Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 7/6/12

VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 22: Alexandre Burrows #14 of the Vancouver Canucks congratulates teammate goalie Roberto Luongo #1 after defeating the Nashville Predators during NHL action on December 22, 2009 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
We've known for along time that Roberto Luongo loves his poker.

Now we've found out today via The Vancouver Sun that his 2012 World Series Of Poker Tourney fee which is played in Las Vegas will be picked up by the B.C. Lottery Corp.

Nice job. He's essentially getting a free ride into a $10,000 poker tournament. Not bad for a millionaire NHL hockey player who could buy his own way in no doubt.

PER THE SUN

Quote: “Businesses commonly partner with celebrities or sports figures to help strengthen their brand image,” Kim Steinhart, BCLC's senior public affairs officer, said in a statement early Thursday night. “Roberto Luongo is an well-known celebrity in our marketplace, and a natural fit for this type of a marketing approach. US Lucky Canadian get to play Poker and casino games and bet on sports on the internet. EAT THAT AMERICA!

No doubt people are in an uproar about this.

Give the guy a break!

He’s long been known to play poker as a hobby, participating in the Canucks for Kids Fund Dice and Ice charity tournament, as well as NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams Fund.

Check out his commercial



Last but not least most hockey fans know we're not sure where Roberto Luongo will be playing his hockey in 2012. A trade is expected soon with most likely the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Florida Panthers.

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