The annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), held in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the ultimate stage for poker players across the globe. Over the years, the series has seen some crazy moments. Be in anger, excitement, or joy; every emotion possible is seen at the WSOP. Naturally, the feeling of love has also found its way to the WSOP over the years.
We have seen several top athletes across several sports popping the precious question of ‘Will you marry me?’ to their partners on the world stage.
Italian and AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli proposed to his lady love, Belgian model girlfriend Fanny Neguesha, just before Italy’s World Cup Game while on a beach in Rio de Janeiro on her birthday. If that was not adorable enough, New York Giants linebacker Greg Jones went down on his knees on the field after winning the prestigious Super Bowl match.
Jones proved that he could give away one ring before collecting another one in the form of a nice, shiny Super Bowl ring.
Who can forget the heart-warming video of American football player Hassani Dotson Stephenson proposing to his girlfriend after his club’s Major League Soccer (MLS) that went viral?! The entire audience in the stadium cheered for the grand moment. And talking of grand proposals, it would be a crime to miss Standard Liege player Aron Donnum’s proposal to his girlfriend, Tottenham Hotspur Women player Celine Bizet after an important match against arch-rivals Anderlecht. His teammates and staff members gathered in a circle and cheered in sheer excitement when Donnum popped the question and Bizet said a ‘Yes!’
The WSOP is no different; the cupid has not spared the floors of the World Series either. There have been several romantic moments witnessed at the WSOP and stories of love that spread across the event that are remembered even today. One of them happened recently at the 2023 WSOP event.
While most such moments in the earlier WSOP’s remain unrecorded, one of the earliest proposals at the WSOP was caught on camera at the 2015 WSOP. As the final table of Event #28 MonsterStack was underway, a player in the rail took the opportunity to pop the question to his girlfriend. As the moment was happening, the players on the final table paused and clapped for a brief moment before resuming the game.
When Natasha Barbour bowed out at the third spot at the $5,000 No-Limit, Hold’em event at the 2016 WSOP with a pay cheque of $348,374, her boyfriend and poker player Jason Mercier, did not waste any time. He walked up on the stage as if to console her and grabbed the opportunity to seal the deal for a lifetime. Mercier had the best summer of his life that year and there were reasons other than Barbour’s yes. He won two bracelets that year and a second-place finish.
Barbour held their service dog, Marshmallow as Mercier went down on his knee to propose. The overwhelmed Barbour let the dog down on the floor, letting Mercier officially ask her. The crowd of hundreds of people cheered on the floor, and a much larger audience watched the adorable moment on WSOP’s live stream.
ICYMI: AP "Sweet Lou" Garza (@ApLouisGarzaJr1) proposed to his girlfriend following his win in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship.
We kept the cameras rolling after the show was over and caught the moment on video. pic.twitter.com/u73wdHu7Ax
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 26, 2023
Louis Garza also known as ‘Lou’ recently won the record-breaking Event #50: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. He overcame an entry field of 731 entries to bag the top prize of $1.3 Million and his first career bracelet after crushing Arthur Morris in the short-lived heads-up duel with Arthur Morris.
But Garza’s WSOP gold bracelet wasn’t the only piece of valuable jewellery he had that night. Post his victory, Garza pulled out an engagement ring from his pocket and spontaneously popped the question to his girlfriend with his Texan rail celebrating around them.
Talking about his victory on and off the felts, Garza said, “That was fun … that’s part of the game, I love it.” “Don’t think any other time would be right besides now because I don’t think I would even be right here without her,” he added after his impromptu engagement.
Garza had a large rail supporting him which included a dozen of friends cheering and making noise for hundreds of spectators around as he took down the title. With their phones out capturing the moments of victory, Garza pulled out an engagement ring and surprised his girlfriend on the stage even before the presentation ceremony and the winner pictures were done.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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