World Poker Tour: In the Money


Antonio Esfandiari, a rising star of the World Poker Tour and one of professional poker's best players presents championship strategies for winning Texas Hold'em Cash Games.

This follow–up to WPT: Shuffle Up and Deal from poker professional Antonio Esfandiari with contributions from other stars of the World Poker Tour provides the next level of poker strategies and insights for today's poker players. Cash Games are the most commonly played version of Texas Hold'em; in fact at ...

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Antonio Esfandiari, a rising star of the World Poker Tour and one of professional poker's best players presents championship strategies for winning Texas Hold'em Cash Games.

This follow–up to WPT: Shuffle Up and Deal from poker professional Antonio Esfandiari with contributions from other stars of the World Poker Tour provides the next level of poker strategies and insights for today's poker players. Cash Games are the most commonly played version of Texas Hold'em; in fact at this very moment thousands are playing this non–tournament style of Hold'em in casinos, home games and online. This will be a must have for all poker enthusiasts.

Esfandiari is a regular at the biggest poker game in the world at Las Vegas' Bellagio

The World Poker Tour is the most popular show in the history of the Travel Channel. The series has revolutionized televised poker by offering expert analysis, and varying camera angles and close–ups of the players' hole cards, creating a whole new brand of high–tech, high–stakes, high–anxiety entertainment.

More than one in five Americans is a poker player, and over 70 million decks of cards are sold in the U.S. each year.

Phil Hellmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros has netted more than 155,000 copies since it was published in April 2003, and has recently hit the NY Times Bestseller List four times.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Antonio Esfandiari was only 19 years old when he tagged along with his roommate to play in his first poker tournament. When he won the tourney, he knew that he had found his calling. Since then, "The Magician" has continued to wow the competition and confound the experts. In this follow-up to World Poker Tour: Shuffle Up and Deal, this living gambling legend offers a whole new deck of tips and strategies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060763053
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/14/2006
  • Series: World Poker Tour Series
  • Edition description: BK & DVD
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 935,935
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Once a professional magician, Antonio Esfandiari is now one of the hottest young players of poker. He was the first player under twenty-five to win a first-place prize of over one million dollars.

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Read an Excerpt

World Poker Tour(TM): In the Money

By Antonio Esfandiari

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Antonio Esfandiari
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060763051

Chapter One

My Introduction to Poker

I was nineteen years old sitting in my apartment when I noticed my roommate Scott Stewart running out the door. I asked him where he was going, and he told me he was headed to a poker tournament. What, a poker tournament? "What's a poker tournament?" I asked.

Remember, this was still a few years before the World Poker Tour would bring Texas Hold 'Em into America's living rooms with its revolutionary lipstick-camera coverage. I was soon to be initiated.

I told Scott I wanted to play. He told me before I did that I should read up on the subject. Scott gave me a book to read: Winning Low Limit Hold 'Em, by Lee Jones. I read the book in one day and absorbed everything. I was ready to go. The next time Scott went to play a tournament, I went along. There were 120 players entered. I came in first. That's right. I won the very first tournament that I played. To celebrate, I took my girlfriend, Laura, to Hawaii with the winnings.

I was hooked. As excited as I was with my initial success, I knew poker would be hard work. I totally immersed myself into the game of Texas Hold 'Em. I started by playing the low-limit cash games in the cardrooms of northern California.Sometimes the games would move too slow for someone like me, who wanted to learn fast. I wanted to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could.

So I started supplementing my learning curve. There were not a lot of No Limit Hold 'Em games at casinos in those days, so my good friend Gabe Thaler and I started playing heads-up matches at home. Every chance we got, we would play. Neither of us had a big bankroll, but we would play our hearts out. Even though we were good friends, when we sat across from each other we were each playing to win. I wanted his money and he wanted mine. If you do not want it bad enough, you are never going to learn to play the right way.

Gabe and I must have played over a thousand hours of heads-up Texas Hold 'Em. We started out playing $100 no-limit freeze-outs with $1-$2 blinds. We progressed to $200 freeze-outs and then heads-up no-limit cash games with $2-$5 blinds. That is where I first started leaning how to play no-limit poker. I crushed Gabe in those games. More important, though, is that both of our games had improved tremendously. We were each enjoying greater success in the cardrooms. Today, Gabe is one of the best cash-game players I know.

Looking back at that period in my life, I realize how important those heads-up matches were to my development as a poker player. I was able to experience a lot of hands over a short period of time. The game obviously goes much quicker with 2 players as opposed to 10. Playing so many hands provided me with a real sense of hand values and how difficult it is to hit a flop.

Going head to head against a fierce competitor like Gabe helped me immeasurably. I had to fight for every chip. I had to be at the top of my game all of the time in order to win his chips and protect my own. I learned how to study an opponent. Play over a thousand hours with someone and you will know him inside and out. To this day, Gabe is the last person I ever want to face at the poker table, since he knows me so well. That is a critical point. While I came to know Gabe's game very well, he in turn knew my game just as well. Keep that in mind. It is important to know your opponent, but it is equally important to know how your opponent perceives you.

One other thing I should note. If you are going to play, you have to completely divorce yourself from any emotional attachment you may have to your opponent. Gabe was, and is, a very good friend of mine. Yet whenever we sit across the felt from each other, it is every man for himself. Whether you are playing in your home game or the biggest cash games of Las Vegas, you are sure to know some of your opponents. They can look out for themselves. Your job is to look out for yourself.

People often ask me when I decided to be a professional poker player. When I first started out, I totally immersed myself in the game. I was not even thinking about doing this or not doing this for a living. My focus was just on learning as much as I could about the game and playing as much poker as I could. I was still performing magic and working in restaurants to support myself. Poker was a passion. I was willing to play because I believed in my abilities.

Then, one day, Gabe and I found ourselves sitting at home. We were both feeling down because we had each just broken up with our girlfriends. We started talking about how nice it would be to have a $10,000 bankroll. The more we talked, the more we could see it. We had been playing for a while, but it was at that moment that we both knew we were going to be poker players.

A short while later, Gabe and I went to the home of a good friend of ours named Ryan. Ryan is a decent poker player, but he loved to gamble. He just loves action and is one of the sickest gamblers that I know. My entire net worth at the time was only $1,000. I played Ryan heads-up for the entire $1,000 and beat him. We then played for $2,000, and again I won. So I was up to $4,000. . . .


Excerpted from World Poker Tour(TM): In the Money by Antonio Esfandiari Copyright © 2006 by Antonio Esfandiari. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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