When the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil striker Neymar made his first in-person appearance at a World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament in the United States, he took a huge step toward a parallel career in professional poker.
The 30-year-old, who joined PSG from Barcelona for €222 million in 2017, became the world’s most expensive signing ever, took a seat at the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, which was held at the Paris Las Vegas Casino.
Neymar won his WSOP spot in June 2016 after winning a preliminary PokerStars tournament in Vegas, but he was unable to compete in the main event the following month due to his participation in the summer Olympic games with Brazil.
The 30-year-old was eventually able to take his seat for the WSOP tournament six years later than planned, and he appeared to enjoy himself at the table as one of the 74 contestants on the opening day of the three-day competition.
Neymar was hoping to add gold of a different type to his record of triumphs, with the coveted WSOP winner’s bracelet on the line. Neymar has won many of honours as a footballer, including the 2014-15 Champions League with Barcelona and nine titles across three different leagues.
His time at the tables was unfortunately cut short, as he was eliminated before the end of Day 1. According to on-site sources from PokerNews, the footballer was quite active, playing a wide range of opening hands, which might lead to the footballer jeopardizing his chips in risky scenarios.
For several years, the Brazilian has worked as a spokesperson for PokerStars, most recently as the company’s cultural ambassador, appearing in promotional activities and ads.
He has competed in a number of events throughout the world through PokerStars, with his best live cash coming in a sixth-place finish at a Brazilian Series of Poker event worth $21,072.
On Tuesday, the tournament will continue at the resort and casino, with Marco Johnson retaining the chip lead.
While his participation may have come to an abrupt end, Neymar will no sure have had a sneak peek at the pro poker circuit, which he has publicly stated to wanting to join as a regular once his football career is over.
“Yes, that is correct! [Pro poker] is one of my favorite things to do “Last year, the Brazilian told the French website CNEWS. “I feel quite at ease, and I believe that after football, I will be able to travel and participate in tournaments that I have always wanted to but have been unable to due to my schedule.”
Not that his attention has already shifted from football to life at the table, but Neymar was once caught playing poker while the rest of his PSG teammates were concentrating on winning the Ligue 1 title in 2018.
To be fair, Neymar was recovering from surgery on a fractured metatarsal at the time and rushed to social media shortly after the final whistle to congratulate his teammates on their victory, demonstrating that he did keep an eye on the outcome!