Antonio Esfandiari: the Magician's Touch
One of the youngest poker pros of today is Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari. He was born in Tehran, Iran in 1978. His family migrated to the United States when he was nine and they settled in San Jose, California.
Due to the relentless teasing he got from his classmates, he changed his name from Amir to Antonio. It was after high school that Antonio got his fascination on magic. It was a simple card trick that the magician asked Antonio to participate in; picked a card and the magician picked the exact card from the deck. It caught Antonio's interest so he bought a deck of cards from a magic store and started practicing his own card tricks.
Antonio practiced and worked out on his skills on various magic tricks. When he was 19, he worked as a part-time waiter at a restaurant while attending college. It was the same time he was becoming a brilliant magician and in order to entertain his customers he would do some magic tricks. He was able to convince his boss to allow him to work his magic tricks in order to entertain all the restaurant customers. He decided to quit college and opted to work as a full-time magician with gigs at events and parties.
It was a roommate who introduced him to the game. He tagged along with his friend, however, Antonio never played poker in his life and it was his first time in a casino as well. He lost quickly but it did not deter the fascination he had for the game. When he got home, he started reading and researching about poker.
Wanting to get his hands on poker once again, Antonio saved enough bankroll and brought it to Las Vegas. He lost all the $ 20,000 he saved at some of the events in the world series Of Poker and other money games. He came back to California with an empty pocket but still determined to work his poker skills and his bankroll once again. Eventually, Antonio was able to hit the World Poker Tour with his newfound poker prowess.
Antonio Esfandiari's pro poker accomplishments include: 3rd place at the Gold Rush event of the 2002 World Poker Tour with payout of $ 44,000; made it to 2 final tables of the 2004 World Poker Tour with almost $ 1.4 million in prize; 6th place at the 2004 World Poker Tour Invitational.
Antonio's other achievements in the pro poker circuit are: a World Series of Poker bracelet at the $ 2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event in 2004; 5th place at the $ 2,000 No-limit Hold'em event of the 2003 World Series Of Poker; 5th place at the No-limit Hold'em event of the 2005 World Series of Poker.
As of today, Antonio Esfandiari has won over $ 2.3 million in the pro poker tourneys. He is also 13th on the World Poker Tour money list. He is an aggressive and daring poker pro, and he has the ability to read his opponents' mind. He has the tendency to go for an all-in when he senses some weakness from his opponents. Antonio's closest friend is Phil "The Unabomber" Laak. They used to be roomies when they participated out of town tourneys. Currently, Antonio resides in San Francisco, California and he's still an active tournament participant.