Roberto Luongo is a national celebrity in his homeland of Canada, as the native Québécois has risen through the ranks of that nation's hockey hierarchy to become one of the best goaltenders in the world.
As the top netminder for the Vancouver Canucks, a perennial powerhouse during Luongo's tenure that nonetheless has failed to capture the coveted Stanley Cup, his face is instantly recognized north of the border. However, here in the hot and hockey-barren landscape of Las Vegas, Luongo is just another amateur taking his shot in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Despite a roving contingent of Canadian media tracking his every move, and choice table along the rail that has attracted the inevitable crush of Canucks fans, each clad in their team's distinctive blue and white jersey, Luongo has applied his steady approach to Texas Hold'em here today.
Despite playing a full two levels by now, totaling four hours of play in which several players have either doubled up or gone bust, Luongo's stack appears to be untouched, still stacked neatly in the same arrangement as when the tournament started.
Luongo tried the same trick in last year's Main Event, playing an extemely tight style while trying to preserve his chip stack, and this traditional approach served him quite well. He finished in 634th place while wading through a field of 6,598 runners, earning $19,277 for making it past the money bubble.
We will be sure to track Luongo's progress throughout the day for the poker fans up north, as the renowned goalie tries to deflect the best shots from his opponents here at the 2013 Main Event.