Paul Pierce is a man without an NBA team as a free agent, but as he figures out his next move, he decided to enter this year’s World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. And, after holding his own with some of the biggest names in poker over the event’s first two days, he bowed out Thursday near the end of Day 3.
The NBA star put up a real fight despite a number of tough table draws, and ultimately fell during the final level of play Thursday. On his last hand, Pierce called a three-bet from Christopher Smith in the cutoff. After a flop of As-Jh-3d, Pierce checked and Smith bet 15,000. Pierce called, leading to a turn 6s where he checked-called a bet of 35,000. A river 4s enticed an all-in from Pierce and sent Smith into the tank. After some time, Smith ultimately called and showed A-J for a better two pair than Pierce’s A-4.
Pierce was eliminated in approximately 800th place out of the 6,683 players.
“It’s a great atmosphere that has a lot of cool people,” Pierce said. “This is the world of poker right here in the Rio. This is the whole world coming to one spot for the last two months and you get a chance to enjoy it. I get a chance to be amongst the best.”
His poker game might not be good enough to beat the 6,682 other players for the bracelet and the $10 million top prize, but his selfie game was strong.
Playin in WSOP today wish me luck pic.twitter.com/R08LsUgfhG
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 7, 2014
Day 3 at setback is a setup for a comeback WSOP here I come pic.twitter.com/6BsCdtPMIM
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 10, 2014
Only one member of last year’s main-event final table (Mark Newhouse, who finished ninth last year) and only one former WSOP champion (Huck Seed, 1996) are still alive after Day 3.