A Lot Of NBA Players Love Their Poker

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A Lot Of NBA Players Love Their Poker

 

If the attraction to the game of poker was ever needed to be demonstrated it could be said there’s no bigger platform than sharing which NBA stars love a stint at the table.
While, some former NBA stars, like Paul Pierce haven’t always had the best experiences when stepping into the world of poker. There are a number of legends from the NBA who have taken to the card game of kings as a second passion away from hitting buckets on the court.

Draymond Green is one of the hottest defensive properties in the NBA. The 31-year-old who plays for the Golden State Warriors is known for his steely determination on the court and being a three time three-time NBA Allstar and three-time NBA champion. That determination to win was demonstrated when Green was tutored by 15-time World Series of Poker Bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth. However, in a game at ‘Poker After Dark’ he was shown how it’s done at the poker table by one of the top ranked women in poker, Maria Ho.

 

 

Poker After Dark is a televised week-long show featuring poker stars, sports stars and even the late Jerry Buss, former LA Lakers owner has been featured. The event now takes place at the Aria, which has established itself as one of the best Las Vegas poker rooms alongside the likes of the Wynn and the Bellagio.

Phoenix Suns point guard, Chris Paul, is another big name to have taken on the game with Hellmuth commenting that the now 36-year-old plays the game of poker well. The two-time Olympic gold medal winner with Team USA certainly made his mark and Hellmuth referenced athletes as good at being able to adapt to the game due to their competitive nature. However, Hellmuth also made a bold statement that Russell Westbrook is ‘probably the best (poker) player in the NBA.’

So, what of Westbrook then? The LA Lakers star certainly knows how to make an introduction into another competitive arena. Stepping into ‘Tiger Jam’ a celebrity poker tournament held by the golfing legend, Tiger Woods. Westbrook managed to steal all the headlines by defeating Woods at his own tournament. Much like a trademark buzzer beating three-pointer, Westbrook defeated Woods on the river, the last card dealt to the table.

The player who is currently world’s most recognizable NBA star, Steph Curry, is also a poker fan. The player who some analysts suggest is the greatest shooter in the history of the game, takes to the cards particularly on flights to road games with the Golden State Warriors. On those flights though he does have quite the adversary, Draymond Green, who we’ve already mentioned. Their games on the flights have been referenced many times as the reason why the team bond so well. But Curry has also been spotted taking to the casino tables in Whitefish, Montana too, so perhaps he loves it a little more than just with his teammates.

Arguably the biggest name from the NBA who loves nothing more than getting his hands on the cards is Michael Jordan. The Greatest of All Time has been playing poker since the 90s and often would be known to play against another fellow hall of famer, Charles Barkley. Jordan was said to play every night, and according to Barkley he would try to buy the pot. It was even suggested that Jordan’s love for the game of poker led him to playing until 6am on the morning of an Olympic basketball final with the ‘Dream Team’ at the 1992 games held in Barcelona.

No matter if it’s to relax, build team morale or continue to retain a competitive edge. There’s little doubt that poker will remain a staple amongst the locker rooms of the NBA for years to come.

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