Former Boxing Champ Winky Wright Takes a Shot at Poker

The World Series of Poker Main Event attracts all poker players with a dream, and celebrities who want to dip their toes in the proverbial poker waters. On Saturday former middleweight champion Winky Wright spoke to the media just before he busted out of Day 1b.

How long have you been playing poker?

Winky Wright

Winky Wright

Well, I’ve known how to play for a while, I just don’t play in tournaments. I’m friends with Phil Ivey and I’ve been watching him play, so I though I’d get in here and try my luck.

Is this your first WSOP tournament?

This is my first poker tournament. But I like it, there’s a lot of game going on.

Did you win a qualifier for this event?

No. I bought straight in.

What similarities do you see between boxing and poker?

No similarities. There’s no bluffing in boxing, either you got it or you don’t. In poker you can bluff, check-raise, there’s things you can’t do in boxing. Poker’s a lot easier on your body than boxing.

Can you tell me a little bit about your charity work?

I’m involved with the Winky Wright Foundation. We try to help educate our youth and community to learn how to live healthier lives. The urban community has a lot of people suffering from diabetes, so we’re trying to educate our kids how to eat right.

What other boxers do you think would make good poker players?

My man Antonio Carver is playing Day 1c, he’s a good poker player. It’s just that you can’t be scared. Phil (Ivey) told me one day when I first started watching him play “You can’t count the money, you just have to play your hand. The chips are what they are.” So I think anyone without fear would be a good poker player.

Should your opponents be scared of your jab if they beat you in a big pot?

They better be scared of my jab. (Laughing) No, I’m playing with some great poker players, I’m sitting right beside Doyle Brunson. It’s ridiculous.

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