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Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 07/11/2011

Paul Pierce still alive at 2011 World Series of Poker main event


Boston Celtics basketball star Paul Pierce checks his cards on the first day of the World Series of Poker main event. (Oskar Garcia - AP)
The old “eat, sleep and breathe” basketball adage still carries some weight for aspiring young athletes and NBA professionals alike.

But perhaps there’s something to be said for developing a few hobbies off the court which might come in handy if you happen to find yourself in — oh, I don’t know — a lockout with no end in sight.

Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce is the latest NBA star to pop up somewhere unexpected. The savvy veteran is competing in the World Series of Poker main event where he advanced to the second day with a very healthy 63,000 chip count.

And Pierce looks the part, too. Sporting a baseball cap, dark sunglasses and hefty headphones, the nine-time All-Star has quietly claimed a foothold in the competition.

In fact, you might not even realize he was at your table — until you saw the massive NBA championship ring he’s claimed to be his good luck charm.

Pierce has already outlasted 2003 champion Chris Moneymaker among nearly 1,000 other players as the field was trimmed from 2,181 to fewer than 1,300 after day one.

So what drew Pierce to the competition? The same thing that has everyone else in Vegas firmly planted at the table, Pierce told Bluff Magazine: the $192 million total prize money up for grabs.

“Solid day. I’ve gotta pick it up if I want to compete. It’s a good first day. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Regardless of who I am in the NBA I’m everybody’s equal at the table. I’m fair game. You’ve got to be able to play”

So, how far can “The Truth” go in the tournament?

By  |  01:37 PM ET, 07/11/2011

 
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