Antonio Esfandiari

Antonio Esfandiari


Antonio Esfandiari was born on December 8, 1978 in Teheran, Iran. His family shifted base to San Jose, California in 1987.

Antonio is known in the poker world as "The Magician" mainly because he was a professional magician before he became a professional card player. It was during one of his magic shows that he got invited to play a game of Texas Hold'em and ever since has been a poker player. He however does not think doing magic with cards got him interested in poker.

Not many people can claim to have won their first tournament but Antonio can. He won the first one he entered which was at the Garden City Club in San Jose, in a $30 buy-in event. His first big break came in 2004 at the Commerce Casino when he won about $1.4 million.

So far he has one World Series of Poker bracelet which he got in Pot-Limit Texas Hold'em. For a very recent entrant Antonio is already making his presence felt. In April 17, 2008 he finished in eighth place in the 2008 Pokerstars.com EPT Grand Final held in Monte Carlo. This got him $266,004 in earnings. The prize money he got for his win in 2004 saw him become the youngest poker player ever to win a million dollars in a tournament. He is also the youngest player to have won a televised World Poker Tour event.

Most players will have a favourite hand Antonio is no different. His favourite is 79 which he calls "The Persian Carpet Ride". Antonio has a way with chips, he is very highly regarded for the chip tricks he does while at the table.

Antonio's official website is MagicAntonio.com. He can be found playing online at Ultimatebet.com but it is not the only site that he plays in. On his official site he gives tips and suggestions to those who write in asking for them. Antonio states on his website that he sees money in three different ways. One type is there to spend lavishly partying with friends, the second he calls justice money which according to him is the money you will spend only after seeing what you get in return for it and the other is poker money which is meant for just poker alone. While he is on a tour of the poker circuit his room mate is Phil Laak.

As a player Antonio is not one to worry about the amount of money he loses, he is not afraid of failure and does not worry about looking bad if he crashes out of a tournament. He believes that one has to play right and then leave it, see what comes.

It is not always just poker for Antonio. He currently co-stars in a TV show titled "I Bet You". Being a young professional poker playing millionaire Antonio has been chosen to be the face of World Poker Tour's Poker Made Millionaire. He currently has total earnings from live tournaments in excess of $3,000,000.

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