Born on December 8, 1978, in Tehran, Iran, Antonio Esfandiari started his life as Amir Esfandiari. His family moved to California when he was 9, where he had his name changed to Anthony because of the teasing he received at school. After turning 19, he changed his name again, this time to Antonio.
Antonio is one of the world’s best young poker players. He left college to become a professional magician, and that is where he comes by his nickname, “The Magician.” Antonio got into poker after he was invited to a game after one of his magic shows.
He won the first poker tournament he played in, a $30 buy-in event. He won the main event at the L.A. Poker Classic in 2004, winning the first prize of $1.4 million, becoming the youngest poker player to win a million dollar prize. Antonio also won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2004, winning a $2,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em event. Esfandiari is also the youngest player to ever win a World Poker Tour title. “The Magician” has made five WPT final tables and is one of the most feared names in tournament poker.
Antonio the Business Man
Antonio is the spokesperson for Fun Energy Foods Inc.’s new “poker food” kickbutt amped energy ball z, a food that Antonio says really does help restore energy while playing long hours at the poker table. Esfandiari is also the author of “World Poker Tour: In the Money,” a book not about the WPT or tournament play, but about cash games.
Antonio the Family Man
Antonio likes to have fun, but he also knows what is important. He loves to spend time with his family and has said “I can’t wait to have a wife and kids.” He also wants to open a restaurant someday. In fact, he nearly went to culinary school, but focused on poker instead.
Antonio and UltimateBet
Antonio formally endorsed the online poker sites UltimateBet and Victory Poker. He was the youngest member of Team UB. Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari is quite simply, a poker sensation. He is fortunate to have endorsed poker sites along the sides of many other famous poker players such as Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke.