Roberto Luongo’s future is a mystery. He appears destined to leave the Vancouver Canucks, a story we talked about here. Where will Luongo play in 2012-13? What twists and turns will life deal Luongo next?
Interestingly enough, Luongo may have a potential career doing something completely unrelated to hockey. The World Series of Poker’s biggest event, the Main Event, is currently taking place in Las Vegas. Luongo, an avid poker fan, decided to enter the 2012 Main Event, battling against a field of 6,598 players. At stake is a grand prize of $8.5 million. After three days of tournament play Luongo finds himself still in the thick of the action.
UPDATE: Luongo exited the tournament in 634th place, taking home a sum of $19,000. Reports indicate that he will donate the money he won to charity.
The tournament entered its third day with Roberto Luongo, and his brother Fabio, still in the hunt. While we let you sit back and chuckle at the fact Luongo has a brother named Fabio, consider how impressive this run is. Few people make it to the third day of a tournament that has a field this large. Add in that Luongo is opposing players that have the luxury of putting in more hours into the sport of poker than he does and you have an impressive story.
Luongo’s success in poker makes a lot of sense. Goaltenders require focus and concentration under stressful situations. There are plenty of jokes to be made here of how Luongo’s poker skills are solid because he folds under pressure. Still, the mental capabilities of an NHL goaltender clearly could translate well in the game of poker.
A total of 666 lucky players will walk home with money from the Main Event. It remains to be seen just how far Luongo or his brother will go in the tournament but so far it’s been a pretty impressive run. If Luongo is able to outlast his competitors and make the final table of the tournament, the current goaltender out of Vancouver could have a sticky situation on his hands. The Main Event plays its final table in October when the NHL season has already resumed. How crazy would it be if Luongo had to leave his team to head out to Vegas to compete for $8.5 million? It certainly would be a fun talking point.
Ironically, the grand prize for finishing first place in this year’s Main Event is $8.5 million. Under his current NHL contract, Luongo is set to make $6,714,000 in 2012-13 alone. The money probably won’t be a big deal to Luongo if he is able to finish near the top but the personal accomplishment of excelling in two very different sports would be something the netminder could proudly hang his hat on.
Luongo’s entry fee of $10,000 was paid by the B.C. Lottery Corp in exchange for Luongo wearing various merchandise representing PlayNow.com and various gambling sites (Source).