Eighteen-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps has made his major poker tournament debut in the 2013 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure.
Phelps has played in a number of previous tournaments but the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure is his first event with a buy-in of $10,000.
The most decorated Olympian in history admitted to some pre-tournament nerves.
“I was probably a little bit nervous walking in because I don’t play much live tournaments so it was kind of weird,” Phelps said.
However, those nerves were settled very quickly when he looked down at his first hand.
“The very first hand I had in my first 10K tournament was pocket kings and I’ve hit a boat and had aces so I just keep getting hands,” Phelps said.
Phelps has been involved in the poker community for a number of years and is extremely good friends with professional player Jeff Gross who was victorious in the $ 550 Pot/No Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure.
Gross believes that Phelps is a good player and has the potential to get even better.
“Too be honest I think that Mike is a really good player,” Gross said.
“He is good at tournaments and he hasn’t played much live but has made final tables in the past.
“It wouldn’t shock me if he won this.
“I’m still waiting to get my major win and if he gets one before me it would be bittersweet.”
Phelps said that he was enjoying the table he was playing at but as a number of celebrities find wasn’t getting the most credit for his poker ability.
“When I turned a boat with fours I had a guy call me with ace high,” Phelps laughed.
“I guess it is sort of cool that I am getting that kind of credit now but I’m sure these guys will start picking up on some of my tells.”
Phelps survived the first day of the event and will return with roughly 530 players for the second day of the tournament today.
You can follow all the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure Main Event coverage as well as the progress of Michael Phelps here at Poker.com.
Québécoise Jonathan Roy outlasted a massive field of 1173 players to win the inaugural World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event and the $779,710 first prize.
The tournament was one of the biggest in the history of the World Poker Tour as Canadians flocked to the first WPT event held in the Great White North since 2008.
Fittingly the tournament was decided by a heads-up battle between two Canadians and Roy was quick to pay credit to runner-up Pascal Lefrancois.
“I thought I had an advantage over most of the opponents [at the final table] but Pascal Lefrancois is a very good player so I don’t think I had much of an advantage over him,” Roy said.
“I played pretty well but in the end it was a flip so I got lucky.”
Roy had to overcome a star studded final table with well-known professional poker players Jeff Gross and Gavin Smith both making deep runs in the tournament.
Gross and Smith grew a big crowd and the rail for the final table included Big One for One Drop winner Antonio Esfandiari and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.
“I was really focused today but it was really fun to see all those people like Michael Phelps and a player from the Montreal Canadians and have them watch us play,” Roy said.
The victory was a long-time coming for Roy who experienced severe disappointment after he finished in ninth position in the World Poker Tour Malta Event.
“In Malta I had a good stack going into the final table but I lost with pocket aces against Ace-Jack which I didn’t feel very good about but I got a chance to make up for that here so it’s good,” Roy said.
Roy isn’t finished with the World Poker Tour for this season and is hoping to add another title to his name before the end of the year.
“I’m probably going to go to Prague this weekend. It wasn’t planned but I said to my friend if I win it I will go,” Roy said.
The WPT Prague event begins on December 3.
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