Antonio Esfandiari – the master, the magician and the genius. Antonio Esfandiari won the poker tournament Big One for One Drop in 2012, which had the largest buy-in in history. The buy-in was $1 000 000 and the rake went to charity if I remember it correctly. I think it went to an organization that provides pure water to needed. Anyway, it was a huge achievement for him to accomplish and he was awarded with $18 346 673, for his performance, which I think is the largest prize in history.
But Esfandiari has made several other performances, not only within poker. Perhaps you didn’t know that he actually is a professional magician as well. He is also known for his excellent chip tricks. But Esfandiari has of course made great achievements within poker. He has actually won 2 World Poker Tour titles and 3 World Series of Poker bracelets (one of them was the Big One for One Drop tournament). He was after winning the Big One ranked as the poker player with all-time poker tournament winnings until Daniel Negreanu took this title in 2014.
Antonio Esfandiari was born In Teheran in Iran in 1978, but nowadays he lives in San Fransisco, California. He actually moved to California at the age of nine together with his family. His birth name was Amir, but he later changed this to Antonio due to his dreams to become a magician – “Antonio the Magician”. After becoming a magician he was introduced to poker and started playing Texas Hold’em. And what a good thing he did, considering his achievements within the game. He won his first main title in 2004 when he won WPT L.A Poker Classics and just a few months later he won his first WSOP bracelet. His winnings in live tournaments exceeds $26 million….
Antonio has also starred in several TV-shows, amongst other Poker After Dark.
But yet he hasn’t won a title on the European Poker Tour but I’m pretty sure he will soon. He actually tried at PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2016, but was disqualified from Main Event after a prop bet which med him urinate in a bottle. Was it worth it? Well, if you have more than $26 million in winnings I guess it doesn’t matter…
Antonio Esfandiari is one of the best poker players alive according to my personal opinion. It will be interesting to follow his career, because I’m pretty sure he has a lot more to offer. He is still quite young and if you consider his achievements so far, I’ll guess ha has the possibility to double his winnings during his lifetime. It would have been really cool if he was about to play The Big One for One Drop again this year (pretty sure he will) and win it! I’ll guess that would be a performance that is really difficult to accomplish, so if someone can do it, it is Antonino.
Well, here you can see some chip secrets from Esfandiari, but I think the coolest of them all is the card trick in the end. Check it out!