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Chess Legend Magnus Carlsen To Play In World Series Of Poker Main Event

World Chess Champion To Enter $10,000 Buy-In Tournament

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Magnus Carlsen, the highest-rated chess player in history, is heading to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

According to a report from Chess24 citing an interview Carlsen gave with a Norwegian news outlet, Carlsen will play in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event. Carlsen is sponsored by the online gambling brand Unibet, and it appears he will sport the logo of the site.

The Main Event, the pinnacle of the poker world, kicks off on July 3.

Carlsen, 31, has no lifetime tournament results at the WSOP, and it’s unclear if he has ever played in a WSOP event, whether on U.S. soil or abroad.

He isn’t new to the game of poker. He has long been a fan of playing poker home games with friends. In April of this year, Carlsen finished in 25th place in a Norwegian poker event for $5,681. That’s his only official tournament score to date.

Carlsen shows no signs of slowing down in his legendary chess career, but he’s currently undecided on whether to defend his FIDE World Chess Championship title, which he has held since 2013. Carlsen most recently thrashed Ian Nepomniachtchi to defend his world title in 2021. Nepomniachtchi is currently running away with the FIDE Candidates Tournament, which determines who will play Carlsen next.

It’s unclear if Carlsen will play “Nepo” again in a grueling heads-up match format, so it’s possible Carlsen might soon be spending more of his time on tournament poker.

Carlsen is so dominant in chess that it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t succeed at poker if he put in the work, assuming he could handle the variance in tournament poker. He won’t be able to win all the time. Super grandmaster level chess does involve some risk-taking with the lines that players choose to embark on, but there’s far less of the proverbial luck factor.

Carlsen won about $1.25 million for defending his world title last year. His prize money in the WSOP Main Event could be much greater. The winner last year captured an $8 million prize.