Gerard Pique did his best to remain anonymous Monday at the Rio Convention Center, but his massive chip stack made it kind of difficult to hide.
Decked out in a New York Yankees cap and gold headphones, the star central defender for Barcelona and the World Cup-champion Spanish national soccer team had well over 100,000 chips after four levels of the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold'em World Championship at the World Series of Poker.
Pique tried to maintain a low profile, politely refusing to pose for pictures with Spanish and European soccer fans who recognized the 6-foot-4-inch former Manchester United player. And he rarely spoke at the table, not even to discuss superstar Neymar, who transferred to Barcelona this summer and helped Brazil thrash Pique and Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup final on June 30.
Pique is no slouch at the poker table, either. He finished third in a side event at European Poker Tour Barcelona in September 2011 and also played a handful of events at the Season 9 EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
More importantly, however, there was no sign of his partner, Colombian pop star Shakira, in the Pavilion Room.