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Antonio Esfandiari Profile

Posted by Bill "zimba" Seibert at 01 February 2011 01:08
Antonio Esfandiari is one of the most popular and charismatic poker pros today. He has won one WSOP bracelet with 13 money WSOP finishes. He won the 2004 WPT L.A. Poker Classic and the 2010 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic with two more final tables and eight money finishes. He has over $4.4 million in total live tournament winnings. Esfandiari has appeared on almost every TV poker show at some point; Poker Superstars, High Stakes Poker, National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Poker After Dark and many other shows. He is a lead featured pro with Victory Poker. Esfandiari was born December 8, 1978 in Tehran, Iran and now calls Las Vegas, Nevada home.
Things you might not know:
  • Born in Iran, Esfandiari moved with his family to San Jose, California when he was 9 years old.
  • Esfandiari changed his name from Amir to Anthony due to childhood teasing and bullying, then to Antonio when he was 19 for professional reasons.
  • Esfandiari was working as a waiter in his teens, when he saw someone perform magic, became fascinated, studied and practiced 12 hours a day often for two years before turning professional.
  • Esfandiari's magic interest waned when the economy slackened and he became interested in poker.
  • Esfandiari, using his magic acumen, became known for elaborate chip tricks at the table.
  • Esfandiari met Phil Laak at a WSOP table where Laak was trying to figure out his poker magic, which irked Esfandiari. They eventually roomed together while destroying the games at the Bay 101 and have became best friends ever since.
  • Esfandiari became the youngest winner at the time of a World Poker Tour Championship.
  • Esfandiari bought a Dodge Viper and an Armani suit with his prize money, moving out to Vegas where he could live out the high life he wanted.
  • Esfandiari is known to be surrounded by his "rocks and ring", his crew of California friends who party and travel with him, enjoying his jet set high living lifestyle.
  • Esfandiari co-starred in the TV show I bet You with buddy Phil Laak which featured all kinds of wacky and crazy prop bets the two made.
  • Esfandiari, as a prop bet, once dressed up as an old man at the WSOP, with full latex facial disguise that fooled his table the entire day.
  • Esfandiari has had roles in Deal, The Grand, Lucky You and the season 7 opener of Entourage.

Antonio "Magic" Esfandiari is a very charismatic poker player with a bright future. He has learned the art of being a showman and talented player and reaped the benefits. Esfandiari credits magic for giving him a leg up in poker because of his ability to gauge human behavior and read players.

Esfandiari video of his early WPT highlights, his coin chip tricks and a fun hand where he calls out Phil Laak's hand:



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