Professional footballers, like other mortals, have some kind of hobby or pastime to distract them in their free time. Poker is one of the fastest-growing mental sports in recent years. This proliferation has caused the players to show a great attraction to the game of cards, although many players have stood out in poker for a long time. Footballers don’t usually play in casinos with a minimum deposit of $5 like the ones that attract mortals. Let’s see what games the world’s football stars excel at.
Gerard Pique is the most famous poker player. The defender of FC Barcelona is one of the most common players at the tables of the face-to-face poker tournaments. Gerard Piqué follows the same style at the tables as he does on the grass, as he is a kind of tight-aggressive poker player, playing many hands and always aggressively. A style of play that has made him lose money, like the $15,000 he lost in the casino at the City Center Hotel, where the wedding of Leo Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo was held, although he has also achieved excellent results. The Barcelona native achieved his best position in the PokerStars Championship in Barcelona in 2017, where he came in third place and won a total prize of 129,350 euros. A result that makes him one of the players who stand out in poker.
Neymar is another player who plays poker. The Brazilian, one of the names in this transfer market, is another player who stands out in poker, although he also plays online poker regularly. Neymar joined PokerStars as a brand ambassador in 2015, demonstrating his passion for the game of cards. The Paris Saint-Germain player is a tight passive poker player of sorts. In fact, Martí Roca de Torres, a professional player who has competed against the Brazilian, defines him as follows: “A rather soft player. Unlike on the field, where he is very aggressive”. In spite of this, Neymar has achieved good results in prestigious tournaments such as the High Roller of the Brazilian Series of Poker(BSOP), a Brazilian tournament where the player demonstrated his skill with the cards, finishing in sixth position and winning $79,444 in prize money.
Ronaldo Nazário is one of the greatest strikers in the history of football. The former Brazilian footballer of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, has been a renowned poker fan for a long time, as he has always admitted that he loves the adrenaline generated by the popular card game. A passion that goes back to his time spent with the white team, although he has improved his game over the years. Currently, Ronaldo shows several styles of play, playing more conservatively in tournaments where you have to be patient, or being more aggressive in games where an important prize is at stake. So far, ‘The Phenomenon’, the face of PokerStars for several years, achieved its best result at the 2015 PCA (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure), where it finished 26th out of more than 800 players.
Gianluigi Buffon has also publicly expressed his passion for poker. Considered by many fans to be the greatest goalkeeper in history, the Italian plays in many online poker tournaments, due to his busy match schedule with Paris Saint-Germain, but also in some face-to-face ones. He shares his passion for card games with his dressing room partner, Neymar Jr, with whom he can form a lethal pair on the mats. In any case, the 41-year-old veteran’s short-term future lies in poker. Over the next few years we will see him competing at the tables of the world’s leading casinos after his retirement as a professional footballer, whose future is currently in the balance due to the situation he is experiencing at the French club.