Players are looking for all sorts of income opportunities during the NBA lockout. Ron Artest is shopping his stand-up comedy wares. Deron Williams is taking his talents to Turkey. And Paul Pierce? Well, he's mostly just having fun. But he's still got a shot at making some money from non-basketball sources.
CSNNE reports that Pierce has made the second day at the World Series of Poker main event.
Why is Pierce in the tournament?
Well, it's pretty obvious it's not just a totally fun endeavor, considering the $10,000 buy-in. From CSNNE:
"The prize," Pierce told ESPN when asked why he was taking part in the Texas Hold 'Em tournament in Las Vegas. "Who wouldn't want to try and come and win that?"via Pierce advances in World Series of Poker tourney.
Pierce calls himself an amateur poker player, but he has survived as about half of the more than 2,000 players who entered the tournament have been eliminated. Former WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker is one of the professionals already gone.
Now Pierce has a long way to go to win the title. But even if he places, he's made a great return on his investment. And the key to getting out of the first day is just to avoid the mammoth number of donkeys and wild-eyed kiddos who come in with a dream doing things like re-raising a dead pot. Then again, Pierce could be one of those players. Hopefully, he makes Final Table so we can get an idea of his playing style. He's got a great shot at lasting with where his stack position is.
How many wheelchair jokes do you think he has to sustain? Also, there's also always an inordinate amount of Lakers fans at these events because of the proximity of Vegas to L.A. and the number of pros that come over from the California casinos. Fun times.
As someone who's spent a lot of time in poker rooms over the years, based off what I know of Pierce's personality, I'd probably play him aggressively to try and goad him into a big move. Pierce's penchant for bravado could be used against him if played correctly. I would not let him bully me out of pots. Of course, that depends on stack position.
I also would keep him away from the right elbow of the table. He seems pretty dangerous there.