Money does not come easy to anyone. While some have to work hard to earn it, some professions require one to challenge their mental skills to earn money. Well, in poker one needs both. Strong mental skills topped with lots of hard work. Even then, winning is not guaranteed. But with time, learning and perseverance, money begins to flow in. As we wrap up this year and have a look at the top 10 players by their net worth, let’s take a look into a poker player’s net worth who’s created quite the stir in the poker universe.
In this article, we will talk about Antonio Esfandiari net worth. Yes, the same face that once endorsed UltimatePoker.com. Let’s look at what Esfandiari’s journey looks like.
Antonio Esfandiari was born on 8th December 1978 as Amir Esfandiary in Tehran, Iran. His family moved to San Jose, California when he was just nine years old. He attended Del Mar High School, and graduated from there in 1997. Post that, he was caught by the police for selling marijuana and had to briefly go to jail for that.
He aspired to be a magician and subsequently changed his name to Antonio at the age of 19. He stated that Antonio the magician sounded more mystical than Amir, the magician as the reason for his name change. Around the same time, he got his nose job done so that he could look less foreign.
He fulfilled his dream and became a professional magician. Once when he was performing magic, he was invited to a game of Texas Hold’em. He started playing the game and has not stopped ever since.
Esfandiari won his first World Poker Tour (WPT) title at the L.A. Poker Classic for close to $1.4 Million in 2004. He appeared in the second and third seasons of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, where he finished third. He came back again the next year and redeemed himself by finishing second in the third season.
He was seen in every season of GSN series High Stakes Poker and in NBC’s Poker After Dark. In April 2008, Esfandiari final tabled the 2008 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo and finished in the eighth place, pocketing €1,68,000.
He won his second WPT title in 2010, after shipping the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World for more than $8,70,000. He won the largest buy-in tournament in history, the Big One for One Drop event in July 2012. After beating around 47 players in the $10,00,000 buy-in live event, he bagged $1,83,46,673, the biggest cash prize in poker history.
Esfandiari has three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets to his name. In 2009, the Iranian player made his deepest-ever finish in the WSOP Main Event. He finished 24th in the event and took home $3,52,832 for his efforts.
He won his first-ever WSOP bracelet in the same year as his first WPT title in 2004. He shipped the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event for $1,84,860 to clinch his first WSOP bracelet. His second bracelet came in 2012 at the $10,00,000 Big One for One Drop No Limit Hold’em event.
He brought home his third bracelet in the same year at WSOPE 2012. He beat Remi Bollengier heads-up in the €1,100 No Limit Hold’em event to earn €1,26,207. In the following edition of WSOP, he finished fourth in the One Drop High Roller tournament and earned $14,33,438.
The magician-turned-pro co-starred in TV shows like I Bet You, on MOJO HD, with Phil Laak. He also featured in American TV series Entourage’s season 7. In 2012 Esfandiari also did the role of an undercover officer in Freelancers, a movie starring Robert De Niro and Curtis Jackson aka ‘50 Cent.’
He performed street magic in the Las Vegas strip and exclusive interviews as a part of a web reality series with Ultimate Poker: Strip Magic in 2014. This show debuted on YouTube in March 2014.
In September the same year, Esfandiari joined hands with fellow poker professional Phil Laak for a show called ‘Underground Poker’ that aired on the Discovery Channel. This show was a part of a three-part mini-series named, ‘All In, All Night’.
On 10th January 2016, he was disqualified from the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,300 Main Event. The reason for his disqualification was because he apparently urinated in a bottle due to a prop bet with Bill Perkins.
As per Hendon Mob, Esfandiari had his last live cash in 2019, wherein he finished 82nd in the $ 10,000 No Limit Hold’em WSOP Main Event. He has $2,78,10,802 in live tournament earnings so far. His best live cash has been $1,83,46,673, which he won from the $10,00,000 The Big One for One Drop at WSOP 2012.
Despite not having any reported live cashes since July 2019, Antonio Esfandiari net worth stands at $25 Million.
*Figures taken from Hendon Mob.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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