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5 Sports Stars Who Love Poker

Poker is the type of card game that attracts players from all sorts of backgrounds. So, it is no surprise to find familiar faces in poker tournaments and even some celebrities are streaming online poker games nowadays.

Still, besides the other celebrities who love to take their seats at the poker table, who are the world-famous sports stars who fancy playing a hand of poker every now and then?

Neymar Jr

This Brazilian star is one of the world’s most famous soccer stars, with a remarkable career that started at Santos in his home country when he was just 17. Since then, he has gone on to become the world’s most expensive soccer player thanks to his €222 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, and has regularly been ranked among the planet’s best-earning and most marketable athletes.

In terms of his poker playing, Neymar has already said that he plans to take part in more tournaments once he retires from soccer, calling poker one of the things that he most enjoys doing while comparing the strategies to the tactics used in soccer . He often posts details of his poker exploits on social media and finished in a respectable sixth place in the Brazilian Series of Poker.

Richard Seymour

One of the most successful examples of a sports star turning to poker in recent years, Richard Seymour first came to our attention when he joined the New England Patriots in the 2001 draft for the NFL following a college career with the Georgia Bulldogs. After this, he enjoyed a long NFL career that saw him win the Super Bowl three times and earn a solid reputation as one of the very best defensive linesmen in football.  

Once he retired from football, Seymour turned his attention to the card game that he had learned from his father. At the time of writing, he has gathered over $640,000 in prize money, with the 2019 WSOP Main Event the highest-profile poker competition that he has taken part in to date. With online poker games now easier to find than ever before, it is no surprise to see that more and more people are following in Seymour’s footsteps by discovering the appeal of this timeless game. 

Michael Phelps

This American swimmer became the most successful Olympic athlete of all time by winning an incredible collection of 28 medals while being the most successful competitor in four successive Olympics. Incredibly, if Michael Phelps were a country he would be tied with Portugal and Slovenia on the overall medals table, with more than 160 countries sitting below him.

Following his retirement from swimming in 2016, Phelps has dedicated more time to playing poker, and has appeared in quite a few tournaments on the pro circuit. He took part in the 2018 WSOP and has achieved respectable finishes in some minor tournaments. Although his career poker earnings are yet to break the $10,000 barrier, there is no sign of him giving up on the game he loves.

 Boris Becker

His glory days on the tennis courts may seem fairly distant, but Boris Becker was once one of the most exciting names in sport when he broke through at 17 years old to become the first unseeded player to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon. The German followed this up with five more Grand Slam titles and a long spell as world number 1.

Following his retirement from pro tennis, Becker turned to poker and has played in big events like the World Poker Tour and the European Poker Tour. He has also been hired as a brand ambassador for a couple of poker companies and has earned over $110,000 playing poker, compared to tennis winnings of more than $25 million.  

Shane Warne

Warne is a former Australian cricket captain who is widely regarded as being one of the finest bowlers of all time. During a long career, he took over 1,000 international wickets and also has the distinction of being the only test player to have reached 3,000 runs in totals without ever getting to a century in any game. Warne retired at the start of 2007, after a career that had been marked by brilliant bowling and frequent scandals.

His poker playing career has largely been carried out in Australia, with a third-place finish in the 2010 Victoria Poker Championship his finest moment to date. Warne’s career earnings currently sit at over $150,000 and he has retained the reputation for being hugely competitive that he earned on the cricket field. He has confirmed in interviews that he grew up playing poker on cards night with his parents, and that poker is hugely popular in Australia.

Conclusion

These are just a few examples of people who have enjoyed huge success in their chosen sport but have gained just as much enjoyment from playing poker in their free moments or after retiring. 

The competitive nature of the game and the wide range of events available mean that it is likely to carry on attracting players from all walks of life.

You too can learn how to play this game, playing online poker or even video poker. Check out this site and learn everything you need to know before trying your luck on live events.




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