From Fairway to Broadway: Sergio Garcia in Action at EPT Barcelona
Every cloud has a silver lining; Sergio Garcia admits that he didn’t have his best year in golf, resulting in him just missing out on the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs but this did mean that he got to play at the PokerStars European Poker Tour in Barcelona.
“I love playing here [in Barcelona],” said Garcia on break from the EPT €5,300 Main Event. “Usually I can’t come because I’m in the US playing in the Playoffs, but this year it worked out; it’s been a nice way to disconnect a little bit.”
While he may be playing the Main Event today, yesterday Garcia took part in an eight-handed €25k Charity tournament alongside several other sports stars, including Neymar and Gerard Pique. Each player had a chosen charity, with Garcia playing for the Sergio Garcia Foundation.
“The Sergio Garcia Foundation was founded in 2002,” said Garcia. “It mainly focuses on helping children; from donations for cancer research to building a new X-ray hospital in Madrid.”
Unfortunately, Garcia didn’t win but he says that the event was “good fun for a good cause.”
“It was a really fun table. Neymar was running really well. You’ve got to thank PokerStars for making it happen and letting us have some good fun while we’re here.”
Golf’s fallow months tend to fall between December and January, which is when we usually see Garcia on the poker circuit; playing at the PCA in the Bahamas.
“Barcelona is definitely different, but both stops are amazing. I know that the PCA is going to be incredible with some of the new events they’re going to have next year. It’s going to be even more packed than it is usually!
“If nothing happens it looks like I will be there, so that will be fun.”
With the Main Event attracting over a thousand entries today alone, the tournament room is packed with players.
“I know that EPT Barcelona has been growing for the last eight or nine years, and that’s down to what a great job the whole team does while they’re here.
“The number of players is just amazing. I think that they could add two more rooms and they’d fill them up too!
Garcia has been playing poker since 2008 and admits that he does have plans to potentially play more poker as his golf career begins to wind down
“I’d love to say that I’ve improved [since 2008] – I hope so! Unfortunately, I just don’t play enough. As I get older and maybe begin to play a little less golf, then maybe I’ll get more into it.
“The great thing about playing poker is that if your mind is fresh then you can play it. You don’t need to be in good shape physically to play well! But to me it’s more about the challenge; I love competing in everything I do.
“Whether it’s golf or poker, or even football or tennis, whenever I play I love the competition side of things and I love a good challenge.”
This week saw the announcement of “The Match,” a heads-up golf match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Along those lines, we asked Garcia who he’d like to go heads-up with at the poker tables.
“Even though my chances wouldn’t be great [laughs] I’d love to go up against a poker player. Playing a guy like Daniel Negreanu – I know he loves his golf – that would be fun.
“Juan Manuel Pastor is a good friend of mine, or Fatima [Moreira de Melo]. I’ve made some really good friends, so any one of them would be amazing to play against.”
Garcia has said previously that the patience required in golf can aid him at the poker tables.
“You’d have to find someone that doesn’t show too much emotion,” said Garcia, when asked which golfer would excel as a poker player. “When you’re really patient you usually do really well; maybe guys like Adam Scott or Rory [McIlroy]; I think they’d both be good poker players.
“I know some of them probably don’t even think about [poker], so they’d probably be sneakily good if they got the chance to play!”
Patience on the table is as good as patience off the table, with Garcia now playing the waiting game until Ryder Cup selection.
“Everything is going to depend on if I get picked or not,” said Garcia ruefully. “Hopefully I will, but after that, I’ve got tournaments in Spain, South Africa Dubai and Hong Kong; a little bit of travelling to end my year.”
Travelling the world and playing in different countries, maybe Garcia’s more of a poker player than it seems!
The PokerNews live reporting team is still in Barcelona capturing all the poker action from the EPT festival. Check the PokerStars EPT Barcelona Live Reporting for the full list of events.
The Stars Group owns a majority shareholding in iBus Media.
Be sure to complete your PokerNews experience by checking out an overview of our mobile and tablet apps here. Stay on top of the poker world from your phone with our mobile iOS and Android app, or fire up our iPad app on your tablet. You can also update your own chip counts from poker tournaments around the world with MyStack on both Android and iOS.