Soccer and Poker have a considerable amount of things in common, they even rhyme at the end.
They are both a game of skill, but luck plays a significant role from time to time. There are loads of money involved. People will often pay real money just to watch others play. One cannot play either game alone, as there have to be least 2 players (and hopefully more…).
Often, we will see many soccer players who love playing at the poker tables as well. Obviously with the rise of online poker there are much more playing from the comfort of their homes.
Poker is a game that at times attracts many famous athletes. There are few examples of players from the most popular sports on the planet who are participating in poker tournaments – and many times with good results.
The most obvious cases, of course, are those of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar – two of the most popular soccer players on the planet who are also active members of an online poker giant team.
These are not the only famous athletes who play poker. There are great names from other sports such as Rafa Nadal as well as various NBA, NHL and NFL athletes participating in major events such as the World Series of Poker.
This gambling habit is of course present in Major League Soccer. Toronto FC’s players, as one of their main players, Jozy Altidore, said they loved the game and recently organised an indoor poker tournament that won one of its most famous footballers and active American MVP champions.
We’re referring to the Italian Sebastian Giovinco, who before going to Toronto playing great football and, apparently, good poker, has made a great career in teams such as Juventus and Parma. His win in the Altidore poker tournament was … rigged, but he says the Italian footballer is a good poker player.
When money is involved and when losing is involved, there can be some troubling behaviour as well, at the end of the day nobody likes a bad beat, right?
Enter Jamie Vardy, the striker from England who plays for Leicester FC.
Leicester’s frantic career in the Premier League continues and seven races before the end, Claudio Ranieri’s team is at the top of the league, very close to the miracle of winning the championship.
Jamie Vardy is having a stunning year and 19 goals in the Premier League which makes him the second best scorer at the moment.
At the start of the season when Leicester was just the pleasant surprise of the championship, Vardy scored in the win with a 4-2 score against Sunderland. In the evening, he went to a casino to celebrate this victory by playing a little poker, the security cameras had recorded him.
Instead of seeing a happy Vardy, we saw a man attacking another player on the table. The fiancé told him that Vardy broke bad because his opponent was trying to look at his cards.
Last but not least in our soccer legend poker player list is the one and only Gerard Pique. The central defender of Barcelona and national team of Spain is really enjoying playing poker, online and offline with his friend Neymar, taking a break from Shakira and the kids.
The international superstar was one of the leaders in the 44th Annual World Series of Poker Main Event, where for a while he was going strong until, like most amateurs, his luck disappeared. Nevertheless, he bagged $56k when he finished third in a game at the EPT Barcelona, back in the early part of 2011.
Gerard has definitely the potential (and the money) to become a pro once his soccer career is over in a couple of years.
Historically, we have seen a number of soccer stars including the Brazilian football legend Ronaldo featured in sponsored TV adverts by large online poker brands like Pokerstars. In this video for example, Neymar and his best buddies come together for a fun night of game.
Later in 2016 the same poker company upped their budget and hired the one-and-only Cristiano Ronaldo who was filmed to play an intense card game duel against Aaron Paul actor.
As expected the ad campaign went viral on social media and Youtube and brought in millions of views to the poker firm. You can watch the betting battle below. The game wasn’t just for pure entertainment, it was supporting the Save the Children charity cause as well, so tip of the hat to the participants and sponsors for donating for a good cause.
Can Ronaldo beat a Hollywood star in a poker duel?
Do you share the passion for both games of poker and soccer? If yes, tell us what you like the most in each in the comments section.