- »Tony G Signals Return to Poker After EU Parliament
Tony G Signals Return to Poker After EU Parliament
Poker fans and players around the world known Tony G. He became famous during the early 2000s for his table talk and antics, his humor and passion for poker.
Tony G has deep ties to Australia but lived in the EU most recently. And after some years as a politician – working in the European Parliament and Lithuanian Parliament, he officially retired at the beginning of 2021. While cryptocurrency seems to be his passion at the moment, he never stopped loving poker and hinted at a return to the tables.
Growing Up in Australia
Born Antanas Guoga in Lithuania in 1973, Tony G moved their family to Australia when he was 11 years old, a choice to leave a Communist regime and find more opportunity. Guoga did that in Melbourne, where he attended and graduated from school and eventually found poker.
He found various games to challenge his mind from an early age. He became a Rubik’s Cube champion in Lithuania before moving to Australia. So, it was only natural that he discovered poker as a teenager and became a regular in Melbourne games by the time he turned 18.
To have Guoga tell it, he played high-stakes games with a $200K bankroll before he turned 21 years old. At that point, he trekked to America to play the high-stakes poker tables in Las Vegas. He quickly lost all of his money, hardly enough left for a flight back to Melbourne. He claims, however, that he rebuilt his bankroll and learned his lesson about money management.
Branching Out into Businesses
In his early adulthood, Guoga focused more on playing poker, but the early 2000s brought opportunities on the business side of the game. He began to split his time between Australia and Lithuania to pursue various endeavors.
One of those endeavors was creating PokerNews, the website that soon become one of the most popular news websites in the business. It went on to become the official reporting outlet for the World Series of Poker for multiple years, the live reporting team of choice for numerous series around the world, and even the host of some poker tournament series of its own.
All the while, he played poker. He won tournaments regularly from St. Petersburg to London, as well as in the United States during the years of the poker boom. He won an Asian Poker Tour event in 2006, Moscow Millions in 2007, and televised poker games like Late Night Poker and The Poker Lounge.
In the last few years, he played less but managed to win a 2017 Aria High Roller tournament in Las Vegas and a PartyPoker MILLIONS Europe in 2019. His largest win to date was a fourth-place finish in a WSOP Europe High Roller event in 2019 for $882,942.
Throughout his career, he has accumulated more than $7.2 million in live poker tournaments, with online winnings and cash game wins not listed.
Tony G was also one of the inaugural members of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame.
From Poker to Politics
It doesn’t seem like a logical career move, but Guoga began to dip his toes into Lithuanian government matters in the mid-2010s. He expressed opinions in that realm as he had done in poker – loudly but cordially, firm but reasonable.
Officially, Guoga joined the European Parliament in 2016 with the European People’s Party, which was in the majority in Parliament. He served on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and focused on business and regulatory matters.
He lost his seat in 2019 when he stood with the Lithuanian Centre Party for reelection to the European Parliament, but the party lost. That pointed him in the direction of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas), where he served until the start of 2021.
Back to Poker?
On January 12, Guoga retired from the Lithuanian Parliament. He wrote on Twitter that there were many reasons, one of which was influence. “I don’t think I can exact the change desperately needed in national politics,” he wrote. “I now focus on business – maybe I may have some more time to play some poker!”
He wrote more on his Facebook page, noting that he felt a great responsibility to the people of Lithuania but didn’t want to mislead them into believing he could make changes that he could not make.
Mostly, it appeared that he took issue – many issues – with Labor Party Chairman Viktor Uspaskich. The MEP recently made homophobic remarks for which he wouldn’t apologize and made false claims about Covid-19, specifically that mineral water cures it.
Guoga has many business endeavors to which to devote his time. He is the CEO of Cypherpunk Holdings and involved with a number of cryptocurrency-related companies.
In pre-Covid times, Tony G also made some trips to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, to play in some high-stakes cash games. When casinos around Europe begin to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic settles down, no one will be surprised to see Tony G back in the game.