Magician Antonio Esfandiari Plays Professional Poker
People from different professions try their luck in playing poker. Some professional poker players used to be engineers, bankers, doctors, lawyers, or writers before they ventured into poker. This is not unusual anymore. But some of you may be surprised to know that even a magician could eventually venture into poker playing. That is the case with Antonio Esfandiari. Although he was already playing poker when he was still young, he was really a magician by profession until he decided to shift to becoming a professional poker player.
Just by reading his name, you would know that he is not an American. Antonio Esfandiari is actually an Iranian. This may also come as a surprise to you as poker and other forms of gambling are prohibited in his country. Well, perhaps, we should know more about his life to understand how he became a full-fledged professional poker player.
Born in Tehran, Iran on December 8, 1978, the real name of Antonio Esfandiari is Amir Esfandiari. His family relocated from Iran to San Jose, California when he was only nine years old. As a child, he could only say good things about the United States. He was very fond of the country that he never intended to go back to Iran.
The first job of Antonio Esfandiari in the United States was to sell newspaper subscriptions when he was only eleven years old. This job allowed him to earn US$400 every week.
Antonio Esfandiari focused on his studies when he was in high school. It was during his high school days that his classmates started calling him Anthony instead of Amir. He got used to such name and decided to use it until college.
One fateful night during his college years, Antonio Esfandiari had the opportunity to watch a bartender perform a magic trick. This inspired him to learn tricks himself. His determination to master magic tricks led to becoming a full-time magician. It was during this time that he decided to change his name from Anthony to Antonio.
After one year of being a magician, Antonio Esfandiari started to go to casinos. His ability to read his opponents' behaviors and the way he displays his confidence in front of them are his advantage. He has never been afraid to take risks and has always known how to handle losses. These characteristics have allowed him to become successful in the field of poker.
2004 was a great year for this professional poker player. He won approximately US$1,400,000 when he played poker at the Commerce Casino. A few months later, he participated in the Pot-Limit Texas Hold'em event of the World Series of Poker. It was when he earned his first bracelet plus a sum of US$184,860.
This professional poker player also appears in other poker events, including the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament.
Although he does not do magic for a living anymore, this professional poker player still sometimes performs magic tricks in casinos.