Posts Tagged ‘Michael Phelps’

Michael Phelps competes in First Major Poker Tournament

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

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.

National Enquirer addresses Michael Phelps’ Poker Passion

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Recently, the National Enquirer posted an article covering Michael Phelps’ new passion – poker. This story isn’t about a diet fad or new celebrity relationship, which seems to be this tabloid’s most common topics; instead, they’re covering the Olympic legend’s deep interest in poker. Apparently this interest has led to Phelps waging high amounts of money during poker games. Here is a peek at what the National Enquirer had to say:

“All Michael thinks about is gam­bling,” said a poker buddy of the star swimmer. “When he’s home in Maryland, Michael plays in a weekly card game where the buy-in is $25,000. Michael has wagered hundreds of thousands of dollars on poker already, and now that he’s retired from competitive swimming, every­one’s worried he’ll be betting mil­lions more.”

As with a lot of tabloids, the sources are hardly reliable and gossip magazines don’t mind printing false claims. So you can take the “poker buddy’s” claims with a grain of salt. But since Phelps is most likely done with competitive swimming, it’s possible that he is putting his full focus on poker. A line in the Enquirer article addressed this with the following:

It’s obvious he is competitive, but by not swimming competitively anymore he will need to have something to focus his energy on. Poker is competitive enough, and he already confessed that he has some friends on the inside. Phelps admitted: “I love to play poker. I’ve been playing for a few years…I’ve met some of my best friends at a poker table.”

He’s used online poker to better his game, beginning with $1/$2 games and eventually working up to $100/$200 No-Limit Texas Hold’em games. Seeing Michael Phelps transition his success from swimming to poker would be exciting and may even create new interest in the game. As for the complete National Enquirer article, here’s the link.

Michael Phelps eyeing Poker after 2012 Olympics

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

The 2012 Summer Olympics may still be raging on in London, but for Michael Phelps, the Olympics are over. He added four more gold medals and two silvers this year, which is a nice cap to what seems like the end of his career. So what’s next for the most decorated Olympic athlete in history?

Well it looks like he’s already planning his next move with poker. He’s dabbled in poker before, and now there are rumors of him preparing to hit the felt again. Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth are just two of the poker players who have been keeping Phelps company, and ever since the 2008 Olympics, it seems like the game has become one of his main hobbies. Since Phelps enjoys poker so much, it’s rumored that he wants to become more serious about playing in the future.

The New York Times revealed the swimmer’s future plans of focusing more on poker with the following:

An avid card player, Phelps said it would be cool to participate in the World Series of Poker. “My game is a little off right now,” he said, “so I’ll have to start improving it a little bit.”

Since he was a little preoccupied with training for the 2012 Summer Olympics this year, he wasn’t able to focus as much energy on playing poker. Not to worry though…there is always next year’s WSOP and with the swimming career being put on the back burner, he can finally focus on poker.

Michael Phelps will surely enjoy his time away from swimming by returning to as normal of a life as possible for the all-time Olympic gold medal record holder (18). He plans to go to NFL football games, have play dates with the likes of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.