Antonio Esfandiari: A Magician Turned Poker Pro

Antonio Esfandiari: A Magician Turned Poker Pro

Poker is a game that doesn’t discriminate. Anybody can put in the necessary work or effort to make something out of poker. We have seen a magician who didn’t know what is two pair in poker become a legendary poker player. His name is Antonio Esfandiari.

Often called “The Magician.” Antonion has established himself and sealed his name among the top poker profiles. He has several tournament wins – including three WSOP Bracelets – and has broken multiple records in the poker space.

What made this player unique among the top poker players in the industry? Today’s casino news will summarize Antonio Esfandiari’s poker journey and achievements.

Antonio Esfandiari: Magic Cards and Poker Chips

Antonio Esfandiari was Born in Tehran, Iran, on December 8th, 1978, as Amir Esfandiari. But, due to the frequent wars, his family moved to San Jose, California. At that time, Amir was nine. He and his younger brother, Pasha, were raised by their father because their mother later moved back to Iran, permanently.

Growing up, Antonio had a keen interest in and passion for casino games of cards. He saw a few card tricks and magics and began honing his card skills to become a magician. After graduating from Del Mar High School, Antonio became a full-fledged magician. His earnings increased from his magic performances. When he clocked nineteen, he changed his name from Amir to Antonio Esfandiari to blend with his American community.

However, as fate and luck would have it, “The Magician” got caught up in the exciting web of poker.

A Magic Transition to Poker

Antonio Esfandiari’s move to poker was smooth and easy due to his experience with card magic performances. His shift from magic to poker resulted from the economic downtrend at the time, as more people no longer wanted to budget for magic shows.

When Antonio picked up poker, it became a second skin. He read so many books on poker to learn more about the game, including how to use tactics like the poker flush, until he started playing like no one else did. Without waiting much time, he went into playing cash games and was crushing it big.

Playing like a pro requires knowledge of poker basics and lots of practice. Get your own knowledge so you can put it into practice. Use our online casino guides!

Tournament Records, Earnings, and Net Worth

Antonio Esfandiari’s first monumental win occurred at the L.A. Poker Classic on February 21, 2004. He won $1,399,135 in the $ 9,900 + 100 No Limit Hold ’em Championship, bagging his first World Poker Tour (WPT) title. That day was memorable in his career. He moved from owning a few thousand dollars to having a million dollars to his name.

About three months later, he won the most coveted WSOP bracelet, his first, on May 10, 2004, at the 35th World Series of Poker. This was in the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold ’em event.

In the years that followed, Antonio had several other tournament wins where he came first, but he also had several losses. His second major win didn’t come until 2010. That year, he won his second WPT title at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Las Vegas, in the $ 10,000 + 30 No Limit Hold ’em Championship Event.

Two years later, Antonio Esfandiari won his second WSOP bracelet in 2012 at the 43rd World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He won over 18 million dollars ($18,346,673) in the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop event. That was history’s biggest live (excluding online) poker tournament win. It is also the second biggest (including online), behind Bryn Kenney’s $20,563,324 win in the 2019 Super High Roller Series.

At the 2012 WSOPE (World Series of Poker Europe), Cannes, Antonio won his third and last WSOP bracelet on September 22, 2012. He won €126,207 in €1,000 + 100 No Limit Texas holdem event. In addition, Antonio led the Hendon Mob All-Time Money List from 2012 to 2014, now 27th, with total live tournament earnings of $27,810,802.

The Poker Hall of Fame inducted him in 2019 as one of the greatest players to ever grace the game.

Antonio Esfandiari and His Life Outside Poker

Apart from poker, Antonio has demonstrated his versatility in other fields. He has been featured in some Hollywood movies like “Entourage (2015),” “Runner Runner (2013),” “The Baytown Outlaws (2012),” and “The Grand (2007),” and in T.V. shows, including “American Dad.”

He also authored a book titled “The Magician’s Secrets for Winning Tournaments on Instinct.” In the book, he gave valuable, professional insights. He touched on positive poker habits, tricks, and strategies for several poker games like Casino Hold em (Hold ‘em), etc. This is one of his contributions to positively impact the poker world, apart from his several philanthropic acts.

A Magical Poker Experience

Antonio has set the pace for other players in the industry with his entertaining style of play and fierce finishes. Now, he is more focused on his family, including his wife, Amal Bounahra, and son. He doesn’t have to prove anything again.

If you would like to follow in his footsteps, you can start by playing online poker real money games at Vegas Aces Casino.

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