Poker presence at the 2012 London Olympic Games
While it may not be on the Olympic schedule as a sport (or even as an exhibition event) there is a strong poker presence at the 2012 Olympic Games being held in London. Along with a number of athletes that have caught the poker bug over the past decade, two of the best known poker players in the world happen to be in London for the games, one with a better seat than the Queen of England!
Two professional poker players punched their London tickets to watch their friend, and sometimes poker counterpart, Michael Phelps, as Phil Hellmuth and Jeff Gross both headed to the games to catch the opening ceremony. Hellmuth who is quick to drop his itinerary on the world, and name-drop at every opportunity tweeted the following on Friday:
RT @warrenlush Poker can never be an olympic sport?Tonight @partypoker pro @tonyguoga marches in ceremony w @phil_hellmuth in the stadium
PIC: AMAZING shot by @Jgross5 from Olympic Opening Ceremony tonight!! WOW, great OC tonight! http://moby.to/xfbho2
PIC of @Jgross5 and I w stadium floor behind us. Looks like it is daytime, but it is 11 PM, and sunset at 9 PM… http://moby.to/shyqvf
As Hellmuth’s initial Tweet indicated, Tony G, AKA Antanas Guoga, not only is at the 2012 Olympic games, but Tony G marched in the opening ceremony as the manager of the Lithuanian men’s basketball team! Tony’s role with Lithuanian Basketball first came to light when he pulled out of the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop tournament to travel with the team on their qualifying run for the Olympics, and it was later revealed that Tony had nearly single-handedly sponsored the team after Lithuania fell on hard financial times.
Tony sent out his own tweet about his Olympic experience, saying, “I’ve moved into the Olympic village, marching with Lithuania on the opening ceremony. Go Lithuania!” And sure enough, if you watched the opening ceremonies last night there was Tony G right behind the Lithuanian flag-bearer. Tony later needled Phil with another Tweet asking where the Poker Brat (one of Tony’s favorite targets for derision) was during the opening ceremonies, “where were you on the march @phil_hellmuth ? pic.twitter.com/JYiMtJIV @PartyPoker #olympics”
On the first day of competition Hellmuth is perhaps the best source for Michael Phelps updates if anyone wants to know how the legendary swimmer’s run for Olympic immortality is going before its broadcast on TV. Phelps is an avid poker player himself, and even has a final table appearance during a WSOPC preliminary tournament on his resume –Perhaps if he wins one someday we could get to see what a WSOPC Gold Ring would look like next to two-dozen Olympic medals on a trophy case.
Tags: 2012 Olympic Games, Antanas, Basketball Team, Exhibition Event, Financial Times, Flag Bearer, Jeff Gross, Lithuanian Flag, Michael Phelps, Olympic Experience, Olympic Games, Olympic Opening Ceremony, Olympic Schedule, Olympic Sport, Olympic Village, Opening Ceremonies, phil hellmuth, poker players, Professional Poker, Queen Of England
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