The 2021 World Series of Poker starts in three months after being pushed back from its usual spot in the summer to later this fall. Now that it's June, it's time to start getting your stake together for the Main Event and practicing your satellite skills if you expect to win a seat for a modest investment.
For one lucky dude in France, a chap named Tony Parker, already locked up his Main Event seat through a satellite. This guy also happened to win four NBA championships, make six NBA All-Star games, captain the French national basketball team, along with playing for France in the 2012 London Olympics. Tony Parker finally retired from the NBA in 2019 after 18 seasons including 17 with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs selected Parker with a late first-round pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. Parker became an integral part of the Spurs dynasty under Gregg Popovich, where the kid from France developed into a six-time All-Star point guard. Along side with Tim Duncan, Parker won four NBA championships with the Spurs between 2003 and 2014. In 2007, Parker won the NBA Finals MVP.
Over his storied NBA career, Parker averaged 15.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. For a 14-year stretch with the Spurs at the start of the 2002-03 season and ending with the 2016-17 season, Parker averaged at least 14.4 points per game. In 2009, Parker reached the peak of his scoring prowess averaging 22 ppg.
"Tony is very excited to play the Main Event for the first time," said WSOP director Gregory Chochon, via a story from the San Antonio Express-News. "Because of his career, he never had the time to participate but he is ready for the challenge. We always promote poker as a sport, so Tony's qualification is great news!"
The 2021 World Series of Poker kicks off on September 30 and runs through mid-November. The 2021 WSOP Main Event and its $10,000 buy-in starts on November 4 with Flight 1A. The 2021 WSOP Main Event also has four different starting flights this year.
The WSOP Main Event concludes when they crown a champion on November 17. How far will Tony Parker go?
If Parker heads back to Europe after the WSOP Main Event, he'll have a chance to play for a bracelet at the 2021 WSOP Europe. The WSOP Europe returns to action at the King's Casino in RozVegas starting on November 19 and running bracelet events through December 8.
If you dug the pandemic-induced online version of the WSOP, there will be another summer series in 2021 with bracelet events hosted for domestic players at WSOP.com, and international players slugging it out on the virtual felt at GGPoker.
Parker is no stranger to the poker table, or even the online poker waters. Back in 2011, Parker was an ambassador for BetclicPoker in France. He also appeared on the cover of Poker52, a popular poker magazine in France. The original Club Poker, our French version, sat down for a chat and interview with Tony Parker in 2011.