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Phelps Gets High on $5,000 Pot

10/21/2008 12:02 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Michael Phelps has a serious chip on his shoulder -- and even more in his pockets.

Captain Speedo is on a serious mission to become a respected world-class poker player ... and he's off to a pretty good start. Phelps hit the poker room at the Bellagio in Vegas the other day, where he strapped on his iPod, cracked open a Bud Lite, and ponied up at a no-limit Texas Hold 'em game.

We're told at one point, Phelps raked in a pot worth around $5,000! But there's more...

Over the weekend, Phelps entered a No Limit tourney at Caesars Palace, where he placed 9th out of 187 entrants. In fact, he did so well, Phelps was even awarded a cheesy gold medallion. Gotta love that.

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