Olympic Champion Michael Phelps Plays in Weekly $25,000 Poker Game

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterAugust 17, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Visa hosts a press conference with 22 time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps at the London Media Centre on August 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Visa)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Michael Phelps is all in. 

The Olympic swimmer who collects gold medals like Pokemon is gallivanting around the world and playing high stakes poker like an American James Bond with a goofy grin. 

Chipist (h/t SportsGrid) reports on a weekly poker game that involves Michael Phelps and a bankroll as big as your condo. 

Phelps, who is worth about $45 million according to the report, went from dabbling into the fine card game to plunging feet first into high-stakes tables. 

Phelps’ competitive edge has shown up in his personal life as well, as the athlete is apparently quite the poker fan. When he first started playing, Phelps began working with the $1/$2 level tables but now buys in to a weekly $25,000 game.

Ah, so he basically followed the progression of a number of us poker fiends. Only, most of us are stuck at the $1/$2 no limit table with the rest of the dregs of the casino. If only we could win 22 Olympic medals. 

The report continues with more awesome: 

Over the years, Phelps has apparently enjoyed the tutelage of a number of poker mentors including Doyle Brunson.

Um, that's sort of like taking batting practice from Babe Ruth. 

Phelps has sacrificed a great deal of his life to swimming in a pool. When he wasn't doing that, he was training outside the water, so it's great to see him reap a great deal of spoils from his effort. 

He may be a champion, but he sounds like any poker aficionado who can't wait for the monthly game. 

I love to play, it’s fun, it’s exciting. It was more something so that I could have time to myself. I could relax, I could be myself, and I could have fun.  It’s a place where I can be me. I’ve met some of my best friends at a poker table. Some of the kids I’m always with, who I talk to every day.

Poker now joins swimming as things you never do with Michael Phelps around, because you will just end up embarrassing yourself. 

The world continues to belong to Phelps, and we are just leasing space. 

Follow me on Twitter because I'm all in.