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PokerListings.com is following Vancouver Canuck Roberto Luongo at the World Series of Poker and we're releasing a new update every day. We'll follow Luongo as he tries to outdo the deep run he made in 2012. In today's update Luongo talks about how he first got into poker and how the excitement of the World Series stacks up against events like the Olympics and the Stanley Cup finals.
Male: We're back with another update on Vancouver Canuck Roberto Luongo here at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. We spoke with Lu at his hotel room in Caesar's Palace and here at the Rio to find out how this pro hockey player first got into poker.
Lu: During the last lock out about seven or eight years ago, lot of free time on my hands. I always loved to play cards when I was younger with my brothers or with my friends or whatnot. So I started playing, you know, that was when Chris Moneymaker came out and won the main event. So it was on TV a lot, and I really started getting into it. And once I started liking the game, online and playing with my friends, that's when I started picking up some books. That was pretty much it. I mean my love for the game just kept on growing and growing until I was faced with an opportunity with Play Now to come down here and play in the main event. So there was no way I was going to turn that down.
You know, I started playing in the last lock out, about seven or eight years ago, and when I wasn't playing hockey I was pretty much playing poker all the time. And I got to see a lot of hands and really the more you play the more comfortable you feel in every situation and that's what helped me out the most.
Well obviously I'm a competitor, that's what I love the most about poker. But I think for me I like to play in tournaments so it's not just about the competition, but it's trying to outlast the other guy and making it far against the whole field. You know, it all ties into being an athlete and being competitive and trying to be better than the other guy.
Male: Luongo made it through his day one and he'll be back at the tables tomorrow. So we checked in to see how the pressure of the world series stacks up against big events like the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Finals.
Lu: You know I think once you start playing, you want to make sure that in hockey you're focused on what you've got to do that's good for your game. And poker I think you just got to be focused at all times and make sure you're making the right plays. You really can't have any mental lapses and stuff like that. Both are nerve-wracking for different reasons but they're both fun and exciting and they put you through a great range of emotions, whether it's the highest of highs or lowest of lows and that's what makes it fun. When you get deep into a tournament like this per se, the final table, definitely the nerves will be up there. I mean I'm not sure if they would be as high as the gold medal game or Game 7 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it'd be right up there. There's a lot at stake and usually when there's a lot at stake, that's when you feel the most nervous.
You play for yourself in a WSOP which is quite different. In hockey, you're not only, you know, you can have a lot of people disappointing you, but I think first and foremost you don't want to let your teammates down. We all play for the same goal and you don't want to be responsible for any failure and that's tough to take. In WSOP you're definitely disappointed but you know you're the one that deals with it and you get over it on your own.