How an ex-Giants Pitcher Transitioned Into A Different Career

How the lure of Poker Changed Orel Hershiser

Orel Hershiser autographed baseball

Orel Hershiser autographed baseball

Orel Hershiser had a very underwhelming experience with the San Francisco Giants. He played just one season for the Giants when he signed back in 1998 after just over two years with the Cleveland Indians. He would go on to play for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers until he retired in late 2000. But it’s not his Giants career, or in fact his MLB career on a whole, that’s the most interesting part of Hershiner’s career.

After his time in the MLB came to an end at the start of the millennium, Hershiser engaged in some consultancy work for the Dodgers as well as some television work with ESPN. However, these weren’t to be the vocations of choice for Hershiser. In 2006, he started playing poker competitively, in as many games as he could find. Hershiser was riding on the poker boom that was now commanding huge airtime on U.S. television since the birth of the hole cam glamorised the game of poker. Stars like Johnny Chan, Dan “Action Harrington, and Chris Moneymaker were making themselves household names. Poker, at that time was becoming more and more accessible. It had even started the online poker boom, with major poker portals being launched across the world, ever since the inception of the first poker portal InterCasino back in 1996. This gave the likes of Hershiser a platform to hone their crafts before playing in live casinos or in tournaments.

After being obsessed with the game’s mechanics and the thrill of sitting at live tables, Hershiser moved to Summerlin, Nevada in order to be nearer the major games in Las Vegas. He then inked a deal with Poker Royalty to represent them at tournaments. In his first tournament, the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, he ended up in the quarterfinals – some achievement for someone who had only been in the sport two years.

Hershiser went on to play in the World Series of Poker, Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure and the Poker Stars World Championship of Online Poker as per Celebrity Net Worth. However, the best thing about this tale is that every time Hershiser was eliminated from a tournament of poker, he would give the player who knocked him out a signed baseball. Hershiser did leave the world of baseball behind for a brief time until his recent announcement regarding rejoining the Dodgers as their team broadcaster, but it’s clear, it always remained firmly in his heart.

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