competition for Tony, and in the early 80’s he was the local Rubik’s Cube Champion in his hometown of Kaunas, Lithuania. In 1986, when Tony was eleven, his family picked up and moved from their native Lithuania (still under Soviet rule) to Melbourne, Australia. Tony knew very early on that he had a knack for games. The energy, and challenge of poker really appealed to his fiercely competitive nature, even at this young age. In addition, he recognized early in life the potential for profit in poker, and very quickly made it his life’s passion.
By fifteen, Tony was playing wherever he could get a game in Melbourne, Australia. Growing up on the poker table was often a challenge for Tony, as not only was he often the youngest player, but he looked younger than he really was. His young looks lead to an extra challenge when trying to get a game. After beginning to make a name for himself at an early age in Australia, Tony moved to Hong Kong, where he was a dealer, and played himself into a very nice bankroll.
Tony decided to give Las Vegas a try next, and was often met with resistance, as he was still under the legal age of 21, and had to get a fake ID in order to play. Tony had taken his entire bankroll of two hundred thousand dollars to Las Vegas with him. He quickly found out the players in Las Vegas were much more skilled than the players he was accustomed to, and left Las Vegas broke, and moved back to Australia.
Tony built his bankroll back up again in Australia, and then after a brief stop in London, he relocated back to Europe, moving to Vienna, Austria. It is in Austria that Tony found himself as a poker player. In fact, when young Antanas was at the card club, he would list himself on the waiting list as Tony G. , As he began to gain notoriety as a player, the Tony G nickname stuck. Tony was regularly beating all the games in the local casinos, to the point where he found he had to try something else, as he was having trouble finding local players who would play him.
Tony then found his next passion: online poker. Tony found he could get great results online without leaving his home. Tony has played online poker since 2000, and is among the top online players of all time, counting people like the legendary Erik123 among his peers. Just since the beginning of 2005, Tony has won well over $150,000 on Party Poker alone Tony began to realize more than just his own potential as a player in this area, he saw that he could become successful bringing his newest passion to others around the world. Tony started several poker related websites, many of which are at the top of their field today.
Tony began playing live tournaments in late 2001, and had a big impact almost immediately. Tony finished second in his first E WSOP (European World Series of Poker), and would have been the champion, had his pocket queens not been beaten by an opponent holding Q5. The opponent hit running fives on the turn and river, and a disappointed Tony was left with a bad beat, and a bad taste in his mouth.
That bad taste did not last for long, however, as Tony’s breakthrough win came in the World Heads Up Omaha Championship, where in 2002 Tony beat several top opponents, including Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott for the World Championship. Heads up was a particular strength of Tony’s, as at one point in the World Heads Up team event, he won thirteen consecutive matches, a seemingly impossible feat given the high variance of tournament poker.
The top tournament finishes continued, as Tony made ten final tables in 2003, while only playing part time. This included a World Poker Tour final table at the Aviation Club de Paris, and back-to-back wins at the White Nights festival in St Petersburg Russia. 2003 ended strong for Tony, with two consecutive final tables at the prestigious Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic, taking third place in the Omaha championship event.
2004 was a banner year for Tony, as his tournament winnings for the year were well in excess of $500,000. For the second straight year, Tony made the final table at the World Poker Tour’s Paris event, this time finishing second.
One would be hard pressed to find many players with a better record in World Poker Tour events than Tony G. Tony has entered only eight of these prestigious tournaments, but has cashed in five of the eight, made two final tables, and missed a third final table by a single place, finishing seventh at the WPT stop at Mirage in 2004.
Tony G has been considered by many a brash, outspoken player at the poker table, and as such has garnered himself quite a bit of camera time in every television event he has played. In fact, Tony G has been asked to the “television tableâ€? in every televised event he has played in the last six months.
In addition to his playing pursuits, Tony has his own website at www.tonygpoker.com where he posts many of his personal thoughts about life on the poker circuit, corresponds with fans, and many other things. Tony is also a writer, and frequent contributor to www.pokernews.info
2005 brings a new agenda for Tony, as he will focus more on tournament play, and travel to tournaments much more than he ever has before. Tony’s tournament record is excellent, and he looks forward to seeing what he can accomplish playing ‘full time’.