Antonio Esfandiari is a man who battled the odds and came out a winner

Antonio Esfandiari, originally of Iranian descent, is an American poker pro who is most famous for claiming three bracelets in the WSOP and another two bracelets from WPT. He is also known for bagging the biggest amount in the history of poker, winning north of $18 million at the 2012 WSOP event The Big One for One Drop. During the event, which was held in the summer of that year and had a $1 million buy-in, he defeated 48 other rich businessmen and professional players. The tournament was for the benefit of the One Drop Foundation founded by Canadian businessman Guy Laliberte, who also joined the tournament and secured the fifth spot. Antonio Esfandiari earned a record-breaking amount of $18,346,673, earning him a spot in poker history.

Born in 1978 at Iran's capital city of Tehran, Amir Esfandiari's family moved to California when he was just nine years old. At the age of 19, he took the name Antonio. Poker players and fans alike usually call him "The Magician," a nickname he earned because of his expertise with magic tricks. The truth is he used to be a professional magician before becoming a poker pro. He is known for performing magic tricks during tournaments. His got his first WSOP title in 2004 in a Pot-Limit Hold'Em event for which he won $184,860. Even though he consistently made money finished in the WSOP events, his biggest breakthrough didn't come until 2012. It was a big year for him, cashing in in 6 WSOP events and winning the biggest pot money in poker's history.

Aside from WSOP, he also has a stellar record in WPT. In 2004 and 2010, he came out the champion pf the tournament. He too made it to the final table on five instances and he also has nine money finishes. The first time he made it to the finals was in 2002. He placed third at the main event of the 3rd Annual 49'er Gold Rush Bonanza. In 2004, he got his first WSP title at the LA Poker Classic, making him $1.4 million richer. His second bracelet came 6 years later at the championship of the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic where he took home $870,000.

In 2008, Esfandiari made his one and only EPT money finish when he made it to the final table at the EPT Grand Final Main Event held in Monte Carlo. He finished at the 8th spot and won €168,000. On top of these achievements, Antonio Esfandiari has other major finishes, too. In 2012, he launched an app named The Magician's Secrets for Winning Tournaments.