He’s conquered the game of poker in more ways than one, and he has also succeeded in activities outside of poker.
Now Antanas Guoga, or Tony G as we better know him, will aim to try his hand at politics. The 39-year-old Lithuanian-Australian has announced that he will run for a seat in the European parliament in elections set to be held next year.
Guoga will be running for the Liberal Party, which currently has one member in the parliament, but has made it a top priority to boost that to two seats at the next election. Guoga is second on the party’s list of candidates
The poker superstar said on his blog that his diverse background would be an asset if he was elected to the European parliament.
“I believe that Lithuanian politics needs new people and new blood and I want to be in a position to change policy and I qualify as ‘new blood,’” he wrote. “I have been fortunate enough to be reasonably successful in my life and I have new ideas and hope to inspire others to come into politics too. I think I can bring a lot to the table with my experience in life and business.”
Should he be elected, political debates in Europe’s parliament may reach a whole new level with Guoga involved. The larger than life player is perhaps best known in the poker world for his relentless trash talk at the poker table, which could serve well at the highest level of politics.
G has proven himself to be more than just a talker. He has also gained a reputation as one of the best and most consistent poker players in the game today. He currently has 15 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP and six at the World Poker Tour (WPT), as well as a number of cashes in other major poker events.
He has also been highly active behind the scenes as a primary figure in the poker business world – Guoga owns of a number of major poker websites, including PokerNews and PokerWorks.
However, don’t expect G to mix poker and politics together at the same time. He drew on a recent event where a US politician was caught playing online poker during a high level meeting to say he will strictly stick to business in parliament should he be elected.
“One thing you can count on in my new political world — there will be no online poker played on a phone or laptop during debates on my watch!”
It will be interesting to see how poker will be addressed if Tony G is successful in being elected to the European parliament. Europe is home to a number of areas, such as the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Malta, which serve as headquarters of various major gaming and poker companies.
Many other European nations covered by the European parliament allow live and online gaming in some form. Some of those countries that don’t, like Norway, are currently taking steps that would legalise and regulate some aspects of gaming.
That means having someone with first-hand knowledge and expertise on poker and business, like Tony G, in the European parliament could be a huge asset for the game of poker on that continent.
Time will tell if his election bid is successful.