Pierce advances in World Series of Poker tourney

191544.jpg

Pierce advances in World Series of Poker tourney

Maybe it's just one of Paul Pierce's hobbies. Maybe he's just trying quench a lingering competitive thirst during the offseason. Maybe it's for the money. The NBA is locked out, after all.

If you listen to the Celtics' captain, who advanced to the second day of competition in the World Series of Poker on Sunday, he was drawn to the event because of the lucrative prize that will be taken home by the winner.

Some estimates have the purse at over 8 million dollars, or a little more than half the amount (15.3 million) Pierce would lose if the NBA were to be locked out for the entire 2011-12 season.

"The prize," Pierce told ESPN when asked why he was taking part in the Texas Hold 'Em tournament in Las Vegas. "Who wouldn't want to try and come and win that?"

Pierce calls himself an amateur poker player, but he has survived as about half of the more than 2000 players who entered the tournament have been eliminated. Former WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker is one of the professionals already gone.

Wearing green shoes, green and white socks and his 2008 NBA Championship ring, Pierce played his way to Day 2, and seemed to enjoy himself during his ride. According to ESPN, he spoke with fans in between hands and received a six-hour massage while sitting at his table.

Pierce will have over 63,000 chips remaining when competition picks up again on Monday.