It used to be golf and squash, but now it seems that poker has taken over as the game of choice for retiring sports starts. Poker is valued as a $2.2 billion dollar industry and with more people than ever wanting a piece of this huge pie, celebrities often find themselves as the face of some big brand names.

Take, for example, Carl Froch. He’s well-known as one of the best super-middleweight boxers in the world and over the years has fought in some tremendous fights with the likes of George Groves and Mikkel Kessler. Now, though, it seems he’s about to give it all up for a career on the poker tables. Apparently, money does talk after all,  and it’s paved a way to a celebrity poker match with Teddy Sheringham. Oh, the joy.

This had us thinking , there must be more sports stars out there who have turned to poker to keep themselves entertained after a glistening sports career. Well, they do, and some are much better than others.

So, here we have it,’s five favourite sports stars who you probably don’t know are poker fanatics.

Rafael Nadal

If there’s one thing you actually want to pick up whilst on a seven month hiatus from injury, it’s definitely a pro poker contract. Well, that’s exactly what Nadal did and although he might have never played in a professional game, he can often be found on-line. He even picked up €15,000 back in 2013 from a freeze-out tournament; small change for the mega-star who is worth $100 million.

Rafael Nadal

Shane Warne

One of the best spin bowlers around, he’s now well known as the leading face for 888poker’s extremely cheesy campaigns. With $50k in live tournament wins, he’s not doing too badly. Also a regular at the World Series of Poker, it’s safe to say he’s making quite a name for himself in poker – it might actually be entertaining to watch him this time.

Greg Mueller

One for our Canadian players, Greg Mueller, if you’ve heard of him, was a German born ice hockey player who now resides in Canada. Whilst his ice hockey career isn’t anything to shout about, he’s picked up over $660k in poker career wins over the last six years. Probably more than he’s ever made playing ice hockey.

Boris Becker

Another tennis player, which is no surprise as they’re all minted. Starting his second career in 2007, Boris Becker was one of the first sports stars to go into poker. The 47-year old can be found frequenting poker tables around the world and isn’t doing too bad, with winnings of around $100k.

Michael Phelps

Not exactly a pro player, Michael Phelps is a well-known poker fanatic. He loves to dabble on the green tables and has met some of his closest friends through poker. He’s a big fan of casino games, and presumably video poker, but could apparently do with a casino guide because he’s pretty dreadful. With a net worth of around $45 million, we guess he can afford to lose a few games.


Not Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Brazilian bloke who was also pretty decent at footy in his day. Ronaldo has even founded his own sports agency 9ine as a result of his intense interest in poker.

That’s pretty much it! Know any more famous poker player? Let us know in the comment section below!


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