After his recent move from the aging Brooklyn Nets to Washington Wizards, the former Playoff Winner, Pierce is entering the twilight years of his career. Once seen as one of the best players in the NBA, Pierce is a 10-time NBA All Star and he’s the 18th highest scorer in NBA history.
But his talents aren’t restricted to basketball, and as his career in the NBA comes to end, Pierce has his eyes set on an alternative path once he finally says goodbye to his adoring fans. It’s a career that seems to becoming something of a trend with sportsmen and sportswomen nowadays. The sport of poker seems to appeal to athletes because of its competitive edge, adrenaline-inducing moments, the lifestyle of traveling the world and also the monetary benefits if one was to succeed in the sport.
This year, Pierce made his competitive debut at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WSOP is like the Playoff Final in basketball; it’s the grandest of all tournaments and the pinnacle of any professional poker player’s career if they manage to win and secure a WSOP bracelet.
Pierce’s inclusion in this year’s player listings met with a level of interest from the media. A raft of reporters followed his every move in the tournament. But he wasn’t the only sportsman who featured in this year’s event; Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique and ex-Greenbay Packers defensive tackler Richard Seymour also tried their luck at the tables.
All the aforementioned raised the $10,000 buy-in and entered among a reported 8,000+ entries. Pierce, however to the amazement of everyone, made it to the second day of play fending off a hoard of professionals players along the way. Pierce finished in 800th place, which unfortunately was just shy of the prize money places. However, this reinstated the belief that he could prevail in the professional ranks when he retires from the NBA.
Poker appeals to many athletes not just the ones mentioned in this article. Ex-tennis great Boris Becker has played in the WSOP many times, ex-England soccer striker Teddy Sheringham has made his name playing UK poker tournaments and Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg is a very competent card shark winning Poker Frenzy in 2009.
The popularity of poker took an unrivaled turn when the game was remarketed with the inception of the “hole cam”, which reinvented the way poker was broadcasted on TV. The advent of online poker back in 1996 through InterCasino brought poker to the world’s living rooms. Iconic poker greats such as Doyle Brunson, Dan Harrington and Phil Ivey became household names for due to their humungous prize hauls. And illustrious poker events such as the WSOP made the sport what it is today; one of the most lucrative and grandeur sporting landscapes, professional sports has to offer. So, why wouldn’t Pierce want to transition into poker after his NBA career is over?
It’s unclear when Pierce’s Wizards contract ends, but he can now take solace in the fact that he has a bright future in the world of poker.by