If Magnus Carlsen still cared about being the chess world champion, he would be spending this month shuttling between an office building in Astana, Kazakhstan and his suite in the city’s St. Regis hotel. His days and nights would involve deep study, theoretical preparation, and a string of games that can last upwards of five hours each.
Instead, on a recent evening, he was halfway across the globe at a casino near Los Angeles, straining his mind in a different way. Magnus Carlsen was playing poker.
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