The Top Poker Players From the World of Sports


The drive that helps someone achieve success in the world of sports doesn’t go away when the season ends. That competitive spirit that drove them to the top of their fields isn’t something that they can switch on and off. Add this to the fact that many of these world-class athletes have plenty of disposable income, according to, and it isn’t difficult to see why so many would turn toward other competitive activities like poker in their downtime.

Poker might not seem like the most intense sport in the world, but it still demands a huge amount of attention to detail, focus, and steady nerves to master, things that every professional athlete will have in spades. One of the key strengths to being a good poker player is learning to accept defeat, claims That’s something all sports stars must do from time to time; for instance, a footballer will lose games every season, maybe just a couple and maybe more. They have to move on quickly, something they learn to do which stands them in good stead at the poker table. Luck changes every hand in poker and being able to focus on the current hand is vital to success.

Some professional athletes take their love of poker even further, gaining a reputation for being great competitors at the table as well as in their usual sports. Teddy Sheringham might have made his name on the football pitch, but he also had a healthy professional poker career as well. Here are a few other top poker players from the world of sports.

Gerard Pique

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This Spanish footballer has been a part of some of the biggest moments in football, including multiple Championship League titles and a World Cup title in 2010. Pique was a key part of the Spanish defence that year, but he has also seen some great success in some professional poker tournaments in Barcelona. He has won over £200,000 in tournaments, which isn’t bad considering he is still active in professional football and only plays competitive during the off-season.

Audley Harrison

[Photo by Lawrence Lustig, Aforceone (, „Pc pics 1073a“, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons:]

This boxer represented the UK at the 2000 Summer Olympics, taking home the gold for in the Super Heavyweight division. He went on to have a successful professional career before he turned his attention to poker. Using the killer instinct that he honed while training in the ring, Harrison has posted numerous top-five finishes at poker tournaments at Las Vegas casinos, including the Bellagio and the Venetian. Bringing his career full circle, Harrison even trained poker professional Antonio Esfandiari for a charity boxing event, proving that the skills for both go hand in hand.


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This Brazilian football star is one of the most expensive players in the world. His transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain earned him an incredible £164 million payday. He is already the third-highest scoring player in Brazil’s history and has several years of excellent play ahead of him if he stays healthy. Once he does leave the pitch behind, he can trade it in for the poker table, where he has earned a top ten finish in the Brazilian Series of Poker recently. He has even become the face of a popular online poker site in Brazil, so don’t expect this interest to be a passing fad for Neymar.

If you want to take your football game to the next level and don’t have time to learn how to play poker, then check out our tips on ‘Ways to Become a Better Football Player’.