A look at the most famous poker celebrities
The world of poker is one that has been transformed beyond recognition. Due credit goes to the internet that played a crucial role in transforming its imagery from cigar holding sinister characters in dingy environments playing out into the light of day to a socially acceptable skill sport. The celebrities are no new comers to the game, top Hollywood stars and sportsmen have taken to the felts successfully both online and offline. Let’s take a look at some of poker’s most recognizable celebrities.
This Hollywood A-lister is best known for Argo and Good Will Hunting, but is also a mean card player. Ben Affleck is often spotted on high-stakes professional poker tables and has even won the California State Poker Championship in 2004.
For tennis legend Rafael Nadal, there had to be a retirement plan, therefore the switch from ATP to the WSOP. He has been signed on by one of the major online poker sites as a brand ambassador. Nadal is no new comer to the felts and has played with the likes of Daniel Negreanu.
The Brazilian soccer star is also eyeing the lucrative career of poker for his post-retirement days. He and his contemporary, Ronaldo have both been seen playing a few hands of poker. Neymar has been seen taking part in a number of WSOP events.
What began as part of the research for his role in 1998 poker movie Rounders, soon turned into a new fondness and flair for the game of poker. In recent years he has become one of the most recognizable faces on the WSOP circuit.
Everybody loves Raymond, right? Well, the possible exception is for those who come up against him at the poker table. The Emmy Award-winning TV star has been a fixture at the WSOP for the past ten years and has accumulated winnings of around $20,000 to his name.
In the 1990s, Hendry dominated the world of snooker like nobody before or since, winning the World Championship an incredible seven times. He retired aged just 43, while he was still at the top of the game, and has since carved out a successful poker career.
The “Baltimore Bullet” accumulated an incredible 28 Olympic medals, including 23 Golds. He is now taking his poker just as seriously as he took his swimming. Phelps has participated in several high-stakes tournaments out in the Bahamas, as well as the WSOP in Las Vegas. His best result so far has been a fifth-place finish in the 2008 Caesars Palace Classic, an event that featured 187 entrants.
The former Premier League soccer player is one of the few celebrities to have turned his love of poker into a long-term success story. He turned his attention to poker after a 24-year career at the top of the game. His poker career looks set to be just as long-lived as his soccer one as he consistently finishes in the money at WSOP events around the globe.
Talk about the felts getting star studded!