Antonio Esfandiari who is also known on the poker scene as “The Magician” was born back in 1978 before growing up wanting to be a professional magician. He did just that before discovering that he had another talent that involved poker cards rather than just tricks.
This talent was of course poker and it wasn’t long since starting out professionally in 2002 that he was starting to make a name for himself and winning titles. This would all lead to him eventually becoming the highest earning poker tournament player of all time.
After making some scores amounting to just under $100k for his first couple of years, he hit the kind of jackpot that all new fledgling players need to kick start their careers by winning a major title in the World Poker Tour L.A Poker Classic in 2004 for a score of $1.4 million.
That was followed up with a World Series Of Poker bracelet in the same year when he won the $2k PLO event for $184k.
He spent the next few years mainly concentrating on live cash games and even being a regular player on the High Stakes cash games that were aired on television, forging a good friendship with Phil Laak that led to both of them being the comedic aspect of the shows along with their poker skills of course.
Despite making many cashes in tournaments since his big score in 2004, his next big win would not come until 2010 when he took down his second World Poker Tour title in the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Classic for $870,124.
Despite having already achieved so much, his life was about to change in a massive way. He took part in the $1 million buy-in in “The Big One For One Drop” at the 2012 World Series Of Poker and ended up winning it to take home the largest payout ever recorded in $18,346,673. This put him right at the top of the highest earners list. That very same year also saw him claim another WSOP bracelet though for a much smaller payout of $164,656.
I’m pretty excited about playing the ONE drop 1 million dollar buy in. Its for a great cause. http://t.co/zhicb8Ny
— Antonio Esfandiari (@MagicAntonio) June 27, 2012
I want to say thank u to all the fans out there n to everyone for all the support. Its just now starting to hit me…thank u thank u tyty.
— Antonio Esfandiari (@MagicAntonio) July 8, 2012
The One Drop is coming back for the 2014 WSOP, so Esfandiari could defend his title.