The nine-time NBA All-Star has been spotted in the Foxwoods poker room in Connecticut, but this is his first appearance at the WSOP.
Pierce, a fiercely competitive player on the court, is passionate about the game of poker and believes there are lessons to be learned on the felt that might help him on the court.
“I think poker has really helped me develop patience and that helps me in everything I do in life,” Pierce told PokerListings.com during a break from the tournament action.
“It helps me on the basketball court, to be more patient and to be more of a thinking player and to be smarter out there,” he continued.
Maintaining a low profile, with sunglasses and a hoodie pulled low over his face, Pierce told us he was thrilled to be playing on poker’s biggest stage.
“I’ve been watching the World Series and I’ve seen how the games roll and how exciting it is and I’m just trying to be a part of that,” he said as he stacked the chips won in the last hand before the break.
Pierce has no illusions about his poker skills, but he is actively working to improve his game.
Seated next to accomplished poker player Dwyte Pilgrim, Pierce used the opportunity to pick up a few useful pieces of strategy.
“I’ve been sitting next to Dwyte Pilgrim today and he’s really impressed me,” said Pierce.
“I’ve been talking to him and getting some knowledge and I’m learning as I go.”
Check out additional photos of Paul Pierce playing poker at the WSOP in our Paul Pierce WSOP Picture Book.