It’s taken a while, but the sports stars have finally turned out for the 2013 World Series of Poker. Both 10-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce and two-time NHL Second All-Star Roberto Luongo have descended upon Las Vegas in hopes of winning a gold bracelet for the athletes.
Pierce is particularly notable because he’s already playing in the Event #61 $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. 172 players began this event and 143 are still alive, including Pierce. In fact, the 6’7″ small forward is more than alive since he’s currently 12th in chips with 195,000. Pierce has never cashed in a WSOP event, but judging from the early going, he’s got a solid chance to do so now.
Just last week, the 2008 NBA Finals MVP found out where he’ll be playing basketball next season. His team of 15 seasons, the Boston Celtics, sent Pierce and teammate Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for three first round draft picks and expiring contracts.
As for Luongo, he’s in Las Vegas for the start of the 2013 WSOP Main Event. The 6’3″ goalie will be hoping to continue his success from last year, when he finished 643rd and cashed for $19,227.
At the moment, most people aren’t concerned about Luongo’s poker play, but rather his NHL future. Once a mainstay in the Vancouver Canucks’ net, he was demoted to the number two goalie in favor of Cory Schneider. However, Schneider was injured towards the end of the regular season and had a shaky playoff performance when he did play.
Vancouver then traded Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for the 9th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. After this shocking turn of events, it’s unclear what the Canucks will do with Luongo, who still has nine years left on his 12-year, $64 million deal.