Michael Phelps Swimming With Sharks At The WSOP

Posted on May 31, 2017

[toc]The 2017 World Series of Poker kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada today with the traditional $500 Casino Employees’ Event. This is also the start of the all-new $10,000 Tag Team tournament.

Record-breaking US Olympian Michael Phelps is part of a team of professional poker players in the Tag Team event. Last year the lower buy-in version of this event saw 863 teams of two to four players compete for a prize pool of $776,700.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in the history of the games, boasts a level of poker prowess as well as 23 Olympic gold medals.

He has played several high-stakes poker tournaments, including the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – ironically, though, his most recent cash came from the Aria casino’s $125 nightly tournament. World-famous athlete Phelps finished in fifth place for a little over $500.

About the Tag Team tournament

The WSOP’s Tag Team tournament debuted last year with a $1,000 buy-in, and returns this year.

However, the format proved so popular that the $10,000 edition was born as well. Last year’s $1,000 event attracted 863 teams for a total of over 2,000 players.

The tournament has the following rules:

  • Players must register together
  • Each player in the team must play at least one round of blinds before the end of registration
  • Players may be tagged in any time they are not in an active hand
  • There are no breaks
  • Payouts are calculated based on teams and will be distributed equally among teammates

Last year, Doug Polk and Ryan Fee won the $1,000 buy-in event. This year the field is likely to be extremely competitive, with Phelps joining Antonio Esfandiari’s team.

Other WSOP events

This year’s WSOP schedule is packed to the brim with 74 events.

Most of the schedule is unchanged from last year, when 107,833 entrants made it the largest series in the history of poker. The main change is that the November Nine final table structure has been scrapped, with the champion being crowned in July.

Some events to look forward to include:

  • The GIANT: a $365 no-limit hold’em event that will aim to usurp the record-breaking Colossus event as the largest-ever tournament
  • The MARATHON: a five-day tournament with a slow structure
  • The High Roller Online Event: a $3,333 online poker event at WSOP.com
  • The Big Bet Mix: this $2,500 tournament is a mixed game with no fixed limit games, instead rotating through hold’em, Omaha, no-limit 2-7, no-limitimit draw, Big O, PLO8 and pot-limit 2-7 triple draw

The World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event begins on July 8. Last year, Qui Nguyen defeated a field of 6,737 players to win over $8 million.

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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