He had one of the most impressive runs in the world of poker. He also influenced international politics. But does Antanas ‘Tony G’ Guoga want to return to the poker world after a few years out of the game on a full-time basis?
The end of his political career could signal changes
According to Australian casino journalist Rose Varrelli, the end of Guoga’s time in the European Parliament could mean a change of course for the poker provocateur. In 2016, Guoga ran for a seat in the European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union. After three years on this prestigious board, Guoga lost in re-election but was able to run for a seat in the Lithuanian parliament (Guoga has dual Lithuanian-Australian citizenship since he was born in Lithuania and moved to Australia at the age of 11). The poker pro has apparently been thinking about his place in politics and poker since taking office in the Lithuanian parliament.
In mid-January, Guoga resigned from his seat in parliament, citing his lack of influence over politics on the panel. However, other information indicated that he was dissatisfied with the leadership of the Labor Party leadership in the Lithuanian parliament. This dissatisfaction came after several comments from party chairman Viktor Uspaskich on several hot button issues.
Guoga made it official in a tweet to his followers:
Yesterday I made the decision to step down from the Lithuanian Parliament for several important reasons – I don’t think I can call for the much-needed change in national politics. I’m focusing on business now – maybe I still have some time to play poker! 🚴 https://t.co/QhrEJ8rtWL
– Antanas Guoga (@TonyGuoga) January 13, 2021
Could Guoga adapt to today’s game?
There are some in the poker world who would say the game has changed since Guoga was a part of it. Despite being part of the political spectrum for several years, Guoga hasn’t completely stopped the game. In fact, some of its greatest successes have come in the last few years.
2019 was the biggest winning year of his career, bringing in more than $ 1.1 million in tournament revenue, mostly in Europe. Guoga won the partypoker MILLIONS Short Deck High Roller tournament in August 2019 and made him $ 265,859 for his efforts, but that was just a warm-up. In Rozvadov in the Super High Roller event (€ 250,000) for the World Series of Poker Europe, Guoga finished fourth for the biggest payday of his career, more than $ 880,000.
Guoga’s fingerprints are ubiquitous in the world of poker. He was the founder of PokerNews in the early aughts (before selling the operation to The Stars Group in the late 2010s), which arguably ushered in the age of online poker news operations. But it was his game on the tables – and his aggressive, combative manner – that made people think of the character “Tony G.” pulled.
He would be part of several verbal sparring games when he was at the height of the tables. One in particular was a particularly tense verbal barrage with the Russian Ralph Perry during the International Poker Championships. It was in this battle that Guoga’s catchphrase “On your bike!” (used to unceremoniously dismiss Perry from the table) came into the dictionary.
The question would be whether the game passed Guoga by or not. Although his success in 2019 was the best of his career, he was in high roller tournaments, not normal main event battles with larger fields. There’s also the factor that, like many other poker players, Guoga basically had to stand aside in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. How much ‘Tony G’ could add to his career winnings of more than $ 7 million in a “new age” of poker is unknown, but his personality would change the current state of the game.