They don’t call him the “Magician” for nothing! Famed poker pro Antonio Esfandiari, who used to be a professional magician, recently did some street magic for a Las Vegas crowd. As you can see in the clip below, he does the classics to perfection by putting a cigarette through a quarter and guessing which card a woman has on her mind.
Another interesting part of the clip is where Esfandiari explains how he got into magic in the first place. “I remember the first time I saw magic I was completely hypnotized by it,” he said. “I was sitting at the counter of this restaurant Left in Albuquerque in the Bay Area, I was a kid, 17 years old. Then the bartender said, ‘What’s your favorite card. He pulled out a deck of cards and I named a card – all of the sudden he pulled out the deck and the only card face-up was the card that I picked.”
After this, Esfandiari set out to learn how to do these tricks himself and bewilder audiences just as had been done to him. He went to a magic shop and the owner helped him get started on the quest to becoming a magician.
Over the years, Esfandiari has created plenty of magic on the poker tables too. He’s the all-time leader in live tournament winnings with $26,219,676. Esfandiari managed to gain some mainstream fame when he took down the 2012 Big One for One Drop, which paid out a record $18,346,673 prize.
He’s continued his success in high rollers by placing fourth in the $111k One Drop ($1,433,438) and fourth in the 2014 PCA $100k Super High Roller ($575,920). It’ll definitely be interesting to see how he does in the 2014 Big One when it comes back at this year’s WSOP after a one-year absence.