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Antonio Esfandiari Not Chasing A Poker 'High'

Poker Professional Appeared on Howard Stern Last Week

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Last week, poker pro Antonio Esfandiari appeared on the Howard Stern Show. He was hit with a lot of questions about the game of poker and the lifestyle of a professional.

Stern and his co-host, Robin Quivers, tried to figure out what percentage Esfandiari had of himself in the $1 million buy-in World Series of Poker event this summer, but Esfandiari was tight-lipped about it as always. He maintains that he “did alright.”

“What’s the big secret?” Stern lamented.

“It’s just personal,” replied Esfandiari, who, on paper, is the most successful tournament player of all time. He has $23 million in lifetime earnings.

The 33-year-old was also asked about the sex life of a high-stakes card player living in Las Vegas, Nevada. With pressing from Stern, Esfandiari talked about sleeping with married women and “celebrities.”

“We’ve all done it, we’re not proud of it,” Stern responded to the married-women part.

After his record $18.3 million win this summer, Esfandiari said that the tournament was “better than sex.” Also known for his partying, the win was sort of affirmation on Esfandiari turning his life around, his long-time friend Brian Rast said in July.

Asked about why he plays, Esfandiari said poker is a business and that he’s not chasing what Stern called a “high.” He told the show’s hosts that he could stop playing if he wanted to. At one point, Stern asked directly: “Do you think you have a gambling problem?”

During the end of the interview, when Stern fielded listener phone calls, Esfandiari was confronted by a caller who said the poker pro is “considered a little bit of a dick at times.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Esfandiari replied.

As for his personal finances, Esfandiari said that he’s never had a losing year over the past decade. He earlier admitted that a lot of players in the game are “struggling.”

Esfandiari told Card Player the night before the Stern interview that he was looking to cast poker in a positive light, helping the game “get out of the shadows” after it suffered a dramatic blow with Black Friday last year.

Listen to the audio below:

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus