Olympian Michael Phelps revealed this week that he is a huge poker fan and has ambitions to win silverware at the poker tables as well as in the pool. With that in mind, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) has written him an open letter inviting him to play in the APT Macau next week.
The second leg of the Asian Poker Tour in Macau kicks off on August 27th, finishing on August 31st and offers a guaranteed prize pool of US$1,500,000 with the first prize of US$500,000 the largest to date in Asia. Should he wish to join up, Phelps would be in exalted company, including poker greats such as Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, J.C Tran, John Juanda, Kenny Tran, Nam Le, Quinn Do, and Steve Sung. While Phelps is untouchable in the pool, he would have his work cut out at the poker table when surrounded by those poker sharks.
Here's the open letter written by Jeff Mann of The Asian Poker Tour:
First of all, congratulations on your eight gold medals and world record breaking feats – what a supreme sporting achievement and I hope superstardom treats you well. However, I write this open letter to you to say that I am in a position to add weight to the argument that you should be crowned history's ultimate sportsman.
I noticed recently that you have told your local newspaper that you were a big fan of poker and look forward to playing again. By a strange twist of fate, I represent the Asian Poker Tour and we are running Asia's largest ever guaranteed tournament NEXT WEEK in Macau. It starts on the 27th and runs until the 31st and guarantees a prize pool of $1,500,000 and a first prize of $500,000. This is the biggest prize pool ever offered in Asia! While you are already in China, why don't you give it a go? It would be our pleasure to fly you in, organize your accommodation and buy-you in to the tournament!
Some have said you are a ‘human dolphin' but we're keen to know if history's greatest swimmer is really a fish. You may have feet that can reach angles others cannot to give you the ultimate swimming technique but just you wait until you've got sharks like Vegas poker legend Doyle Brunson chasing you. We'll see how fast you really are then when they smell blood – get some flippers on those size 14's!
Don't bring your goggles, bring a pair of sunglasses – dive in at the deep end and we would love it if you showed us your hand. You've almost certainly got more chance of making good money from our $1,500,000 prize pool than securing any commercial deals! Your homecoming to a delirious country can wait.
Go all-in Michael! We'll even get some special one-on-one lessons for you from poker's greatest players. If it makes you happier we'll even bring in Mark Spitz too and you can play heads-up! Some have campaigned for poker to become an Olympic sport. The fact that you are a ‘human dolphin' doesn't mean you will necessary get a gold medal for Texas Hold'em!
In all seriousness, come join us, you may as well while you are there! We'll definitely show you a good time and would be honored with your presence. Get the closing ceremony over and done with first though!
The Asian Poker Tour