Magnus Carlsen also knows how to play poker Poker also attracts champions like Magnus Carlsen

Meet someone who has never heard of Magnus Carlsen would be a real feat today. The world chess champion is a true reference in his milieu, an eminence for those who define intelligence as the most precious of virtues and one of the best sportsmen in history for many. And it is interesting to see that, although chess is considered a sporting activity, there are still “purists” to dispute this designation for any discipline that does not involve any movement or physical effort.

Chess and poker are in the same boat when it comes to these beliefs, as both are to be categorized as mental sports, although the card game has yet to gain full acceptance as such. the fault lies with the element of chance intrinsic to its nature. But that there are similarities between the two, this nobody can deny. And certainly not Carlsen himself, since he is already recognized as a regular poker player, and he did not rule out the idea of ​​converting to poker after retiring from chess. The proof of this is that he has been seen several times participating in major poker tournaments.

It’s been a decade since the Norwegian surprised everyone in an interview by claiming that he enjoyed playing online poker in his spare time, and betting money on top of that. usually I win. Of course, I also lose sometimes. But that doesn’t matter, the important thing is that I have a life outside of chess. he confided in a German newspaper, the same year he reached first place in the world rankings of the International Chess Federation. Playing cards therefore seemed to be part of the daily life of the international grand master, and the future confirmed it.

Magnus recently participated in the Norwegian National Poker Championship. It is one of the most prestigious poker events in Northern Europe, even if it is still organized in the United Kingdom because of the very strict Norwegian legislation concerning poker tournaments in live. The Norwegian company has shown an interest in the idea of ​​developing poker within their country, but clearly the laws of the nation do not point in the same direction. However, thanks to the support of the famous chess player, the Norwegian championship has crossed the 1,000 registered mark.

Among all these, Carlsen had an excellent run, as he managed to stay on course until the fourth and final day of the competition when he was eliminated in 25th position. Not bad for this boy who is already very involved in the gaming world, since in addition to sponsoring the largest chess club in Norway, he is also in contact with several companies dedicated to online gaming. Moreover, it is thanks to the Internet that the man from Tonsberg was able to try his luck in another discipline in order to disconnect from failures while continuing to exercise his brain. And another sportsman who bet on poker for that.

The number of athletes who have decided to rub shoulders with the professional circuits of poker, and find in this game this competitive spirit which gives them an adrenaline similar to that which they can receive in their discipline of yesteryear, is so high that we have really lost count. Some of these are in French and have managed to make a place for themselves in the gratin of tricolor poker. And famous chess players have also already undertaken the same conversion in the past like Alexander Grischuk or Jeff Sarwer, and some of them have not gone far from winning in a tournament as important as the European Poker Tour .

Perhaps the most interesting thing for Carlsen was to compete against the best during the World Series Of Poker, for which it was announced its presence a few months ago. While the International Chess Federation tried to convince him to participate in a new match against a new contender for the title of world champion, Magnus confirmed that his objective of the moment was the WSOP, and never mind the rest. But the result did not live up to his expectations as he was eliminated on the first day in Las Vegas. He will therefore have to come back to retain his chance.

What surprised the most during this tournament was to see the type of player he was around the table. Namely a person who risks a lot and who is not afraid to bluff, as we have seen in some of his rounds which have been televised. Somewhat similar to early chess Carlsen when he exhibited a much more chaotic style. But we have seen that he ended up becoming one of the world stars of the chessboard, gradually evaluating his style to make it more standard and solid, which remains the best way to hope to become a champion. To be seen if it will follow the same glorious exponential evolution in poker.

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