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Today in the 3-Bet we find Antonio Esfandiari still wowing crowds with sleight-of-hand on the Las Vegas Strip, Tom Hall getting deep stacked in Macau and Shannon Shorr reflects on an almost-decade in poker.
1) Antonio is In Your Pocket, Blowing Your Mind
It's still cool to call someone "a mack" right? "The Mack?" Macking it?
We never really got that expression right, really. But if ever it fits to call someone that Antonio Esfandiari is definitely in the ballpark with his Strip Magic series.
On to Part 5 now (with one to go) Antonio pretty much just owns people's hearts and minds on the Strip with his up-close magic tricks and red cargo-pant/blazer combo.
He's still so good at these tricks it makes you wonder just how great a magician he was before steering down the poker path. We'd bet on amazing.
Watch his latest below as he drops a four of clubs into a dude's pocket - hands-free and from a distance. WTF.
2) The Neverending Magic of Plaques
Speaking of magic... We've always been and always will be suckers for casino plaques.
Chips are great, sure, as are bundles of cash but there's something about the high-rolling, Bond-style plaque that pretty much captures the magic of gambling for us in every way.
Tom Hall, a regular visitor/gadfly about the big games in Macau got us stoked with this plaque shot from a new game going at StarWorld Casino. Just two of them, even, but gdamn they look good:
3) Shorr: No Feeling Like Deep in Major Tournament
When we first met Shannon Shorr at the 2007 WSOP he was in a back brace after a "jumping off a balcony onto an air mattress" stunt gone awry.
Growing up in poker has turned out pretty well for Shannon Shorr.
He was a pretty soft-spoken, grounded guy back then, as we noted, but still gave off a sense of trying to find himself - both as a person and in poker.
Seven years later - and close to a decade into his poker life - Shorr has literally grown up in the game and the results, as they say, speak for themselves.
Grateful. Thoughtful. Polite. Personable. Shorr has evolved into the exact kind of guy poker can feel very, very good about having helped shape. His game has also stood the test of time, as his spot on the Moneymaker-era Top 9 attests.
Even better, as he says in a new blog post, the game and its opportunities have challenged him to make the most of poker's isolation and grow as a person:
"In my near decade of traveling playing poker professionally I've learned to deal with isolation. I've taught myself to be pretty productive in my downtime.
"Usually it is spent trying to better myself in some way. I feel I'm really coming into my own in terms of self-confidence. As a result I've been able to cultivate some very cool friendships and relationships worldwide.
"I've taken myself out of my comfort zone and jumped into social situations that I previously would have altogether avoided."
As his recent second-place finish at WPT Lucky Hearts also showed him, though, there's still no feeling in life like being deep in a major poker tournament. It's a great post from a guy we respect a lot; check it out here.