Michael Phelps already has 23 Olympic gold medals.
Now, the most decorated swimmer of all time is hoping to add a gold bracelet to his trophy case.
Phelps was at the Rio Convention Center on Wednesday, joining forces with professional poker players Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Gross and Brian Rast to play in the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in Tag Team No-limit Hold ’em tournament.
“Really, just being able to come out here — especially this event, the Tag Team event — it’s just fun, getting together with a couple of guys and literally just enjoying ourselves,” Phelps said. “It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now I semi have the freedom to.”
Phelps said he started playing poker in high school and added he has played in two previous WSOP tournaments.
Phelps and Gross are longtime friends and former roommates.
“I’m just learning more from what these guys do on a day-to-day basis and trying to just figure different things out,” Phelps said. “It’s always fun. It’s a challenge, but it’s entertaining for me. It’s something I’ve always liked, and my wife (Nicole Johnson) plays as well, so it’s in the family.”
Phelps said he plans to play in more events this summer, including the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold ’em World Championship (Main Event) that starts July 8.
Phelps added that he will donate his WSOP earnings to his charity, the Michael Phelps Foundation.
“If everything goes as planned, I’ll play a couple of events and see what happens,” Phelps said. “Definitely in the future, I’d like to play more and more.”
Contact David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.