Antonio Esfandiari Reddit AMA Highlights2 years ago
Antonio ‘the Magician’ Esfandiari has been one of the most notable players in poker for the better part of the last decade. The 37-year-old has gained a large worldwide following due to his strong poker play (he has won over US$26 million in live tournament poker), his high flying lifestyle and his past career as a magician (hence his nickname).
He is an intriguing figure to say the least, which may help explain why his AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit earlier this week got a lot of attention. Esfandiari got proceedings underway by starting his thread entitled:
I am Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari, and I’ve won $26 million playing poker. AMA!”
The title led to questions from fans about his poker earnings, including how much of the winnings he had left, which he initially ignored. However, Esfandiari eventually replied to a question asking what his net winnings were by saying:
I’m not sure you’ll have to ask my CPA [Certified Professional Accountant]”
He was more open and forthright with answering the other questions, however, which included the type of car he drove. Turns out he’s a fan of the big cars – A Lincoln Navigator is the Magician’s car of choice.
It also turns out that he takes enjoyment from winding up the ‘poker brat’ Phil Hellmuth, who is well known for his frequent and child-like outbursts and rants at the poker table. Esfandiari wrote:
It’s really fun to pick on Hellmuth because he’s such an easy target.”
A big question on some of the fan’s mind was what Esfandiari’s biggest loss in poker was, whether financially or otherwise. No, it wasn’t a few million dollars, but a promise to give Boogie Nights and Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle a magic show at his house sometime in the future.
Don Cheadle and I played a heads up match where if I lost, I had to do a full blown magic show at his house in a top hat for him and his guests,” Esfandari wrote. “If I won, he had to come over and cook for me and up to 25 of my guests in a chef's apron. Of course I lost, and now I owe him a magic show.”
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