Michael Phelps shows he can play poker as well as he can swim
By Bob Garcia
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Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps made his mark in competitive swimming, having won 82 medals in the sport. 23 of his medals are Olympic gold medals, won in a span of four consecutive appearances. The retired Baltimore native holds 39 records, surpassing the mark of 33 set by Mark Spitz in 1972. Phelps has hopped out of the water to sit behind the felt and has proven to also be a success with the cards.
Phelps has three money finishes at tournaments in Vegas this year and has participated in a total of six money tournaments. In 2013, he took part in the $10,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, making it to Day 2 before being eliminated. Prior to his exit in the tournament, he put on a good show, forcing a fold out of Aaron Massey who held a better hand with A-K over the A-Q Phelps was hiding.
While he may not be ready yet to take on the pros, he continues to improve. In February he finished fifth at a minor tournament at the Aria in Vegas, following it up with a third-place finish at the same casino in August. He’s ranked 43,295 in the Global Poker Index, out of more than 400,000 ranked players. If he’s able to convert any of his swimming talents to poker talent, it’s possible that we might see him at a few final tables in the coming years.