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Five poker players who used to be football stars!

As a footballer you’re likely to go into two career paths after football — either punditry or coaching. Well, you’ll be surprised to hear that there’s a few who’ve gone down a very different path indeed. Coral takes a look at five footballers who’ve turned to poker after retirement.

From dabbling to pure professional

Sure, for some poker is just a hobby, but for others it’s a full-time job. The question is though, what turns footballers to poker?

According to one expert, its the ‘competitive nature of poker’. ‘If age or injury have stopped you getting that on the football pitch, a lot of former players opt to play for the same buzz – the highs, lows and banter.’

It’s not simply a retirement plan as well, as many footballers get experience in the arena of poker by playing on the coach to away matches, or those long international flights. Either way, there’s plenty of opportunity for pro footballers to get some practice in.

So, here’s 5 players who’ve managed to turn their poker playing hobby into a job.

Jan Vang Sorensen

He’s a former Odense player  forced to retire through injury at the young age of 30. Unfortunately, the Danish League isn’t he most lucrative place to spend your career as a footballer and so, if your career is cut short, you’re probably going to have to find alternative employment. Fortunately for Sorensen, he made up for this rather quickly.

In total, he’s earned over $2 million playing poker. Guess what — he learned on the road! If you travel often to work, have a dabble of online poker on the train and you might well be a professional when you come to retire — shame you’ll be 65.

Teddy Sheringham

Every football fan has heard of Teddy Sheringham, whether its from his days at Manchester United, or part of hard-man’s club Millwall. If you’re wondering what he’s been up to after his football days, poker is the answer.

Overall, he’s earned over $300k on the poker circuit. His biggest win came in 2010 when he won $127k at a European Poker Tour event. Not bad going then, for the half-centurion.

Jan Molby

Think back to 80s… go on, think carefully. Do you remember that not-so healthy midfielder that played for Liverpool. He was a little on the… bulky size. Yeah, that’s Jan Molby, and he was rather good for the reds. Well, not Stevie G level, but good enough.

After leaving the football world behind, he turned to poker and while it might not be a Liverpool level of success he’s achieved, he’s bagged around $10k at the tables. Okay, he’s no Daniel Negreanu, but you know… not bad.

Gerard Pique

If you know anything about football, you’ll know that Pique hasn’t retired yet. No, he’s still going (in his prime) and amazingly, he’s leading a double life as a poker player.

The international superstar was one of the leaders in the 44th Annual World Series of Poker Main Event, where for a while he was going strong until, like most amateurs, his luck disappeared. Nevertheless, he bagged $56k when he finished third in a game at the EPT Barcelona, back in the early part of 2011.

Tony Cascarino

A good mate of Teddy Sheringham, the former Millwall, Chelsea, Marsaille and R.O.I striker has become a semi-professional poker player. Probably following in the same steps as Sheringham also.

Cascarino is, as you probably know, a pundit. He’s also dabbled in poker though, picking up $500k in tournament winnings. He also bagged a cool £168k, winning the GUKPT Grand Final. Overall then, pretty impressive.

So, there you go! 5 professional footballers who’ve turned to poker. Who knew it could be so easy — it could even be you going pro. Why don’t you find out what you’ve got on our poker tab! Good luck at the tables!