Not all ex-football stars make the leap to pundit or team coach. Some, still hungry for competition and the banter that comes hand in hand with taking someone on, turn their hands to other sports…and poker seems to be a popular choice. Far less stress on the knees! Today we’re looking at five footballers who made the leap to poker player…
1 – Teddy Sheringham
Once upon a time, Teddy Sheringham was constantly on the TV and in the sports pages, being lauded for his efforts with Manchester United and Millwall. Well, long after his shin pads were retired, Teddy took to the poker circuit. Since taking up the game, Sheringham has won more than $300,000 on the circuit. His biggest win happened at a European Poker Tour event in 2010 where he won $127,000 in one event.
2 – Gerard Pique
Not only does he play for one of the best football teams and have one of the most beautiful wives in the world, but FC Barcelona player Gerard Pique also has a tidy side-line in poker. Back in 2011, Pique won $56,000 when he finished in 3rd place in a game at the EPT Barcelona – small change! He was also looking strong in the 44th Annual World Series of Poker back in 2013, before his luck changed and he was eliminated.
‘O Fenômeno’ himself is widely considered to be one of the best footballers to ever grace the planet – but did you know that he’s also a dab hand around the poker table? Back in 2002, when he should have been receiving the Ballon d’Or for the third time, Ronaldo was otherwise engaged at a poker tournament in the Bahamas. By the end of the day he’d received a hat trick in one of the most prestigious prizes in football and cashed $42,180 in his poker tournament. Not a bad day at all!
4 – Andriy Shevchenko
Ukrainian and fellow Ballon d’Or winner, Andriy Shevchenko is another fan of poker. In this instance, it’s not the competitive nature of the game that’s drawn him in – he’s stated many times that he would rather not gamble and instead chooses to play with just family and friends. He has made the occasional exception to play in charity poker events alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal and Daniel Negreanu.
5 – Tony Cascarino
Over the years, Cascarino has played for Millwall, Marseille and Chelsea. Although he did make the leap into commentary, media and expert opinion, Tony has also gone on to become a semi-professional poker player. Over the course of his burgeoning career, his earnings in live tournament poker have totalled more than $500,000.