For a guy nicknamed The Truth, Paul Pierce is holding his own quite nicely with the bluffs and deception of poker.
The Boston Celtics star cruised through his first session of play at the 2011 World Series of Poker, more than doubling his chip stack from 30,000 to 62,750 and positioning himself nicely for the second session on Monday. The nine-time All-Star is one of a number of celebrities in the field. Others include Jason Alexander and Ray Romano.
This is the first time Pierce is playing in the main event. Though he's been known to frequent the poker room at the Foxwoods Casino in Massachusetts, he's new to major tournaments.
"I think poker has really helped me develop patience and that helps me in everything I do in life," Pierce told PokerListings.com. "It helps me on the basketball court, to be more patient and to be more of a thinking player and to be smarter out there."
Pierce kept a low a profile at the tournament, or as low as a 6-foot-7 former NBA champion can. He had a hoodie pulled up over his headphones and wore a hat that included his number, hometown and team logo. Feldman reports that the Celtics veteran engaged in small talk with some of his tablemates and voluntarily missed some hands to take pictures with fans.
The biggest question that remains is, what's Pierce listening to on those headphones? My guess: an endless loop of Kevin Garnett screaming "anything's possible!"
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