The World Series of Poker main event is underway at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, which will conclude on July 15. The tournament includes a number of Canadian poker players and celebrities, who in addition to competing for the cash, are representing Canada as a notable contender in the poker world.
The 2013 WSOP season proved an exceptionally strong season for Canadian fans of poker. By the end of June, nine WSOP gold bracelets were won by poker champions who hail from Canada, including fan favourite Daniel Negreanu, who won the inaugural WSOP Asia-Pacific in Australia earlier this year.
One of the biggest Canadian celebrities who sat down at the Vegas poker tables was UFC Welterweight Champion and Quebec native, George St. Pierre. The champion, nicknamed “Rush”, was rushed out of the tournament on the first day. GSP is commended for his patience while locked in a fight, but he admits his discipline while playing poker is something he needs to work on.
Roberto Luongo, Canada’s 2010 Olympic Gold Medal winning goalie, is also in Las Vegas, representing the BCLC and Playnow.com. Luongo finished 634th in the 2012 WSOP Las Vegas main event, and hopes to improve his position in this year’s tournament. The 2013 tournament attracted over 79,000 players from around the world, and Luongo is holding his own against some of poker’s most renowned stars.
One poker veteran who commands fear and respect at the tables is Doyle Brunson, who made a career out of playing poker. Brunson sat down at the Brasilia poker table earlier this week alongside Evan Jarvis, a native of Ontario who won a cash tournament earlier this month. Jarvis was in awe of getting to play alongside a poker elite like Brunson, but admits he learned a few skills from the veteran.
“It’s always cool to sit down with someone like that. For players who don’t play a lot, it’s a real treat.”
The tournament continues through the weekend and concludes on July 15. If they play their cards right, Canadians could run on their success this season to compete at the final table.