Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

Poker2Nite S2 Episode 2

by , Mar 11, 2010 | 9:21 am

Here’s this week’s Poker 2 Nite episode on Versus, featuring interviews with Annie Duke and Olympic snowboarder Hannah Teter.


Poker-playing Olympians to Cheer for

Let the Games Begin

by , Feb 11, 2010 | 11:21 pm

The Winter Olympics get underway today, and we thought PokerStars you might appreciate some heads-up on who out there on the slopes, in the rinks — and hopefully on the medal stand — knows a thing or two about Texas Hold’em.

Beyond Johnny Weir’s loving him some Lady Gaga, the following Olympic athletes on Team USA like to play poker at charity fundraiser events and/or recreational home games while on the road doing the practice-travel-competition grind:

Ben Agosto (Ice Dancing)
on twitter

Evan Lysacek (Figure Skating)
on twitter

JR Celski (Speed Skating)
on twitter

Hannah Teter, the Annette15 of Snowboarding?

Hannah Teter (Snowboarding)
in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue

Nate Holland (Snowboarding)
on twitter

Shaun White isn’t known as much of a poker player, but here’s a picture of him at the poker table.

For more information on these athletes, including photos, videos and the full schedule for the 2010 Olympic Games, visit or

Poker on Ice

Triple-Axeling the Shark?

by , Jan 31, 2010 | 9:18 pm

I swear we’re not going gay(er than usual) here at Pokerati … but that song we told you about a long time ago, Poker Face by Lady Gaga, has now been turned into a male figure skating routine:

In preparation for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics, US figure skating champ Johnny Weir skated to the song about bluffin’ with muffins for an exhibition performance at US Nationals last week. Glad to see that the word about poker/lesbianism is still spreading.

And to prove we’re not homo just because we’re paying attention to figure skating, here’s Rush Limbaugh tarding rockin’ out to Lady Gaga during the talent portion of the 2010 Miss America contest:

(Oh, wait, Miss America, right …)

Re: (Shhh, Don’t Tell Anyone)

by , Nov 11, 2008 | 12:12 pm

A comment from the sports editor regarding commentors complaints about the “spoiler” of the WSOP Main Event winner in the headline:

To our readers:

We regret offending the handful of commenters who believe we should either not be reporting on the outcome of a news event like the World Series of Poker, or should have dumbed-down the headline so as to not give away the outcome on the Sports front page. However, we believe you are in the minority.

The traffic to the site today — in which the coverage of the World Series of Poker has received more page views than any other story in Sports — suggests the majority of readers are interested in knowing the outcome now. We confront a similar issue every two years with the Olympics, in which some users suggest we are ruining their evening by covering the outcome of news as it happens instead of letting them learn who won by watching television’s tape-delayed coverage. In both cases we feel we are serving the greater good with immediate coverage.

In this day and age, in which information is available everywhere and much of it instantaneously, it is almost impossible for a news organization to NOT report news when it knows it — because someone else will. Indeed, USA TODAY is not the only news organization reporting the outcome of the final table. Fox, CBS, Yahoo, every Website that subscribes to the Associated Press, radio, TV… even ESPN itself has coverage of who won. Unless you get your sports news from, and only that site, how were you planning to make it through the day consuming news and information without stumbling upon the final table outcome? If USA TODAY does not tell you who won, we know that most users will just go elsewhere to find out. Not every user wants to wait, and not every user plans to watch it on tape-delayed television.

Similarly, we would be at a competitive disadvantage to tell users in our headline that the event is over without revealing who won. While some users may have entered our site at our homepage or Sports front and discovered the news, almost half of our traffic these days comes from search engines — people who increasingly start at Google or Yahoo and type in search terms. The more specifics we get into our headlines, including the name of the winner, the more likely we can attract the audience that is searching for that news.

It’s not the same as revealing the outcome of a book or a movie. That’s pure entertainment. This is entertainment too, but it’s also news.

As to the issue of whether poker coverage belongs in Sports or not — we can debate all night long whether poker should be considered a sport. We take no position on that. By placing it here, we are merely indicating that people who follow sports, moreso than other sections of USA TODAY, are most likely to be interested in the World Series of Poker.

Olympian Michael Phelps Asks to Meet With Doyle Brunson

Can we talk, legend to legend?

by , Sep 8, 2008 | 4:45 pm

Michael Phelps made history at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by winning a record eight gold medals. And his comments to the press about wanting to play some poker in the future garnered much attention from the poker community, as in offers from the Asian Poker Tour and Betfair regarding the WSOP Europe. Neither offer was accepted.

It seems that the swimming legend does things on his own terms. Phelps recently traveled to Las Vegas with some friends as guests of the Palms, and one of his wishes was to meet Doyle and Todd Brunson and Hoyt Corkins.

Photo courtesy of

According to the most recent post on Doyle’s blog, he received a call and brought his son and Corkins, along with Jennifer Harman and Marco Traniello, to meet Phelps for a dinner at Nine Steakhouse at the Palms. “What a nice kid!” Doyle wrote. “Phelps and some of his friends wanted books so I took Super System 1 and 2 to them and they asked all kinds of poker questions. Michael said all he wanted to do in life, was to eat, swim and play poker.”

Oh yeah… I can already see Phelps with a Doyle’s Room cowboy hat at the WSOP in 2009. Obviously, no deals have been signed at this point and Phelps has not accepted any invitations to play in tournaments thus far, but I can see an NBC National Heads-Up Championship and World Series in the kid’s future. Just a personal prediction…

Another Poker Offer Extended to Olympic Athlete Michael Phelps

by , Sep 4, 2008 | 9:16 am

Maybe one of these days he will accept an offer.

Swimmer Michael Phelps came off an historic Olympics with eight gold medals. And in one of his numerous post-feat interviews, he mentioned that he might like to play in the World Series of Poker. Suddenly, offers were coming from poker tournament organizers like the Asian Poker Tour. Another offer can be added to the list, courtesy of Betfair, the official sponsor of the World Series of Poker Europe.

Even though Betfair worded it with already-overused terms like “human dolphin” and “shark,” the site offered Phelps the chance to play in the WSOPE later this month, even offering to pay the £10,000 buy-in to the main event on his behalf. And then the statement on Betfair ruined it with this: “Phelps will be free to wear his famous LZR swim suit at the table although organizers fear it may not give him the same competitive edge outside of the pool.” No word on any response from Phelps.

(Note to poker tour organizers: Quite possibly, refraining from the use of swimming/poker analogies might get your offer taken more seriously. And it might keep writers like me from making fun of you.)

Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps Might Be Sorry He Mentioned Poker

by , Aug 24, 2008 | 11:10 am

The swimmer who stunned the world by setting a new record with his eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing made a statement in one of his post-amazing-feat interviews. Michael Phelps told the Baltimore Sun, “I think it would be cool to play in the World Series of Poker. My game is a little off right now, so I’ll have to start improving it a little bit. But I think that would be cool, and it would be cool to meet some of those poker guys.”

Oh yeah?

Within days, Poker Shrink reported that Phelps was officially invited to play in the 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Championship. And shortly thereafter, it was the Asian Poker Tour, which is gearing up for its Macau stop scheduled for this week. A representative from the APT wrote an open letter to Phelps, which was posted on 4Flush, with sentences like, “Some have said you are a ‘human dolphin’ but we’re keen to know if history’s greatest swimmer is really a fish. You may have feet that can reach angles others cannot to give you the ultimate swimming technique but just you wait until you’ve got sharks like Vegas poker legend Doyle Brunson chasing you. We’ll see how fast you really are then when they smell blood – get some flippers on those size 14’s!” (Really? Fish and shark references? *Sigh.*)

Most likely, offers from Visa are taking precedence over poker tournaments for Phelps, but it will be interesting to see if he takes anyone up on their offers. My money would be on the NBC Heads-Up Championship, but I imagine the guy just wants to go home and have a beer right about now. If he accepts an offer to play in a poker tournament, it would be absolutely huge for the game…


by , Aug 23, 2008 | 8:46 am

Funny poker cartoon comparing poker to horse jumping at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games


by , Aug 22, 2008 | 11:48 am

Funny poker cartoon by Gabriel Utasi comparing poker to the olympic sport of table tennis

Pokerdoodle: Water Poker

by , Aug 21, 2008 | 12:53 am

Funny poker cartoon by Gabriel Utasi about water polo and poker

Pokerdoodle: HORSE

by , Aug 19, 2008 | 10:40 pm

Funny poker cartoon by Gabriel Utasi about the Beijing Olympics, poker and the pommel horse

November Nine only Dancing with Who Brung Them?

by , | 8:27 am

Earl Burton has an interesting post up wondering why the sponsorship dollars for the WSOP main event final tableists haven’t been rolling in. While he leaves room for the possibility that it’s just a matter of time — I agree, as the kinda deals we’re talking about here don’t take place over a matter of days or even weeks — he also highlights an example that has me simply shaking my head:

A recent blog [sic.] on CardPlayer by a former guest on my “The Tournament Trail” show at Hold ‘Em Radio (, WPT champion Roy Winston, indicated that no one has contacted him regarding his offer of coaching for the Main Event.

Sorry, Roy, but I’m laughing. Because no one has contacted me, either, about my offer to put a Pokerati patch on them in exchange for guaranteed internet coverage! No offense, but whothefugk are you? A WPT champion? Big deal! The final nine — whether by luck or skill or some combination thereof — have outlasted 6,400 players to get to where they are. Have you ever done that? I didn’t think so.* Why would someone want to potentially mess their game up by receiving “coaching” from someone other than Phil Hellmuth (who clearly knows how to win WSOP final tables with any starting chip ratio) or maybe Erik Seidel? If I were one of the Nueve de Noviembre, I gotta say, I’d be feeling pretty good about my poker skills in general … and would be having many talks with the poker friends who helped get me there (The Arizona Posse, Batfaces, et al.) and probably just about any other poker player I ran into between July and November. But hire an outside coach? That would be like an athlete qualifying for the Olympics and hiring someone in the interim who happened to win a similar event in the Pan-Am games.

The story here isn’t on whether or not the final table delay was a right idea for the sake of marketing … it’s about how the remaining WSOP main event players are somehow smart enough not to fall for sales pitches from interlopers trying to get in on their action.


Re: How Many Olympians Have Played in the WSOP?

Michael Phelps seeking seat in the WSOP?

by , Aug 18, 2008 | 12:14 pm

As BJ Nemeth’s earlier entry mentions, there’s been a few Olympians who’ve played at the World Series of Poker. But none of them would top the credentials of Michael Phelps (from the NY Times:)

An avid cards 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.”

Poker Terms Heard at the Olympics

Not counting “Chinese”

by , Aug 13, 2008 | 4:19 am

Race (rowing)
Seat 2 (rowing)
Boat (rowing)

horse (gymnastics)
skill (gymnastics)
floor (gymnastics)

shuttlecock (not a poker term, but should be)

(Funny … while typing this up and watching badminton, a PokerStars commercial just came on.)

USA 1:2 Nigeria

by , | 4:04 am

Soccer is more dramatic/difficult/painful (to watch) than poker. Sigh.