From actors and musicians to athletes and TV stars, poker has attracted celebrities from all over the world. But did you know that several tennis stars have ditched their raquet for poker cards and have made a real name for themselves in the world of poker?
With the increase of online poker sites it’s no surprise that the game is becoming increasingly popular. Often, celebrity poker players will play charity events, which helps raise funds as well as practise their playing skills. A handful of professional tennis players have tried their luck at poker and below are just a few of them.
Boris Becker – six-time Grand Slam title winner from Germany – is probably one of the biggest tennis players to take up poker. After becoming an ambassador for an online poker site, he has proven his prowess in the game, as well as being a regular face on the European Poker Tour. Becker has even made it to the final table in an EPT event. It is thought he has earned around $70,000 in poker winnings since 2007.
After winning a staggering $23m during his high-flying tennis career, Kafelnikov went on to become famous in the world of poker too. In pro cahses, the Russian tennis star has earned nearly $150,000 as well as an impressive three cashes at the 2005 World Series of Poker. Sadly, Kafelnikov did not make it to the final table in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event and ended up ranking 9th place. Kafelnikov is juggling both tennis and poker, but it is thought that great things will happen for him once he retires from competitive tennis.
Not only is Antonius famous in the world of tennis, but he is also a recognisable name in poker too. The tennis star was known for being one of Finland’s best up-and-coming tennis stars. However, after an injury, Antonius was forced to retire from tennis before his career really got started. He soon discovered his love for poker and developed into one of the world’s top stars. It has been estimated he has earned $5.3m in pro cashes, making him a feared name in poker.
Professional poker is actually rather similar to athletic competition, so it is no surprise these former tennis stars have a natural knack for poker. Plus as poker begins to grow and the prize pools continue to get bigger, we will probably end up seeing more sports people turn to poker sometime during their career.