Michael Phelps Makes His World Series of Poker Debut
The 18-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner Sits Down For Some Poker
Michael Phelps, the 18-time Olympic gold medal swimmer, has decided to trade in his time in the lap pool for time on the felt, testing his second calling as a poker player at his first World Series of Poker festival.
Phelps, who retired after the 2012 summer games in London at the age of 27, is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time with 22 medals.
Since Phelps’ retirement he has been seen playing cards in London and Las Vegas, where TMZ reported that he earned $100,000 in a high-stakes cash game. He later denied the report. Phelps has had some cashes on the tournament circuit, however, making a final table at the 2008 Caesars Palace Classic.
On Wednesday, Phelps sat down in event no. 2, a $5,000 no-limit hold’em tournament, though he wasn’t planning on playing this early in the series.
“It’s kind of weird,” Phelps told Card Player. "I wasn’t even going to play today. I just wanted to come over and see everything and somehow these guys talked me into playing. Antonio [Esfandiari] and JG (Jeff Gross) told me we should just throw in a buy-in and see what happens at your first World Series event.”
Phelps is excited to see how his summer series goes and is even hoping to outperform some of his more seasoned poker friends.
“I’ve never been out here [before] and all these guys always seem like they’re having so much fun when they play,” he added. "If I ever win a bracelet before [they] do, they’re going to be really pissed. So we’ll see what happens.”
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