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Footballers and their love for poker

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Photo: PA Images

Being a pro footballer — or a pro athlete in general — can really take its toll on the body and mind. From extensive training on and off the field, to the demands of a match, to adhering to a strict lifestyle, to attending numerous press events, to traveling for games (among many others), it’s no wonder a football star can feel drained now and then. Just like everyone else, footballers also like to de-stress by playing games of all types, from video games to poker and casino games.

So there’s no doubt that many footballers love poker and casino games, whether they’re playing casually with friends, playing at a brick and mortar casino, or playing online, where there are a wide range of games available beyond poker (such as Roulette, Blackjack, and slot games). In addition to being relaxing, these types of games are a great source of entertainment, offering footballers a chance to indulge their competitive nature off the field. But they also have some on-field benefits too. Playing these types of games can help footballers to work on their mental toughness and reflexes, which can improve their game on the field. With all of these perks, it’s easy to see why many footballers love poker. Take a look at a few of these footballers below.

Gerard Piqué

During his senior career, Piqué has dominantly played for Manchester United and Barcelona. He has played for Barcelona since 2008, where he typically plays as a centre back, but he’s known for being a versatile player who can play a variety of defensive positions. Because of this, he’s considered to be one of the best defenders in recent history.

As for off the field, Piqué loves to play poker, both in person and online. As for what he loves about the game, he especially enjoys its challenging nature and how the game compares to football. For both, working on strategy is important, but working on adaptability and decision making is often more important. As for his style of play in poker, it could be compared to his style of play during a match — versatile and aggressive. For now, Piqué is content to play poker as a hobby, and has no plans to play professionally.

Photo: PA Images

Teddy Sheringham

Sheringham started his career at Millwall, where he’s still one of the club’s best scorers of all time. Throughout his career, he played as a forward for a number of teams such as Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and Colchester United, which is the last team he played for before he retired in 2008. After he retired from playing, he took up coaching (for clubs like West Ham United and Stevenage), and pursued his love of poker.

Over the years, Sheringham has played in a number of poker tournaments worldwide, where he’s seen a lot of success at the table. He takes his game seriously and strives to improve by working hard at his strategy, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have fun playing. He also enjoys traveling the world and playing poker on his own terms.

Tony Cascarino

Now retired, Cascarino played striker for a number of clubs over the course of his career, including Gillingham, Celtic, and Chelsea. He also played for the Republic of Ireland national team and competed in two world cups (1990 and 1994).

After his retirement, Cascarino has become a central figure in the poker world, and has become well known for his passion for the game. He pursued a semi-professional poker career and even began serving as a poker commentator. He was also a finalist on the series “Celebrity Poker Club” in the early 2000s, which featured different celebrities playing poker. Whether playing online or in person, some of the aspects that he enjoys most about poker include the competition, the reward, and the risk involved.

There are a lot of reasons that footballers love poker — and they’re not so different from the reasons the game is beloved worldwide. But the similarities between the two games cannot be denied, and there’s a reason it’s a common career path or hobby. So, it’s easy to see why footballers and a love of poker tend to go hand in hand.

 

This article was brought to you by Late Tackle football magazine, the national football fanzine, 'by fans for fans'.
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