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is one of the 'young guns' of the game. He's definitely young and already a million-dollar winner. He used to be a magician. Now, he just plays
like one on the green felt.
If you havenít seen the "Magician" in action yet, what are you waiting for? He combines a great intuitive sense
with solid poker skills. Recently, I had a chance to talk with Antonio about his love of the game.
DG: So, Antonio, How long have you been playing poker professionally?
AE: Iíve only been playing for about 3-4 years.
DG: What prompted you to take this on as a career?
AE: I decided to turn pro when I started making more money playing poker than doing magic. I just decided to go out and do this.
I guess I saw the Ďtruthí at the Poker table, sort of like in the ďMatrix.Ē For me the truth was Poker.
DG: Whatís been your greatest poker moment?
AE: Last hand of the final event at the
LA Poker Classic.
I had two aces and then he (Vinny Vinh, second place finisher) moved all in on me. That was a great moment.
DG: You used to be a magician. Iím curious - how did you make the leap from magic to poker?
AE: Both involve cards. Iíve never used magic to win at Poker. In both careers, you have to interact with people. As a magician, I learned how
to gauge human behavior. That helps a lot when youíre trying to read other players.
DG: Youíve already accomplished a great deal and are considered one of the superstars of poker. What else would you like to accomplish?
AE: I am pretty happy with my poker success so far. I just want to play my best this next year. After I won the last tournament, I got a little lazy.
I want to play my best game. Win or lose, as long as I play my best game, Iím happy.
DG: What advice do you have for aspiring poker pros out there?
AE: Give up gambling. I consider poker a game of skill. Itís hard to break through and win. If you make it, you can really do well and have a great time.
But 90% of people wonít make it big in Poker. Then, itís not quite so fun.
DG: Do you think that math skills or intuitive knowledge will take you farther in the game?
AE: Intuitive skills. Being able to read a situation is vital.
DG: As a member of UltimateBet.com Iíve noticed that you are now a member of the Ďpro teamí. Do you prefer internet to face-to-face poker?
AE: I prefer live poker. I like playing in the club. I think Iím a much better player when I can see my opponent.
DG: That leads me to my next question. Poker, specifically Texas Hold ĎEm, has gained exponentially in popularity in large part due to the internet
and television exposure. Do you feel that this popularity is good for the game or not?
AE: I think itís great for the game. So many people are playing. No Limit (Texas Hold ĎEm) was a dying game and the exposure has brought new life to it.
DG: Is there anything else youíd like my readers to know about you that we havenít covered here?
AE: I like to just live and enjoy life. I donít let things bother me. If something bad happens, people should learn to let it go. You should live
every day and let it happen. Life is short.
Donít forget to check out Antonio on the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel. Heís bound to make more final tables.
Also by Deanna Couras Goodson For the Love of Omaha