By Ben Sin
January 08, 2014


Last month, former NBA star and one of the pioneering athletes on social media, Gilbert Arenas, told TMZ he was planning on a comeback to the NBA. It looks like the 31-year-old former all-star and quirky blogger is trying his hand at a second sport: professional poker.

Arenas was one of 295 poker players who participated in day 1A of the $10,000,000 Guaranteed Main Event of the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, a $10,300 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold'em tournament being held at the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Though Poker News editor-in-chief Donnie Peters, who is covering the event, said Arenas “doesn’t appear to be a newbie” to poker, the former Washington Wizard franchise player was eliminated midway through the first day after he accidentally raised a pot (when he was merely trying to call), and then compounded the mistake by either making a wild bluff or another misguided play.

Here’s Poker News, reporting the hand, from another poker player’s account:

According to JC Alvarado, who was seated across the table from Arenas, Hortin had opened from under the gun to 600, and Arenas tossed out two chips in an attempt to make the call. The problem was, the two chips he tossed out were one yellow T1,000 chip and one black T100 chip, totaling 1,100. His action was ruled a raise to 1,100. Action then folded back to Hortin, and he made it 5,000 to go.

Arenas made a comment along the lines of, "Oh, you're going to do me like that? I still like my hand, though." He then moved all in for around 27,000, to which Hortin snap-called.

Hortin ended up turning over pocket Queens, while Arenas flipped over Queen-Jack. Now, anyone who's familiar with poker will know that Queen-Jack is an absolutely horrible hand to raise, let alone put your tournament life on the line.

The question is, did Arenas know he had a weak hand and was going for the bluff, or was he misguided and thought Queen-Jack was a good hand? He did make the mistake of putting out two chips to call when that action is ruled as a raise in all casinos and tournaments.

It's ok though, that $10,300 buy-in was chump change for Gil, who signed a six year, $111 million contract with the Washington Wizards back in 2008, and because the Orlando Magic (who traded for Arenas three years later), restructured the contract, Arenas is getting checks until 2016.


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