Antanas Guoga, the Lithuanian-born Australian poker professional is widely known as Tony G in poker circles. Back in the days when he started playing poker (at the age of 21), whenever he joined the waiting list for a poker table, the name Tony G would be displayed up on the board, and in time it stuck. Other nicknames of his are: The Australian Airbag, and the Mouth from Down Under (probably considering that he is indeed often viewed as the Australian equivalent of Mike Matusow).
Born in Kaunas in 1973, Guoga was Lithuania’s Rubik Cube champion. He moved to Australia with his parents at the age of 11, and began playing poker at 18.
Everyone in the poker world knows him as a loudmouth, although word has it that when he’s not playing poker, he’s in fact quite amiable.
There are countless videos and stories around the internet showcasing just how bad this "bad boy of poker” really is at the table. The incidents he gets involved in might look entertaining from the viewer’s perspective, but the constant nagging and atmosphere of intimidation he creates at the table usually exact a heavy toll on the targeted opponent capability to focus.
One of the best known such incidents happened at the WPT’s Grand Prix de Paris, in 2003, when he managed to piss off none other than the Professor himself, Howard Lederer who then refused to shake Tony G’s hand when he got eliminated.
In 2006, in the Intercontinental Poker Championship, in which Guoaga represented Australia, he launched a violent verbal assault on Ralph Perry, one that was nothing short of a declaration of war. He eventually ended up in 2nd position in that tourney.
In the beginning of his poker career, Tony G would often use fake IDs to get into casinos, as one has to be 21 to be legally allowed to play in Las Vegas.
Vegas got the best of him when he first attempted to take the gambling capitol of the world by assault, sending him back to Europe to his cash games.
He began to look for ways to improve his play, and while doing it, he earned $7.5k per day playing poker through 2001.
Soon it became obvious that he could do much better in more prestigious events. 2003 was the year he exploded onto the international poker scene with twin tournament wins in Russia. He made about $20k then, but things would soon turn even sweeter for him.
In 2004, he finished ITM in two WSOP events. Not long after, he had a second place finish in the 2004 Grand Prix de Paris, which earned him around $400k, breaking his personal tournament cash record.
In 2005, he scored big by winning the EPT’s $5,000 NL Holdem Main Event.
The Bad Boys of Poker II was the event he won next, by fittingly beating Mike Matusow (another true bad boy and fellow trash-talker) heads-up.
Victory in the Betfair Asian Poker Tour would follow later in 2006, making his wallet a further $451,000 thicker.
He also played in NBC’s Poker After Dark, and in 2007, he won a tournament in Moscow, for $205,000. Word has it, that inspired by fellow professional, Barry Greenstein, he donated the whole sum to Russian orphanages, and didn’t take a single cent home.
Besides poker, Tony G has another – probably just as generous – source of income: he is the main owner of a few extremely well-established and trafficked poker information websites.