Top Football Players Who Enjoy Playing Poker
Poker is a game of skill, tactics and good timing. So many people across the word enjoy this game both online and in casinos. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many football players also enjoy the game when they’re off the football pitch. Whether they have just expressed their fondness for the game as a pastime with friends or dipped their toes in professionally, here are some footballers past and present who we know love poker.
You won’t find poker on this Australian pokie list 2017, but it surely is a classic table game that attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year around the world and that can be played even outside casinos.
Teddy Sheringham is a Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur legend. He is currently the tenth highest scoring player in the Premiership with 147 goals. In his 24-year career, he also holds the records of oldest outfitted player to appear in a Premier League match and the oldest player to score in one, at 40 years.
His poker highlights are almost as numerous. A 14th place finish in the 2009 $16,481 World Series of Poker Europe for $66,689 and 49th place finish at EPT London that same year for $19,109. His best result is winning $168,114 at the European Poker Tour in 2010. With lifetime winnings of $397,467 we’d say he’s done very well in the poker world.
Pique is a very much still an active player, playing initially for Manchester United before coming back to FC Barcelona. He is one of only four players to have won the Champions League two years in a row with different teams and has been instrumental in the Spain national team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Euro 2012.
When it comes to poker, his results may not be as great as on the football pitch but are still respectable. Pique is a regular member of EPT Barcelona and has also competed in the 44th Annual Word Series of Poker Main Event, where he was going strong until sadly his luck dissipated. Nevertheless he did manage to walk off with $56,000 when he finished third in a game at EPT Barcelona back in 2011.
Ronaldo is a football legend. He has played as a striker for the Brazilian national team as well as Barcelona and Inter Milan among others. His skills got him the nickname “The Phenomenon” and he is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Ronaldo is also signed to the PokerStars team where he is yet to achieve the same level of success he did as a football player. While many are thinking of his signing up with this team as a publicity stunt he did show he can play poker well. The same night as Cristiano Ronaldo was winning his third Ballon d’Or Ronaldo was participating in an event at the Bahamas where he collected $42,180. Here’s what he had to say about him joining the PokerStars team: “I always look to give my best in everything, in football and in life. Poker is another challenge that excites me.” It’s great to see he’s taking poker as seriously as his football career.
Neymar is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a forward for FC Barcelona and the Brazilian national team. Known for his dribbling and ability with both feet he has earned comparisons to Pele. SportsPro named him the most marketable athlete in 2012 and 2013 and ESPN cited him as the worlds fourth most famous sportsman in 2016.
With this kind of star power it’s no wonder PokerStars signed him on. Seen as more of a brand ambassador he does play poker in his free time and plays it quite well. His biggest reported win was $25,159 which he won as he was dealt a Royal Flush, which all poker aficionados know is not something that happens all the time. Recently, he was involved in a charity game.
This retired footballer used to play for various British (such as Millwall) and French (Marseille) clubs as well as for the Irish national team with which he competed in the UEFA Euro 1988 and two world cups in 1990 and 1994. After his retirement he has become a sports pundit for TalkSPORT radio and written for likes of The Times and HotPress magazine.
I addition to his journalistic career Cascarino also dabbled in poker and quite successfully at that. His life time winnings are a cool half a million dollars and his biggest individual win is $276,861 which he walked away with after winning the GUKPT (Grosvenor UK Poker Tour) Grand Final, to which he returned after finishing sixth with winnings of $45,484 the previous year. All in all, a very successful post-football career as both a professional poker player and a pundit.
It shouldn’t be surprising that so many footballers are also poker players. Poker has the competitiveness and banter as well as the challenge that professional football players are used to so many of them are drawn to this game. Regardless of what we were taught to see, both poker and football are games of skill, that’s why probably many famous footballers love this legendary table game.