View Full Version : Tales of Antonio Esfandiari

06-11-2004, 01:26 AM
Stories of Antonio Esfandiari

One thing about Antonio that impressed me right away was that he has monster poker balls.
Nothing can faze that guy during a game. Nothing. He's just absolutely impossible
to intimidate or even disconcert. He KNOWS he's going to beat you and you can't
convince him otherwise.

He was a maniac at first, when he started playing in our 1-2 pot limit home game.
He did part time waiting tables and magic shows. That's how the host, John, met him,
Antonio was doing a magic gig for a corporate event and they started talking
poker. Antonio had just discovered poker and John invited him to the home game.

He was a welcome addition being a cocky maniac and all. Plus, he's a real likeable
guy, and fun to play with.

The first time he came to play he won $2000, taking about $1200 from the host.
The big hand of the night was a huge preflop raising war between John and Antonio.
It went several raises, back and forth. Antonio never paused, never stopped to think,
never studied John's face, he just kept raising and raising and when John was all
in with AK, Antonio flipped up his 22 and rode it to the river for a $1000 pot.

Like I said, big [censored] poker balls.

But there's more.

About a year or two after first playing with Antonio, he invited me to a home game.
The game didn't go long and had dwindled down to three of us. The third player
was no slouch but had slight aggression problems. You could exploit him that way.

He and Antonio had been winning all night. They both had about $800 in front of them.
The flop comes 852 and the raising begins. Raise raise raise raise. Finally,
Antonio makes the last raise putting the other guy all in for about $150 more.
WTF did these guys have, I wondered? The other guy reluctantly calls because the pot is so
big, but he knows he's losing bad because all he has are TWO OVERCARDS without even having
an ace!

Antonio shows his 87o for the best hand, and rides it to the river for a $1600 pot.
(the blinds are 1 and 2).

I couldn't believe what I had seen. The aggressive guy had been right: Antonio
did not have a hand that could stand much heat. But Antonio had been more right:
his hand was the best hand. You had to give him that.

Months later I was playing 2-3-5 at Artichoke Joes. This game was generally populated
by a bunch of spooky pros from the big Lucky Chances game who almost never lost.

Antonio came in and bought in for a grand. He gets some good cards, and runs it up a bit.
My friend Noel and I are in the game, we have played with Antonio back in the day at Johns
home game. We know Antonio is a maniac, that he bluffs too much, that he doesn't yet
fully understand hand values, etc. etc.

He gets into a pot with a pro, one of the best, a guy who is easily one of the toughest
players you'll ever play against. He's on the button and raises Antonio. Antonio raises back a couple
hundred, looking at the K764 board. The pro raises $700 more!

Antonio sits back and actually pauses for once. This in itself was interesting.
He was actually unsure of something. Not that Antonio is never wrong,it's just that
he's never unsure. So he pauses for about 10 or 15 seconds and moves all in for another
1000. And now the pro grimaces, clearly displeased, and begins muttering to himself. He
is really shaken by Antonio's move. I hear snippets of mutterings like "how could he do
that?" and "..didn't think he'd have the balls..." stuff like that. Finally the pro
calls reluctantly, after obviously calculating pot odds and outs, etc. etc.

His straight draw with a pair fails to get there and Antonio shows KQo. Top pair,
queen kicker, all in for 2k+. Noel and I were stunned. Top pair SECOND kicker?
What a maniac!

A while later Antonio racks up his 5K+ win and leaves. Noel and I commiserate about
him. Noel says: "I dont' know what I just saw but whatever it was, it wasn't luck".

All this time I'm thinking Antonio is a reckless maniac who will get burned and suddenly
it dawned on me maybe that wasn't the case. Time and time again I'd seen him make a huge
pot while being only slightly ahead. I certainly was not capable of making those kinds
of moves, and I'm still not.


06-11-2004, 02:05 AM
Nothing can faze that guy during a game. Nothing.

[/ QUOTE ]

Try betting him $5k on whether the next flop will be red or black. See what happens if he loses.

Just a hypothetical situation.


06-11-2004, 06:24 AM
yeah, he's good