One of the notables PokerNews has spotted in the field is professional basketball player Earl Barron. Barron's seated over at Table 84 in the Red Section of the Brasilia Room in the World Series of Poker Main Event and you can't miss him, seeing as he is seven feet tall.
Barron graduated from the University of Memphis in 2003 and went into the NBA undrafted after a small stint in Turkey, the NBA's D-League and the Philippines. Barron joined the Miami Heat in 2005 and stayed with the team until 2008. He was fortunate enough to be part of the championship winning squad in 2006 to earn an NBA ring.
Over the course of his career with the Heat, Barron played 82 games over three seasons until he was not resigned in 2008. After that, he joined Italy's GMAC Bologna by signing a one-year, $2 million deal, but that journey was cut short due to an injury.
In 2009, Barron was signed to the training camp roster for the New Orleans Hornets, but got waived before returning to the D-League. In 2010, Barron got selected to the D-League All-Star Game, recording a game-high 20 points for his side. His improved performance over these years earned Barron a 10-day contract with the New York Knicks in April of 2010. With some very solid performances during that span, Barron locked up a deal with the Knicks for the rest of the season. He went on to average 33 minutes, 11.7 points and 11 rebounds per game in the seven games he played with the team.
After the Knicks, Barron played in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and, most recently, the Golden State Warriors. After getting waived by the Warriors earlier this year, Barron made the jump back over to the Philippines where he was signed by the PBA's Meralco Bolts.
Over the course of his career in the NBA, Barron has played in 112 games, averaging 15 minutes, 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds.
When it comes to his poker career, Barron has earned nearly $50,000 in live tournament cashes. His best result came at the 2010 Gold Strike World Poker Open in Tunica where he took fourth in the $4,800 Championship Event for $33,896. Barron also has two WSOP cashes on record, one from 2009 and one from 2011.
The game of poker continues to expand, as more and more athletes venture to the WSOP each year. PokerNews will keep an eye on Barron throughout the event and hopefully many other professional athletes will join him on the felt. We all know athletes love competition and there's no greater one in poker than the WSOP Main Event.