We are in the middle of the soccer transfer window in European club football terms, but one of the biggest moves has taken place in the world of poker, as Brazilian striker Ronaldo has rejoined PokerStars after several years away from the felt.

It’s almost a decade after the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan forward first joined the Team PokerStars stable back in 2013, and now the big man is back. But will he find his scoring boots and how does he aim to be a success?

A Decade Out of Football

The original Ronaldo used to be declared ‘…and the best’ after anyone listed his name. Since his retirement in 2011, however, another Ronaldo, namely former PokerStars ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo has cemented his place at the top of those legacy lists, certainly ahead of his Brazilian namesake.

What has the Brazilian Ronaldo been doing since his retirement in 2011? Well, mainly focusing on his business empire, with a sports marketing company called 9INE – a name that doesn’t quite scan – as well as part-ownership of the Spanish team Real Valladolid.

With the biggest share in the Brazilian team Cruzeiro, the team where R9 began his professional career, his assets have set him back tens of millions of dollars, but after a glittering career on the pitch, he can spare it.

R9 is Back on the Roster

The Brazilian soccer legend, who was famed for two World Cups at which his presence was core to the destiny of the Silvio Gazzaniga trophy in both 1998 and 2022, is sure to be a hit again on ‘Stars.  Back when he joined the global market leader in online poker in 2013, he said: “I always look to give my best in everything, in football and in life. Poker is another challenge that excites me.” At the time, however, the full and lasting impact of Black Friday, which took place less than two years prior, was not known.

Almost ten years later, Ronaldo’s ability to convert on the online Twitch stream is impressive and his propensity to command viewers is legendary and sure to be a big part of why PokerStars has reached out to him again.

All in all, the ‘original’ Ronaldo only cashed twice in live events while wearing the Team Pro badge. First, he finished 26th in the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), before a year later returning to Atlantis and coming seventh in a PCA side event. Between them, those two tournament cashes led to ‘R9’ winning over $45,000.

Converting to Online Poker

“I am becoming part of the PokerStars family again.”

Ronaldo’s return coincides with a change of direction, both in terms of PokerStars and the man himself. While R9 is looking forward to playing online and broadcasting streams on his ever-popular Twitch channel – he has over 400,000 followers on the channel – PokerStars are growing their EPT tour and while they may never hit the heights of previous years in terms of output, Ronaldo’s abilities at the live felt will be called upon too.

“I am extremely excited to announce that I am becoming part of the PokerStars family again,” said the Brazilian soccer legend. “I have always been a huge fan of the game and look forward to working on some exciting projects in the future. Keep an eye on Ronaldo TV where I’ll be streaming some tournaments soon!”

Ronaldo’s record at the online felt is unlikely to come under close scrutiny, with the popular footballer known for his skills on the pitch rather than at the poker table. Entertain and he’ll fly and join a Brazilian poker scene that is thriving right now. With players such as the current Paris St. Germain and Brazil player Neymar also playing the game of poker in recent months, there’s every chance Ronaldo will fit right in with the current South American clientele in the industry.

Players such as PokerStars Team Pro Andre Akkari recent big winner Rafael Moreas and high roller and GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos are all sure to be a huge motivation to Ronaldo in winning big in poker once more.


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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