World-class athletes who are also poker stars

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Professional athletes have a competitive drive stretching beyond that of most people. That’s why they can achieve such impressive levels of success in their respective fields. Here are five professional athletes who have achieved varying success and channeled the same desire into playing poker.

This popular casino game attracts players worldwide, with different athletes flexing their competitive nature in poker variations like Omaha and Texas Hold’em. Today, many celebrities visit best online poker sites and land-based casinos, with the most popular names including:

1. Richard Seymour (NFL) 

You probably know Richard Seymour, the fierce New England Patriots defensive lineman, but you might not realize that he’s an impressive poker player. After retiring from his professional football career after 12 seasons, he transformed his poker hobby into a career in 2012. The retired athlete has won over $600,000 from live tournaments, even finishing third place in the 2018 PokerStars PCA High Roller.

2. Gerard Pique (La Liga)

A Spanish professional footballer playing for Barcelona, Gerard Pique is among the most successful center-backs in La Liga. Pique won the World Cup, has recorded many Champions League wins and plays poker professionally.

Pique has recorded over $668,000 in revenue during his career as a poker player. In 2017, Pique took home an impressive prize of $150,400 from the European Poker Tour hosted in Barcelona. His biggest poker wins to date stand at $391,000 after finishing second in the same tournament.

3. Martin Kampmann (MMA)

A retired Danish MMA fighter dubbed the Hitman, Martin Kampmann is among the world’s most successful mixed martial artists in the world. The Denmark native was trained to play poker like a professional by Jason Somerville, and this hobby has turned into a career for him. Kampmann won the 2014 Nevada Poker Challenge, taking home $52,740 from a $1000 buy-in price for the match.

4. Tony Cascarino

Tony Cascarino is a retired pro football striker who played for different French and British clubs. Cascarino won the FIFA World Cup twice in his football career and took home countless prizes and other achievements. He remained a brilliant player throughout his career, popular for his impressive attacking skills and other capabilities.

Like many other players on this list, Cascarino also started playing poker after retiring from his football career. Poker became his new career, and he’s now a semi-professional player who has won numerous events. He even participated in the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour and has continued playing the game regularly.

5. Ronaldo Nazario “Ronaldo”

Ronaldo Nazario, popular as Ronaldo, is among the most popular professional footballers of all time. The retired footballer is the ultimate soccer player and one of the world’s most expensive footballers of his time.

Ronaldo scored over 200 goals before his 23rd birthday, with his other achievements including winning the golden boot and two world cups. Following his retirement, Ronaldo started playing poker after being introduced to it by his friend Andre Akkari.

Ronaldo won $42,000 in the 2015 Caribean Adventure event and has played in many other tournaments. Overall, he has won over $45,000 playing poker in different tournaments.