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The Magician Joins WPT Elite
Los Angeles, California -- World Poker Tour® (WPT) today announced that professional poker player and WPT Champion Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari will join the company as the face of the WPT Poker-Made Millionaire™, an elite group of 84 players and growing who have won at least $1 million playing on the World Poker Tour. At the age of 25 years old, Esfandiari was the sixth player to achieve WPT Poker-Made Millionaire™ status, winning $1.4 million in the Season II Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC)—a feat that also made him the youngest million dollar prize winner in poker history at the time. Two days after his win at the LAPC, Esfandiari again made history with back-to-back final table appearances, placing sixth at the WPT Celebrity Invitational.

In addition to his skill and charisma at the tables, Esfandiari's incredible journey to becoming a poker-made millionaire and living the poker dream made him the perfect figure to represent the WPT Poker-Made Millionaire lifestyle. In this role, Esfandiari will leverage his experience to provide poker tips, tools and tricks for fans and players while delivering updates and information from tournament stops via WPT Live Updates, web videos and online blogs. Esfandiari will also be the spokesperson for CLUBWPT, WPT's subscription poker platform for the US, and www.worldpokertour.com, WPT's real-money online gaming offering for the international market. He will also represent WPT in tournaments and events across the world, including the upcoming WPT tournament at Casino Barcelona in May, which is the first of many regional events WPT will implement in various markets worldwide.

"Antonio embodies the excitement that has become the WPT journey," said WPT Founder, President and CEO, Steve Lipscomb. "This is the only sport in the history of televised sports that allows you to watch it, dream it and be it. Now WPT fans and poker enthusiasts can take the journey with Antonio as he leads the way for the next WPT Poker-Made Millionaire."

Esfandiari's poker story began at 19 years old, when he began a career as a professional magician while waiting tables in his hometown of San Jose, Calif. Along the way, he found himself performing in local casinos and poker events—including the press conference that launched WPT—where he discovered a passion for poker and learned the game with the help of friend and experienced poker pro, Phil Laak. After a few major cashes and a third place win at a WPT event to bolster his confidence and his bankroll, Esfandiari entered the LAPC, which is consistently one of the biggest WPT events every season—and beat hundreds of players to win his first WPT title and more than $1.4 million.

"I will never forget the day Steve Lipscomb hired me to perform magic at the press release party for the WPT," said Esfandiari. "All I dreamt of that day was winning a WPT event someday. To have actually won a few years later and to now become the official spokesperson for a company that did so much for poker and me personally is an honor I hold very dear to me. It's great to be a part of the WPT, who has been such an instrumental part of my poker journey."

Bringing Esfandiari's poker story full circle, the partnership kicks off at the LAPC at Commerce Casino, where he truly began living the dream.


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