The Poker Tourney Entrance
The Set Up
The poker table
Ovechkin sitting next to Roenick
The table with the players
Ovie was so nervous the whole time
"I want to win," Ovechkin said minutes before he took part in the NHL Charity Shootout Presented by PokerStars.net, a charity poker tournament. "If I don't win, I'll still be happy because I'm nominated. There's lots of players and I'm in the top three and that is a pretty good result."
As for his competition, Ovechkin says he did not watch the other two Hart finalists battle it out in this spring's memorable seven-game Stanley Cup Final between Malkin's Pittsburgh Penguins and Datsyuk's Detroit Red Wings. The Penguins won in seven games, coming back from a 2-0 series deficit. Malkin, the leading scorer in the playoffs, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
"I try to forget hockey for a couple of months and concentrate on my vacation," Ovechkin told NHL.com. "I don't want to see how the guys celebrate. I want to be in that spot, I want to win Stanley Cup."
And, he says that the training for next year's quest will begin soon. He has a few more weeks of fun and sun -- including this week's stop in Vegas -- on his vacation itinerary and then it becomes all business again in a month or so.
"Next year, it's my dream to be in the Final and take the Cup," Oveckin told NHL.com. "So, it is going to be fun."
Need to buy something on Amazon? Order via this blog, show support.
By Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Post, June 18, 2009:
The past two days have been a blur for the bleary-eyed Ovechkin, who landed in Las Vegas following an 18-hour flight from Moscow in the wee hours Tuesday morning.
He's been on the go ever since.
Hours after arriving, the 23-year-old Russian was formally announced as the cover athlete for the NHL 2K10 video game in an event hosted by Caesar's Palace. During the unveiling, Ovechkin was outfitted in a high-tech spandex suit, which the videogame engineers used to capture Ovechkin's motions and mannerisms, including his controversial "hot stick" celebration for the game.
Yesterday, a jet-lagged and weary Ovechkin did a television interview and a photo shoot with his apparel company before joining a poker game with Eddie Olczyk, Jeremy Roenick and Mats Sundin, among others, at the Rio. Ovechkin ended up winning $2,000 for Most Valuable Kids, the charity Ovechkin partners with in Washington to purchase tickets to Capitals games for underprivileged children.
Apparently, Ovechkin plays poker the way he plays hockey -- all out, er, all in.