In the wee hours of the morning on December 9, 2010, a harmless 5 of spades hit the felt at the 2010 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, ending the heads-up match between Antonio Esfandiari and Andrew Robl and giving Antonio his second WPT title on his 32nd birthday.
With the 2011 version of the event set to kick off next week, we asked the defending champion 5 questions ranging from his favorite WPT moment down to his single favorite possession:
World Poker Tour Blog: What was the very first tournament you ever played and how’d you do?
Antonio Esfandiari: It was a 90 dollar buy-in tournament at Garden City casino in the Bay Area. I won it.
WPTB: Favorite WPT moment, winning your first WPT title or beating out arguably one of the toughest final tables in WPT last year to win your second title?
AE: Thats a tough one… The first one was so life changing and really put me on the map as a notable poker player. Not to mention, the money changed my life. However, with all that said, getting heads-up with one of my good friends and beating him for the title ON my birthday (the final table literally fell on my birthday, Dec. 8th) could arguably be my favorite WPT moment.
WPTB: How would you sum up the WPT tournament experience and what makes it different than other high-stakes poker tournaments?
AE: The WPT changed television poker forever. Playing in WPTs is like a basketball player playing in the All-Stars game. I love it.
WPTB: What is one material possession you own now that you can’t live without?
AE: Honestly, this might sound really strange, but I’d have to say my toilet. The thing does everything you can imagine. It washes … It dries … It plays music… The possibilities are endless.
WPTB: What meal in a Las Vegas based restaurant would you choose as your last?
AE: Probably the Lobster Wontons at TAO. To die for.
Follow Antonio’s quest to defend his title on the WPT Live Updates page starting Tuesday next week. And check out Kimberly Lansing interviewing Antonio last year after his victory below: