Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s most recognisable sporting heroes and his 2018 has been filled with ups and downs. He started the year playing for what would soon become his former club Real Madrid and managed to help them secure yet another Champions League title. Unfortunately for Cristiano his club could only muster a third place finish in La Liga and this was soon to be followed up by some memorable World Cup woes.
The best footballer on the planet?
Having a decent poker face is definitely a must-have when you’re at the table but not even footballing star Cristiano Ronaldo could hide his disappointment after his Portuguese side got knocked out of this summer’s World Cup. When Portugal took on Spain in their opening group game last month and Ronaldo managed to put away an impressive hat-trick of goals you certainly thought that this could just possibly be his year. But even after successfully qualifying from their group it was a hungrier Uruguayan side that who managed to knock out the team leaving Ronaldo and his teammates disappointed and booked on a early flight home.
Like all true stars though Ronaldo has managed to very quickly pick himself back up and he’s already celebrating once again. This time however it’s all down to an unexpected move and the celebrated star can now be seen out and about enjoying his latest move as the Portuguese star striker has just completed a huge £99 million transfer to Italian side Juventus. This will no doubt help line his pockets a little while longer and will definitely let him continue pursuing his other passion, which is poker.
A Real Poker-Face
Like many other top flight professional sports stars Ronaldo has turned his attentions to the exciting world of poker. The 33-year old has previously voiced plenty of praise for the game and even signed up to help promote PokerStars.com a few years back. Of course Ronaldo’s not the only professional sports star that has transitioned his or her interests over to the poker table. Australian cricket legend Shane Warne as well as Spanish Wimbledon Champion Rafael Nadal have both sampled the excitement of the live poker tournaments. There’s no doubt these sporting legends have the opportunity to place high stakes thanks to their huge earnings however it seems apparent that some stars already have what it takes in their sporting demeanour to transition certain skills to the tables.
One significant factor that may possibly be an appealing aspect of poker, especially to world-beating sporting giants, is the level of fairness across the field. Whilst some professional poker players can win huge sums of money in tournaments and finish above their peers on numerous occasions its still a game of a chance to a certain degree and therefore big names in sport who have achieved much in their own sporting field can now compete in an alternative field where the competition is much more equal. It’s a game where pretty much anyone can beat any other player no matter how skilled or experienced they may be. Sports stars love to be on top but being number one has continuous pressures on players and sporting figures and so it’s great for them to be able to compete in a totally open field with those of all ages, sex, background and any level of physical fitness.
-Poker has always been my game
Cristiano Ronaldo told Team PokerStars that “Although football is my world, poker has always been my game.” It seemed he only started playing a few years back but he has always stated that he loves the competition as well as the strategy and fun. Strategy is certainly something that is prominent in his arsenal of skills when he’s on the pitch and his ability to read situations, predict his opponents next move and even anticipate the outcome of a particular pass or other quick decision is what makes him a fantastic footballer. These are skills that are very much part of the game of poker and this is why, as previously mentioned, sports stars can make that transition from their field to the world of poker quite seamlessly. How successful they could actually be at it is another question entirely.
Ronaldo has taken part in numerous poker games and tournaments over the years including special charity matches like that he played against Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, another game he managed to win. The soccer ace has travelled the world enjoying poker in some of the best casinos around, and let’s face it if you’re a big name like Ronaldo you’re not going to struggle getting a seat at a high stake table. He’s definitely learnt a lot along the way and the more opponents he can beat and the more positive results he can get under his belt the more formidable a poker opponent he will become.