Antonio Esfandiari’s Las Vegas condo robbed of $1 million in possessions, cash

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: August 31, 2020 3:04 pm EDT

Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari called police on July 14 after discovering approximately $1 million worth of cash, casino chips, and jewelry was stolen from his Las Vegas condo. This past week, the alleged culprit was arrested after new damaging evidence was discovered.

For the past decade, Esfandiari has resided at the Panorama Towers, a high rise luxury condo a block from the Strip. Many poker players live in Panorama because of its close proximity to popular card rooms such as Bellagio and Aria.

Esfandiari lives there with his father, Bejan, whom he considers his best friend and biggest fan. Bejan brought in a roommate, 46-year-old Svitlana Silva, who became close to the family and was given access to the condo unattended.

She claims to have moved out in March and only stops by Panorama when she’s in town, per the police report. But she was arrested after Antonio received a tip from those who run a local high-stakes poker game.

Suspect leaves a trail of evidence

Esfandiari, who famously won the 2012 $1 million buy-in WSOP Big One for One Drop for $18.3 million, notified police on July 14 that numerous valuable possessions were missing. He claimed someone robbed his condo of approximately $150,000 in cash, $300,000 to $500,000 in casino chips, and $400,000 worth of expensive jewelry.

The poker pro and ESPN commentator is notorious for leaving his front door unlocked when he’s home and giving his friends keys to the condo so they can stop by when they’re in town. So, there were numerous potential suspects. But it wasn’t until this past week when a suspect was brought into custody.

Esfandiari informed police that he received secondhand info that Silva competed in a high-stakes home game in Las Vegas. According to the police report, she initially bought in with $5,000 in cash. After busting, she re-bought for another $20,000, and then again for another $30,000 on top.

She continued losing, Esfandiari was told, and then began rebuying with Bellagio and Aria casino chips, totaling approximately $300,000. Silva allegedly finally won, but asked to be cashed out in money instead of chips. Each time she bought in, she signed her name on a log to verify she was paid up.

The next player who left the game, per the police report, received a mix of casino chips and cash on his way out. But there’s only one problem — the casinos have knowledge of which players possess the $25,000 chips. If someone else attempts to cash them in, they’ll be denied and security will likely be called.

Silva allegedly knew the other player wouldn’t be able to cash in those chips at Bellagio. So, she sent this individual a text asking if she could buy back the chips, the police report states.

Thanks to Esfandiari’s tip, she was identified as a suspect on the basis that she was known to have access to the condo. Silva was arrested in the Aria poker garage with multiple $25,000 casino chips in her possession. She was booked in the Clark County Detention Center and charged with two counts of residential burglary and possession of stolen property valued at over $100,000, before bailing out.