Poker news | Jul 01, 2022
Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen Will Play in WSOP Main Event
By RTR Alex
The highest rated chess player in the history of the game, is making his way to Las Vegas to compete in the 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event.
A recent report from Chess24 has cited an interview between Magnus Carlsen and a Norwegian news outlet, which reveals that the World Chess Champion will be competing on the biggest stage of poker. The event will kick off July 3rd, where Carlsen will be coughing up a $10,000 buy-in to be joined by a wealth of familiar faces on the felt.
It's unclear if he has ever played in a WSOP before, so this may seem like a big leap, but he's certainly no stranger to the chips and felt. He's known to be a keen player with friends and family and recently landed his first ever official tournament prize - finishing 25th in a Norwegian poker event for $5,681, during which he held his composure and called this tough all-in shove:
In fact, the 31 year old even has a sponsorship from gambling giant, Unibet. It is believed he will sport their logo while he competes against some of the best poker players in the world.
Carlsen also shows no signs of taking his foot off the gas in the chess world, though he remains undecided on whether to defend his FIDE World Chess Championship title. He has held the title since 2013 and most recently defended it in 2021 against Ian Nepomniachtchi. "Nepo" is currently top of the pack in the FIDE Candidates Tournament - a competition that will decide Carlsen's next opponent.
Perhaps this entry to the WSOP is a sign that Carlsen is shifting his focus from the chess board to the poker table. Given his dominance in the highly competitive world of chess, it's likely Carlsen would find some success in the game of poker if he put his mind to it.
He's also very familiar with winning, so he probably won't take kindly to an early knockout. Although, the $1.25 million prize for defending his world title last year should keep him afloat for a while. Regardless of his experience at poker's highest level, his sights are likely still set on first place and the staggering prize money that comes with it. Last years' Main Event champ, Koray Aldemir, took home a whopping $8 million.
In any case, it'll certainly be interesting to see how deep into the competition Carlsen can go. Maybe he'll make it to the final table, maybe he won't make it past the first round and just maybe he'll walk away with a bracelet..
Carlsen's experience in chess should at least help him in a heads-up situation, as chess champions spend days facing off, game after game, until one person is crowned. Just take a look how intense his last championship match was: