As Paul Pierce's Career winds down, will More Poker be in the Cards?

At 37 years of age and with 17 NBA seasons under his belt, former Celtics great Paul Pierce's basketball career is definitely winding down. Of course, "The Truth" can still play and he'll probably score double digits for the Washington Wizards this season. But when his two-year contract with the Wizards is up, this could finally be it. Moreover, if he does retire after the 2015-16 season, will Pierce be playing lots more poker? Let's answer this question by covering his recent forays into poker. And if you're interested in the game yourself, check out PokerStop to find the best online poker bonuses and promotions.

Playing since 2011

Every summer, Las Vegas' Rio Casino hosts the World Series of Poker. And the crown jewel of the WSOP is the Main Event, a $10,000 buy-in tournament that ensures the winner will be a multi-millionaire.

Well Pierce doesn't exactly need any help becoming a millionaire. But that hasn't stopped him from trying to make his bank account a little fatter through poker. When asked why he was playing in the WSOP Main Event back in 2011, Pierce was pretty direct with his response. "The prize," he said. "Who wouldn't want to try and come and win that?"

Well Pierce has yet to win the world's most prestigious poker tournament - in fact, he hasn't even cashed in it yet. But the 10-time NBA All-Star has had some impressive runs that saw him outlast over half the field. Just this past summer, he made it to the third day of the Main Event and nearly cashed. However, Pierce busted out when his two pair ran into a better two pair.

Helping on the Court

Despite not earning any money at the WSOP and missing out on last summer's $10 million top prize, Pierce figures to be a fixture at future WSOP events. He's played in three already and he'll have a bit more free time once his playing career ends. For now, Pierce sees the benefits that poker provides on the court.

"I have grown to love the game over the last seven to eight years," he told PokerNews. "It is very competitive and mentally challenging. It helps with my patience, because in poker, you have to have a lot of patience, and that translates to the court where it helps me make the right decisions at the right time."

Will this patience help Pierce power the Wizards to the NBA Finals? It's not totally out of the question since Washington has one of the league's best backcourts along with great role players like Pierce. But whatever happens this year, you can bet that Pierce will once again be visiting the tables in Vegas once the season ends.