Michael Phelps has recently retired from Olympic sports, having earned the most medals of any Olympian. He is the most celebrated Olympic athlete with a world-record of 18 gold medals to his name. So, what is next for the world’s best swimmer? Recent reports hint that he may turn to a life of playing professional poker.
There is substantial proof that Phelps may be considering poker as his next career pursuit. He was recently seen taking poker lessons from Doyle Brunson and is actually roommates with poker pro Jeff Gross. Currently, this is just speculation, but facts about his poker-playing habits have recently surfaced, which serve as further proof.
According to Chipist (http://www.chipist.com/2012/08/16/michael-phelps-goes-for-gold/), Phelps started his casual poker career playing $1/$2 games online. Even for a beginner, this is highly ambitious. Stakes for online poker games start at $.01/$0.02; so, Phelps started out in a very competitive market. Now, he buys into a $25 000 cash game once a week, which leads to the assumption that he could make this into a viable career.
Phelps is worth over $45 million in endorsement deals, a number which could triple over the course of the next few years. With time on his hands and millions to spend, what is stopping Phelps from pursuing a career in the lucrative market of professional poker?
He certainly won’t be the first athlete to venture into the world of poker. Rafael Nadal recently signed on to Team PokerStars while Roberto Luongo is sponsored by the British Columbia Lottery Commission. People from all walks of life pursue professional poker, including actors like Matt Damon, who has played in the World Series of Poker. So, Phelps would be in good company if he decided to take on poker as a professional pursuit.