Olympic great Michael Phelps continues his flirtation with the poker world after competing in the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. This was actually Phelps’ first “major” live tournament and he admitted to being nervous about the experience.
However, the nerves quickly subsided and he got some big hands early on to remain in contention. Phelps would go on to survive the first day and make a strong run in the second day as well. Unfortunately, he was eliminated on the final level of Day 2 by Eddy Sabat.
The hand began with Sabat leading out with 4,800 chips, which Michael called. With the rest of the table having folded, the flop was dealt Ks-Qd-5d. Sabat bet another 6,200 and Phelps called before the dealer dealt a 6c turn card. Eddy checked here while the 18-time Olympic gold medalist bet out 8,000 chips; Sabat called and a Jc river card was dealt afterward.
This prompted Sabat to go all-in while Phelps called him and flipped over 6s-6h for a set. However, Sabat had him beat after completing a broadway straight on the river.
With Michael Phelps now eliminated, so too goes the biggest celebrity at the 2013 PCA Main Event. But with a solid performance in his first big poker tournament, it’s likely that we’ll see the best swimmer in history at other major events.
As for his entire poker career, Phelps spent a lot of time playing cash games in Las Vegas following the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. He became friends with poker greats like Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth during this time while improving his live skills. Eventually, Phelps final tabled a 2008 Caesars Palace Classic side event and earned $5,213 for the finish. Now that he’s retired from swimming, we should see a few more strong tournament finishes from him.