Magnus Carlsen, the highest rated chess player in history, travels to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.
According to a report by Chess24, citing an interview Carlsen gave with a Norwegian news agency, Carlsen will play the Main Event with a buy-in of $10,000. Carlsen is sponsored by online gambling brand Unibet and it looks like he’s sporting the site’s logo.
The Main Event, the pinnacle of the poker world, begins on July 3rd.
Carlsen, 31, has no lifetime tournament record WSOPand it’s unclear if he ever acted in one WSOP event, whether on US soil or abroad.
He’s not a newbie to the game of poker. He has long been a fan of playing poker at home with friends. In April of this year, Carlsen finished 25th in a Norwegian poker event and won $5,681. This is his only official tournament result so far.
Carlsen shows no signs of slowing down in his legendary chess career, but he is currently undecided on defending his FIDE World Champion title, which he has held since 2013. Carlsen most recently beat Ian Nepomniachtchi to defend his 2021 world title. Nepomniachtchi is currently running away with that FIDE Candidates Tournament to determine who will play Carlsen next.
It’s unclear if Carlsen will play “Nepo” again in a grueling heads-up match format, so it’s possible Carlsen will be spending more time playing tournament poker soon.
Carlsen is so dominant in chess that it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be successful at poker if he put in the work, provided he could handle the variance of tournament poker. He won’t always be able to win. Super grandmaster level chess involves some risk when it comes to which lines players choose, but the proverbial luck factor is far less.
Carlsen won about $1.25 million last year defending his world title. His prize money in the WSOP Main Event could be much bigger. Last year’s winner received a prize of $8 million.