Michael Phelps makes appearance at World Series of Poker - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Michael Phelps makes appearance at World Series of Poker

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Former Olympic swimmer and publicized poker enthusiast Michael Phelps debuted at the World Series of Poker on May 29. Former Olympic swimmer and publicized poker enthusiast Michael Phelps debuted at the World Series of Poker on May 29.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The clacking of poker chips inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino started Wednesday and won't stop until July 15.

The biggest poker tournament there is, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), has taken over Las Vegas.

The poker professionals, for the most part, approach the physical and emotional grind the same way.

"I try not to do anything different in my everyday life," said Dallas poker pro Arthur Morris.

"At the end of the day, it's just another day at the office. Every poker tournament is just another tournament," said Antonio Esfandiari, the winningest tournament poker player of all time.

In all, more than $200 million will be won in 62 separate events.

Buy-ins begin at $75 and go up well past $100,000.

"The reality is LeBron James is in the NBA, and you can't play basketball with LeBron James if you wanted to. In poker, you can play against these guys," said WSOP communications director Seth Palansky.

One of the athletes you can square off with is 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. He played in his first WSOP event on Wednesday afternoon.

"I always wanted to come out and play. This has been the first year I've been able to since I retired. I just came out, and I wasn't going to play today, but I got talked into it. I'm just having fun," Phelps said.

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