Antonio "the Magician" Esfandiari was born 1978 in Iran. At the age of nine he made the move to America with his parents to California.
His nickname 'The Magician' comes from his passion for magic. Or should we say illusions. As a waiter in his early years, he was shown his first illusion and this spawned Antonio's love for magic and he launched his magic career before a high stakes regular.
Soon discovering poker at the ripe age of 19, he ditched his love for magic and used his smarts to study poker. His art for miss - leading people was well suited for the skills he would need to succeed at poker. He is famous for his chip tricks and other sleight of hand acts that he wows his opponents with at the tables. But, he's best known for making other players disappear and then re-appear in his own stack.
Antonio is best known for his tournament earnings and success. Antonio's poker would explode when he launched to the top of the tournament earnings leaderboard with his biggest by anyone in history by taking down the first ever - Big One for One Drop Tournament.
This $1 million buy in event was history in the making and Antonio will forever be known as the first one to win this event. He's also in the Guinness Book of World Records for this prestigious moment. The win netted him $18,346,673!
He would go on to defend his crown in this event in 2013 by placing 4th for another #1 million score.
He also has another $1million plus cash at the 2004 L.A. Poker Classic where he won the No Limit Championship Event.
Antonio has 3WSOP bracelets in total. His first coming way back in 2004 in the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold Em event. And the other in the WSOP Europe 2012 No Limit Hold em.
Add to this a WPT title at the 2010 Five Diamond Classic for another $870,124 cash.
Antonio's lifetime earnings total over $25 million. He has 28 total WSOP cashes and 9 WPT cashes along with w EPT cashes. He's made 9 final tables at the WSOP and 6 on the WPT.
Antonio has become a household name with his appearances on High Stakes Poker. He started out as the shy, tight player who rarely played a hand and once lost his stack with Aces. But in the following seasons, he showed just how talented he was by taking on all players and becoming one of the more successful players in the room.
29th of September 2017
19th of September 2017