Online Poker

Manny Pacquiao Plays High Stakes at Commerce

by Omar

In addition to being a boxing champion and Congressman in his home country of the Philippines, apparently Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is a poker aficionado as well. This morning, a thread was started on popular poker forum,, in which the original poster reported seeing the boxing great playing a high stakes $100/$200 no limit hold ‘em game at Commerce Casino is Los Angeles. A subsequent post even has a picture of him seated at the table next to a player bearing a strong resemblance to Roland de Wolfe.

As an indicator of just how well-liked and admired Pacquiao is, posters were just about unanimous in their approval of how the boxer chose to spend his time. Making the rounds to promote his upcoming bout on May 7th against Shane Mosley in Las Vegas, he decided to stop and compete in the high stakes game against some of the best and well-heeled opponents that the town had to offer. The opinion is quite an interesting stance considering the standard that most pro athletes and politicians in this country are held to. It is hard to imagine that any member of the United States Congress would be able to get away with participating in a game of this type. Just last week, a Representative from New York named Christopher Lee was essentially forced to step down from his publicly-elected post for sending out a shirtless photo of himself to a prospective date on Although the fact that Lee was married with children no doubt played a large role in the backlash, the majority of the criticism came as a direct result of the type of position he held.

Additionally, professional athletes losing large sums of money at land-based casinos is sure to earn the perpetrator of some scathing headlines to go along with being the butt of some late-night jokes. Just ask Charles Barkley or Antoine Walker about that one. Given the fact that Pacquiao is both a high-profile athlete and a government representative in his native Philippines, it would seem logical that he would be open for a right-left combo of criticism. This however has just not been the case.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that his home country of the Philippines does not have the same type of negative opinion of gambling as some Americans, an opinion put forth by poster “filipinia88” who said, “Filipinos love to gamble…..Manny is known to hustle pool, bets on **** fights, bets on horse fights, and no he wont be judge by Filipinos for his gambling habits.

It also seems that the manner in which Pacquiao has gone above and beyond to do so much for those less fortunate in the Philippines makes him impervious to the magnifying glass Americans view their elected representatives. A poster named Randomness28 said, “With the money, jobs and pride this guy brings to his country every day, they will probably let this one slide. Also, they probably are not scrutinizing every little moral issue like us Americans.”

Pacquiao is also apparently a positive presence at the tables themselves, a sentiment echoed by well known online pro Justin “Boosted J” Smith who chimed in by saying. “I’ve played a lot of hours with Pacquiao…he’s not as bad as you probably suspect he might be. He is also one of the nicest genuine people I’ve come across at the poker table, LOTS of fun to play with. He will also gamble with you. He’s my favorite boxer even before I played with him, so he’s one of the few people I’ve been extremely pleased that I’ve been able to have said I’ve played poker with them.”

It is unclear how Pacquiao made out in the game itself, whether he was a big winner or ended up living up to his generous personality by “donating” his stack to his tablemates. The only thing that is for certain is that this larger than life personality has several pssions in life and stays true to his belief system while managing to endear himself to the masses, whether you are a boxing fan or not.

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