The World Series of Poker Main Event always attracts athletes and celebrities alike. From Matt Damon to Emmitt Smith, Ben Affleck to Paul Pierce, we are used to seeing very familiar faces grace the halls of the Rio during this time of the summer.
Today, in the Black Section of the Pavillion Room, there sits a fútbol star that very few Americans would recognize. The player is trying to keep a low profile, wearing a Yankees hat low enough to cover his face and speaking very infrequently, but the Audemar watch on his wrist and the half dozen or so Spanish reporters circling his table aren't helping his cause.
His cover was completely blown when he stood up, towering over the table at six-feet four inches (that's 1.92 meters for all of you across the pond). It was at that point we realized that the giant of a man with the five or six-figure watch on was FC Barcelona and Spain superstar Gerard Piqué.
Piqué is no stranger to the felt, finishing third in a €5,000 side event at EPT Barcelona in September of 2011 and playing in a few side events at the Season 9 EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, and last week Yahoo! reported that Barcelona is set to offer him a contract extension. The 26-year old defender is widely regarded as one of the best centre backs in the world, and his résumé includes a World Cup win, a Premiere League title, four La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, and three consecutive selections (2010-2012) to the UEFA Team of the Year.
Unfortunately for Piqué and his Spanish teammates, they were recently defeated by Brasil in the Confederations Cup Final, but he's off to a great start here. With 96,000 chips he is well above the projected average stack entering into Day 2, and we will certainly keep our eyes on him as he tries to make a deep run and add another trophy to his already overly impressive collection.