At the age of 19, he changed his name to Antonio which was adopted from living in a Mexican American community in San Jose, and became a professional magician. While he was performing magic, he was invited to a game of Texas Hold 'em and started to play poker. In 2004, he won close to $1.4 million at the Commerce Casino. He won his first World Series of Poker bracelet a few months later in Pot-Limit Texas Hold 'em.
Esfandiari appeared in the second and third seasons of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. After finishing dead last the previous year, Antonio was able to redeem himself with an impressive 2nd place finish the third season. He was also in the first four seasons of GSN series High Stakes Poker and each season of NBC Poker After Dark.
On April 17, 2008, Esfandiari made the final table at the 2008 PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo finishing in 8th place, winning €168,000 ($266,004).
As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $3,000,000.
World Series of Poker Bracelet
|2004||$2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em||$184,860|
- Shulman, Allyn Jaffrey (Mar. 26, 2004). Antonio Esfandiari Performs Wizardry at Commerce Casino. Cardplayer.
- Anderson, Lessley (April. 04, 2004). All-In SF Weekly.