Professional athletes turned poker players

Most professional sports these days pay stars sufficient money that they never need to work again after they retire. However, that doesn’t stop many of them enjoying a second career elsewhere.

Professional footballers are turning to the poker industry quite frequently, and the trend can be observed around the world

Below is a list of five former professional athletes who had success when they have ventured into poker tournaments:

Thomas Gravesen

A regular for the Danish national team during his prime, Thomas Gravesen was a rock in central midfield for Everton between 2000-05 when it came to an end on Merseyside, England with a shock transfer to world football giants Real Madrid.

Manager VanderleiLuxemburgo supposedly signed the Dane to fill Real Madrid’s holding midfielder role, something which he had not been doing at Everton for the previous five seasons. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out for the player, who left after a season and finished his football career with Celtic in Scotland.

Despite all the money he would have earned playing football up until 2008, reports came out in 2013 that Thomas Gravesen had moved to Las Vegas to play poker. Though his profile has never been added to The Hendon Mob…

Fatima Moreira de Melo

Fatima Moreira de Melo played field hockey between 1997-2011, representing the Netherlands on 191 occasions, winning Gold at the 2008 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup.

Besides playing field hockey, de Melo also has a master’s degree in Law, presented national TV programs in her own country, and has a career as a singer. Oh, and she has $577,274 career earnings as a poker player between October 2009-October 2019.

She was also a member of the Team PokerStars: Sportstars which included playing online poker real money under the username FatimaDeMelo.

Teddy Sheringham

The second former football turned poker pro is Teddy Sheringham. The winner of the Golden Boot in the inaugural 1992-93 English Premier League season, the striker turned out for the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United during his distinguished career, which included 51 caps for the England national team.

To date, Sheringham remains the oldest player to score in the English Premier League, when he netted for West Ham at the age of 40 in December 2006.

The Hendon Mob has records of Teddy Sheringham playing tournaments between 2005-12, earning a cool $329,475.

Ronaldo

Regarded by some as the greatest footballer of his generation, ‘the original’ Ronaldo scored for fun throughout most of his career, which saw him turn out for the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan and PSV Eindhoven.

A two-time FIFA World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002, Ronaldo had been the competition’s all-time top goalscorer before Germany’s Miroslav Klose outscored him in 2014.

The current Real Valladolid owner had a go at poker between 2015-16, earning a cool $45,760 fir events in Barbados.

Richard Seymour

Winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and playing for the Oakland Raiders during a 12-year career in the NFL that saw him go to seven Pro Bowls wasn’t enough for Defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

Two years after hanging up his cleats in 2012, the former Georgia Bulldog star tried his hands at cards and has been playing ever since. Currently his career prize money stands at an impressive $643,401; more than any of the other athletes named on this list.

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