The nuts and Bolts of why we’ve sprinted back to Monte Carlo…

July 21, 2017

PokerStars Blog has returned to Monte Carlo quicker than expected, only this time there are no flops, turns and rivers nearby.

Actually, that’s probably not true; after all, this beautiful part of Monaco is either the physical or spiritual home of many of Europe’s biggest poker high rollers. There’s no doubt a cash game going on in the backrooms of the Monte Carlo Casino (of Casino Royale/James Bond fame), or a home game taking place in one of the many spectacular apartments which adorn the coastline.

But that’s not why we’re here in Monte Carlo today. We’re here to witness greatness in the form of the fastest man in recorded history to ever walk–or should I say run–this planet.

We’re here for the penultimate solo race in the career of one of the greatest athletes to ever do it.

We’re here for Usain Bolt.


Bolt winning the 4×100m relay at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu Stadium, South Korea
(photo by Stephane Kempinaire)

It was only a couple of months ago that we were on the French Riviera for the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®, at which thousands of players gathered to take a shot across dozens of events.

A total of 727 players entered the €5,300 Main Event, which was eventually won by Raffaele Sorrentino, a 37-year-old professional poker player from Catanzaro in Italy. For that victory, Sorrentino took home €466,714.

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Majestic Monte Carlo, back in May

A lot has happened since then. PokerStars Festivals took place in Vina del Mar, Chile, as well as Marbella and currently Korea and Lille. We also took a trip to Sochi for another PokerStars Championship.

And in case you sink into a full-on hibernation between poker events, you might have missed the fact that Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt has teamed up with PokerStars to help promote the game around the world.

“PokerStars is a winner, and I’m happy to join Kevin [Hart] in helping to bring poker and PokerStars to the masses,” Bolt said. “It’s a challenging game that’s fun, social, and competitive, so I’m pleased to be able to introduce it to my fans and to people around the world.”

This exciting new relationship truly kicks off tonight. Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medal winner, is here in Monte Carlo to race the 100 metres at the IAAF Diamond League event, taking place this evening in the Louis II Stadium. All of the athletes’ bibs in the race will be sponsored by PokerStars.


“There’s always a good field here, and lots of guys have been under 10 seconds so far this season,” Bolt told a press conference on Wednesday. “But I’m here to execute a good race, to work on a few things, to get myself perfect for the big race to come next month.

“I’m always expecting to win. The moment you doubt, there’s no point showing up.”

It’s all part of his farewell tour, as he’s set to retire after defending his title at the World Championships in London on Saturday the 5th August. Bolt’s final race will be in the 4x100m relay race the following Saturday.

“My aim is to win in London. I want to retire on a winning note,” he said.

Winning is something that Usain Bolt knows a thing or two about.

The 30-year-old won the 100m and 200m at the past three Olympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016, as well as the 4x100m gold in London and Rio. It’s a feat that will likely never be matched.

He holds solo world records in both the 100m and 200m (9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds, astonishingly). Just think about that for a second; in that second you’ve just been thinking, Bolt can run 10-metre stretches. It boggles the mind.

And tonight the PokerStars Blog will get to see him live in action. Make sure you check back in with us after this evening’s athletics to read all about the event, and to hear from Bolt himself.

Oh, and Bolt’s ‘Game On’ rival Kevin Hart? He might be here too, in one form or another…stay tuned.

Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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