Basketball Legend Tony Parker First Player to Qualify for WSOP Main Event3 weeks ago
Former NBA star Tony Parker is the first player to officially qualify for this year’s WSOP Main Event, the basketball legend winning his $10k seat to the November event in a charity tournament.
World Series of Poker director, Gregory Chochon, shared the news via the French language poker magazine, Live Poker, which featured the former San Antonio Spurs player on the front cover of their May edition.
The Belgium-born, French/American point guard retired from playing basketball in 2019 but is still a part-owner of a French team and a fan favourite. Slowing down his on-court activities has given Parker more time to indulge in his love of poker.
Back in January he took part in The PM Group's ‘Texas Hold ‘Em Charity Poker’ event and defeated more than 200 other players to lift the $25,000 top prize, including a seat to the Main Event.
Back from its fallow year of 2020 due to Covid-19, the premier event on the poker calendar is due to run from November 4th to 7th at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
According to Chochon, the future hall of famer can’t wait for the shuffle up and deal.
"He is very excited to play the Main Event for the first time," Chochon said. "Because of his career, he never had the time to participate but he is ready for the challenge. We always promote poker as a sport, so Tony's qualification is great news!"
Parker is far from a newbie to the game who got lucky in a celebrity event. Both he and his wife, Desperate Housewives actor Eva Longoria have long been fans of the game, running their own charity poker events for more than a decade.
Parker even signed up as brand ambassador for French online poker-room, BetClic, which also has Isabelle ‘No Mercy’ Mercier on its roster.
We’ll report back on how Parker gets on in November when the WSOP’s flagship tournament takes centre stage.
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