Antanas Guoga

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Antanas Guoga
Middle-aged man in Red t-shirt talking in front of a microphone
Member of the European Parliament
for Lithuania, EPP group
Assumed office
July 1, 2014
Preceded by Leonidas Donskis
Personal details
Born (1973-12-17) December 17, 1973 (age 44)
Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Lithuanian
Political party Lithuanian Liberal Movement (2013-2016)
European People's Party (2016-present)
Spouse(s) Aistė Guogienė (m.2014)
Children 2 sons
Residence Kaunas, Lithuania
Profession Poker Player, entrepreneur, philanthropist, politician
Website [1]

Antanas Guoga (born December 17, 1973, in Kaunas, Lithuania), more commonly known as Tony G, is a Lithuanian businessman, poker player, politician and philanthropist. He is a Member of the European Parliament for the Liberal Movement,[1] as well as Public CIO to the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius. In May 2016, Guoga was the temporary leader of the Liberal Movement following the bribery scandal that prompted Eligijus Masiulis to step down after potentially corrupt activities.[2]

Biography[edit]

Guoga spent his childhood in Kaunas and in the Alytus district (Kalesninkai) in Lithuania. When he was 11 years old, he moved to Australia. Guoga lived in Melbourne where he graduated from school, and had various jobs, including repairing sewing machines and washing cars.[3]

Later, Guoga started working as an assistant to Australian Mortgage Brokers chief Bill Buchanan. He studied accounting and finance at college.

In 1993, he was employed by an investment bank in Hong Kong managed by CitiBank. His responsibilities included attracting new customers and managing their investment portfolios.

Following that, Guoga successfully invested in a news portal, and in Rate Detective life insurance company in Australia. In addition, he developed a trading business in London.

In Lithuania, he invested in real estate and internet projects, TonyBet[4] an international betting company, TonyResort[5] a recreation and amusement park in Anupriškės, and TonySports,[6] TonyStreets[7] an online sports and leisure store. Guoga also owns an insurance business in Australia. Today, more than 500 jobs have been created in the companies in which he has invested. Over 300 of them are in Lithuania.

Family[edit]

Since 2014, Guoga has been married to Aistė Šlapokaitė,[8] a former psychology student and a photo model for clothing brands like Armani Jeans, Prada and Max Mara. Guoga and Šlapokaitė met during her 30th birthday celebrations in a Vilnius night club.[9] Together they have 2 sons (Herkus, born in 2015 in Brussels and Tauras, born in 2016 in Vilnius.[10] Guoga also has a son and two daughters from previous relationships.[11]

Politics[edit]

Guoga was a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats group in the European Parliament until 4 October 2016. He became a member of the European People's Party which is the biggest party in the Parliament. He works on a range of digital policies in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO).[12] Guoga is actively involved in a number of Digital Single Market topics. Being an entrepreneur himself, Guoga works for better conditions for European businesses, especially in the technology sector. These conditions include smarter regulations, less red tape, and policies that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.[13]

In 2015 Guoga was chosen as the Lithuanian representative in the POLITICO 28 list. The European affairs weekly newspaper chose one person from each of the European Union's 28 member-states who is "shaping, shaking and stirring Europe."[14]

Guoga has been elected as the vice-chairman of the European Parliament delegation to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, appointed as a member of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, a substitute member of the delegation for relations with Switzerland and Norway in the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee and in the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee. He is also a substitute member in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL).

Guoga is Coder Dojo and entrepreneurship education ambassador in Lithuania. In 2016, he launched Coder Dojo movement in Lithuania and was one of the organisers of programming clubs for 7–17 years old youth in the country.[15]

For three years in a row, 2015, 2016 and 2017 he organized the biggest ICT and entrepreneurship event in the Baltics #SWITCH! This event in 3 years has grown by 60% from 6000 participants in 2015 to 15.000 in 2017 About 200 speakers from 16 countries already participated in the event. Among them was Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, Vytenis Andriukaits, EC Commissioner and representatives of tech leaders such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Uber, Allegro, Dash, Dell, Oath, Nasdaq, Mastercard, Tele2 [16]

In 2016-2017, Guoga was Chief Investment Officer to the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius.[17]

Guoga was nominated as a candidate for the European parliamentary elections at the summer congress of the Liberal Movement in the last week of June 2013.

Guoga was second in the list of the Lithuanian Liberal Movement in the elections to the European Parliament 2014, and was elected as the MEP with 97,907 votes ending on top of the list.[18]

After the corruption allegations of Eligijus Masiulis, Guoga became a temporary chairman of the Liberal Movement. After public criticism by the party members, Guoga left the party on May 17th, 2016. [19]

Poker[edit]

Tony G
Antanas Guoga.jpg
Residence Kaunas, Lithuania
Born (1973-12-17) December 17, 1973 (age 44)
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) None
Money finish(es) 15
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
None
World Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) 2
Money finish(es) 4

As a child, Guoga was the Rubik's Cube champion of Lithuania before moving to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 11. He has played poker since the age of 18, and is known for his outlandish table talk and frequent attempts at intimidation of his opponents. He had a fifth-place finish in the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris 2003. He finished in the money twice at the 2004 World Series of Poker in Seven-card stud and Pot Limit Texas hold 'em tournaments and three months later earned his then biggest tournament money finish in the WPT Grand Prix de Paris 2004, where his second-place finish to England's Surinder Sunar earned him $414,478. He finished on the bubble later in the same month at the WPT 2004 Mirage Poker Showdown. On August 7, 2005, he won the £5,000 No Limit Hold-Em Main Event of the European Poker Championships, earning £260,000 ($456,822). Later in 2005, he made the final table of the World Speed Poker Open.

In 2006, he won the WPT Bad Boys of Poker II event when his 10 8 outdrew Mike Matusow's K K on a board of 8 10 2 9 Q. He wore a kimono throughout the event to promote poker in Japan. Also in 2006, he finished second to Yosh Nakano while representing Australia in the inaugural Intercontinental Poker Championship, taking down $150,000. True to his reputation, Tony G launched many verbal assaults against his opponents, most notably when he eliminated Russian Ralph Perry in fourth place. Tony G started to provoke Perry when he was deciding how to play his hand before the flop. When Perry called Tony G's all-in with a worse hand, Tony G proceeded to ridicule and lecture him. Tony's comments were so scathing that it prompted commentator Gabe Kaplan to quip "I think Tony G is speaking more like a Lithuanian than an Australian" and "Tony G could singlehandedly reignite the Cold War".[20] Guoga was more respectful of some other players, such as Doyle Brunson, calling Doyle his idol after eliminating him.

In November 2006, he won the Asian Poker Tour event held in Singapore, walking away with $451,700, half of which he indicated he will give to Asian and Australian charities to be nominated by Betfair.[21] In February 2007, he appeared on the NBC television program Poker After Dark, coming in third place behind winner Phil Ivey. In November of the same year, he won a tournament in Moscow, earning $205,000. Often telling his opponents that he has a "big heart", Tony claims that he left all of his prize money with the officials to give to Russian orphanages, having been inspired to do so by Barry Greenstein's habit of donating all his poker tournament winnings to charity.[22] In January 2008, Tony received the Shining World Leadership Award in Melbourne Australia.[23] As of 2011, his total live tournament winnings exceed $4,000,000.[24] His 15 cashes at the WSOP account for $429,897 of those winnings.[25] Guoga is also the principal owner of a network of high-traffic poker information sites, including Pokernews.com, Pokeraffiliateworld.com and Pokerworks.com.[citation needed]

On February 23, 2010, in Vilnius Guoga established the Lithuanian Poker Federation.[26]

In 2014, Guoga confirmed that he will not be returning to professional poker.[27]

Tony G occasionally plays high stake cash game poker. In 2018, he took part in the PartyPoker "The Big Game" High Stake PLO cash game alongside with poker pros like Isildur1, Sam Trickett, Rob Yong.[28]

Other sports[edit]

Guoga is currently a major sponsor of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. When the country's national team failed to directly qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and had to apply for a wild-card entry, he paid a large share of the application fee of €500,000. The team was chosen for the tournament, and won the bronze medal with TONYBET printed on their jerseys.[29] He was the national basketball team's manager from 2010 until 2012 and served as the vice-president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. He was also the main sponsor of BC Prienai, a professional basketball club.

In 2014, Guoga became the vice-president of the Lithuanian Rowing Federation.[30]

Controversy[edit]

Paradise Papers[edit]

In November 2017 an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism cited his name in the list of politicians named in "Paradise Papers" allegations.[31]

Achievements[edit]

  • 2004 WPT – Grand Prix de Paris – 2nd place
  • 2005 European Poker Championships – 1st place
  • 2006 Intercontinental Poker Championship – Grand Final – 2nd place
  • 2006 Betfair Asian Poker Tour – 1st place
  • 2007 World Series Of Poker – Europe, London – 3rd place
  • 2007 Moscow Millions, Main Event – 1st place
  • 2008 Shining World Leadership Award
  • 2008 PartyPoker Premier League Poker III – 2nd place
  • 2009 40th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2009, Anniversary Event – 10th place
  • 2009 EPT – Grand Final (Monte Carlo), High Roller Championship – 3rd place
  • 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, A$100k Challenge – 5th place
  • 2010 The Poker Lounge, Episode 10-1 place
  • 2010 WPT London High Roller – 2nd place
  • 2011 delfi.lt readers recognized him as the Lithuanian of the World
  • 2011 Verslo švyturys Award
  • 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, A$100k Challenge – 4th place
  • 2012 PartyPoker Premier League Poker V – 5th place
  • 2015 POLITICO 28 list (28 people from the European Union’s 28 member states who are transforming European politics)[14]
  • 2016 A. Guoga was included in the POLITICO 40 list as one of the most influential MEPs.[32]
  • 2017 MEP Antanas Guoga, the only member of the European Parliament and Lithuanian to be included in the TOP 200 list of Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs, compiled by the positive content portal Richtopia.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Giovanni Angioni. "Tony G Elected To European Parliament: "Today We Made History!"". pokernews.com. 
  2. ^ "Guoga says Liberal Movement corruption may go deeper than Masiulis". Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Antanas Guoga neslepia: "Buvau blogas mokinys"". lrytas.lt. 2 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Statymai ir Sporto Lažybos Internetu, gyvai - TonyBet,". TonyBet. 
  5. ^ "Home - Tony Resort". tonyresort.lt. 
  6. ^ "SIL.lt". SportClothes. 
  7. ^ "TonyStreets - Titulinis". tonystreets.lt. 
  8. ^ "Antanas Guoga savo mylimąją Aistę nusivedė ir prie altoriaus". lrytas.lt. 17 August 2014. 
  9. ^ reporteris, Alfa.lt. "Milijonieriaus Guogos draugė – pasakiškai "teigiama" manekenė". Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "Aistė ir Antanas Guogos antrą sūnų pavadino Tauru ir pasidalijo pirma berniuko nuotrauka". 
  11. ^ Klubas.lt. "Apie praeities klystkelius prabilęs Antanas Guoga: dėl visų pasibaigusių santykių buvau kaltas aš". Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  12. ^ "Antanas GUOGA". europa.eu. 
  13. ^ European Voice interview with Antanas Guoga MEP. Vimeo. 
  14. ^ a b "ANTANAS GUOGA". 2 December 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Kennedy, John (1 December 2015). "MEPs to be European ambassadors for CoderDojo". Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "switch.lt – mod it, crack it, play it". www.switch.lt. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  17. ^ "Antanas Guoga Will Help Attract New Investments to Vilnius". Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Jurgita Lapienytė (26 May 2014). "Liberalų sąjūdžio pirmininkas Eligijus Masiulis: švenčiame istorinę pergalę". 15min.lt. 
  19. ^ https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/a-guoga-traukiasi-is-liberalu-sajudzio.d?id=71292634
  20. ^ "Tony G is in the final". 18 November 2006. Archived from the original on 18 November 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  21. ^ Betfair Asian Poker Tour: Tony Guoga wins Betfair Asian Poker Tour Main Event Archived 2007-01-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ "Tony G's blog: 2007 Moscow Millions Main Event". Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  23. ^ Mr. Tony Guoga - An Accomplished Poker Player with a Big Heart[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Antanas Guoga: Hendon Mob Poker Database". The Hendon Mob Poker Database. 
  25. ^ World Series of Poker Earnings Archived 2009-06-10 at the Wayback Machine., worldseriesofpoker.com
  26. ^ "LSPF veiklos strategija - LSPF – Lietuvos sportinio pokerio federacija". lspf.lt. 
  27. ^ "Europarlamentaro kėdę iškovojęs Antanas Guoga profesionaliai pokerio tikrai nebežais". 15min.lt. 27 May 2014. 
  28. ^ "The Big Game Returns with PLO Edition at partypoker MILLIONS Germany". PokerNews. Retrieved 2018-02-15. 
  29. ^ Winn, Luke (August 15, 2011). "Lithuania Calling". Sports Illustrated. 115 (6): 52–56. 
  30. ^ "Antanas Guoga tapo Lietuvos irklavimo federacijos viceprezidentu". 15min.lt/sportas. 28 March 2014. 
  31. ^ "Explore The Politicians in the Paradise Papers - ICIJ". ICIJ. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  32. ^ "ANTANAS GUOGA". 19 May 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  33. ^ article, Corporate Client. "MEP Guoga is included in list of Top 200 Philanthropists in the world". Retrieved 1 February 2018. 

External links[edit]