Successful at Football – And Successful at Poker and the Casino?


Without a doubt football players are the most venturesome people in the world. Namely football contains the spirit, which is closest to gambling. During both activities participants get into an excitement which makes them perform actions that regular spectator won’t even understand. And exactly this kind of behaviour helps them to win the game. Probably there is no famous footballer in whole world, who never tried to gamble.

There is a rumour that during last decade football players left in the casinos , such as the famous  , an amount of money that is equal to the total capital of Roman Abramovich which is about 15 billion dollars.
Wayne Rooney, the icon of the English national football team, lost 70 K pounds during one night playing classic Blackjack. After that he lost 700 K pounds on sweepstakes that belonged to his friend and ex-partner Michael Owen. Of course, it’s easy to afford that making good earnings like him.
Definitely need to mention Ivan Yaremchuk, former player of Dynamo Kyiv and participant of World Cups 1986 and 1990. Back in 1999 he admitted that he has a powerful addiction towards casino where he lost about half of a million dollars already. At that time he wanted to quit and never do that again. But in the next 7 years he managed to lose another half of the million, apartment, car and got a lot of new debt. And his age doesn’t allow him to play football anymore at the highest level.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, former Netherlands national team player could often lose around 50K dollars on the night before the important game. It affected his performance a lot and led to fines from the team management side.
We can continue this list of gambling victims with names of Eydur Gudjohnsen, Frank McGarvey and David Bentley.
Famous footballers have had special and close attention to their public life at all times. Many people monitored every step they made and any significant gambling was immediately disclosed. But recently situation has changed and now there is an option to gamble online and protect player’s privacy.
However, not all the gambling footballers are losers. One of the most popular games among them is poker. This card game resembles football a lot because cards and chips here are being used like players.
Here are Top-9 famous football players who are the most successful in poker and at the casino

Gerard Pique

One of most impressive players During European Poker Tour in Barcelona was Gerard Pique. He is an old fan of poker, but, unfortunately, he is not able to devote enough attention to this game. The reasons are ban of online poker in Spain and his busy football schedule, so Gerard can’t participate in live tournaments too. Nevertheless Shakira’s husband sometimes attends poker events. A few years ago, he took 3rd place in Barcelona and won about 41 000 Euros of prize money. Later he participated in the greatest EPT event. It was possible due to his disqualification in the national team. He didn’t get the prize in the main event, but in the HI rollers tournament (entry fee is 10.3 thousand Euros) he took 19th place with 21 000 Euro as a prize. And besides that Pique fought peer to peer with the real stars of poker, such as Eugene Katchalov, Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Ole Schemion.
Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham, a Manchester United and England legend, started his poker career after retiring from active football. He travelled around the world and participated in a big number of tournaments. The biggest Teddy’s win in a live game is 93 thousand Euros on EPT in Vilamoura. The total amount of his winnings is about 440 000 pounds.

Francesco Totti

In 2010 King of Rome signed a contract with Party Poker and became its representative of this poker room in Italy. That’s how he commented it: “I experienced complicated situations many times during my football career. Patience, reasonableness and confidence in victory always helped me to solve them. All this qualities are important for poker players as well. Besides that I enjoy playing poker”. Also Francesco noted that poker and sports have a lot in common. As a member of Party Poker Team Totti participated in World Poker Tour tournament, before that he played in a charity game which supported earthquake victims.
Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon is another legend of Italian football that spends part of spare time at the poker table. Everything started from charity tournament and since then Gianluigi has fallen in love with poker with all his heart. He started to play as an unknown online player. After he won a few online tournaments Pokerstars offered him to be a sports ambassador of the brand. Buffon agreed and since then shows up in offline tournaments. But of course due to his busy schedule there is not enough time for it. “Juventus” star considers concentrating on poker after the end of his footballer career.

Lothar Matthaus

”I played poker all the time while playing football. Sometimes we were killing some time with partners during breaks between games or trainings. And my favourite game is Texas Hold’em. Poker is just a hobby. My coaching job is an absolute priority. That’s why poker won’t affect my coaching activity. Shortly we’ll schedule some dates and I’ll participate in one of the offline tournaments. At the moment I practice online” – said the legendary captain of Germany.


The “phenomenon” is the official ambassador of the largest poker room Pokerstars and he officially participates in offline tournaments in the Pokerstars team in the South American market (in Brazil and other countries). This fact is confirmed by official contract. Also, he is an official face of Pokerstars brand and takes part in advertising campaigns. Recently Ronaldo played in the EPT in Barcelona, but success wasn’t large.

Tony Cascarino

The total amount of winnings of the famous Irish striker and chief commentator of “Party Poker” is higher than 700 K pounds. His favourite game is Texas Hold’Em. Cascarino even wrote autobiography where told about his passion towards gambling. In the Grand finale of the British Poker tour – 2009 Cascarino won 168 800 pounds. Not bad, right?
Andriy Shevchenko

Legendary Ukrainian forward Andriy Shevchenko after receiving coaching license develops tactics on both football field and at the poker table. At the EPT Charity Challenge poker tournament in Prague Andriy won against Ronaldo and tennis player Rafael Nadal. His 10 000 Euro Prize was donated to charity.
Cristiano Ronaldo

The poker boom dragged in even His Majesty Cristiano. Ronaldo plays in Internet under nickname CR7sete. The few times he was seen at the tables Full Tilt competing with his friends in Pot-Limit Omaha – top players of the room Daniel Cates and Patrick Antonius, who won around 4,5 million dollars during his career and much bigger money in cash games, in unlimited Hold’em and advantage was on his side.

It looks like namely poker is the clever way to gamble. Even more, sometimes it can become a successful continuation of his career. The bad part is uncontrollable addiction and if it happens, it’s a serious trouble for the footballer and his family!

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