- 7 Millennial Celebrities who Love Playing Poker
Poker is a game that transcends all age groups. Just take a quick glance at the demographics at the World Series of Poker where you’ll see everyone from those who’ve just become of legal age all the way up to guys like Doyle Brunson, who is 87 years-old.
It definitely feels like the game has taken off over the last 10-15 years, and millennials have helped propel it to new heights. Their passion for playing online, in homes and in tournaments all around the world is what’s helped the game’s popularity grow.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top celebrity millennials that are into the game. Here are seven familiar faces who you maybe didn’t realize are also in love with poker.
1) Neymar Jr.
Professional Soccer Player
Neymar is recognized as one of the best soccer players in the world due to his outstanding dribbling and finishing. The Brazilian striker currently sits in third place in his country’s history in terms of the scorer’s list as he has 59 goals. But the soccer legend also has off the field hobbies, one of them including poker — it seems like he’s as competitive in card games as much as he is on the pitch.
Neymar has participated in live tournaments of all types in the past but he’s also been known to hold games at his mansion. He even got on the radar of PokerStars, who made a very lucrative sponsorship deal with him back in 2015 to have him as one of the faces of the brand. He’s been quite regularly involved in the game, which is why he makes our list.
2) Michael Phelps
Many of you may know Michael Phelps as one of the best Olympians of all time. His medal collection includes a whopping 28 with 23 of them being of the golden variety. To further prove his dominance, he was able to pick up eight gold medals back in 2008 at the Beijing games, which was enough for a world record for most medals awarded during one Olympics.
Obviously, after his retirement, he had to find other ways to keep busy. He began to draw attention to himself when he made appearances in multiple casinos, often seen roaming the poker rooms with poker pro Jeff Gross. Phelps has also competed in a few live tournaments, cashing in $8,757 in total earnings. Although he is yet to sign a big sponsorship, there have long been rumors that something might be in the works. For now, Phelps just loves to go to casinos and play some poker.
3) Rafael Nadal
Professional Tennis Player
After adding yet another grand slam and French Open to his name, Rafael Nadal is in the conversation to be one of the best tennis players of all time. Many people call him the King of Clay as he has been able to win a total of 13 French Opens as well as 18 grand slams. That number would put him just two behind Roger Federer on the list.
Outside of his tennis career, Rafa has been known to love poker. He even went head to head with the number one female poker player in Monaco in Vanessa Selbst back in 2014. While it is safe to say he didn’t win that game, he reportedly was able to pick up quite a bit of knowledge from Selbst and the competition. Nadal has stated that he tries to play poker at any chance he gets, which is mostly with his friends and family at home.
4) Fatima Moreira de Melo
Singer, Dutch Field Hockey Player
She just misses the cut as a millennial (she was born in 1978) but we’ll still make some room on our list for her, due to her known love of the game. Moreira de Melo used to be a Dutch field hockey player and played in 191 international matches for her country’s national team. Throughout those games she was able to score 30 times. That isn’t all — she thrives in nearly any activity she partakes, and has also built a career as a crooner, singing at international events.
In her spare time, she loves to play poker. De Melo was actually on the team PokerStars: Sportstars and was frequently found playing in tournaments behind the nickname ‘FatimaDeMelo’.
5) Dan Bilzerian
Is there a bigger Instagram star than Dan Bilzerian?
Besides being known as the king of Instagram and a complete lady’s man, Bilzerian plays a ton of poker in his free time. He’s found plenty of success too. He was involved in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event where he finished in 180th place.
Of course, he’s the type of man that isn’t afraid of a little risk. He’s said that the most he has ever lost in a single night of poker has been $3.6 million while the most he’s ever won has been $10.8 million. Talk about some highs and lows. However, Bilzerian claims that he doesn’t play against poker professionals anymore, although he does still play frequently.
6) Gerard Pique
Professional Soccer Player
Long a stalwart on the back-end for Spain’s national soccer team, Gerard Pique also gets plenty of love on the club-level by being an incredible defender for Barcelona. Everybody has a life outside of their day-time career, and this Spanish playboy has been able to parlay his career into (a pretty impressive) career playing poker. In his time playing, he has been able to gather over $250,000 in winnings in the World Series of Poker events as well as the European Poker Tour. For a man that doesn’t have poker as his first priority, his numbers are pretty impressive.
7) Rosario Dawson
Hollywood Movie Star
Dawson is known as an actress and producer, most notable featuring in films such as Men in Black II, Sin City and Seven Pounds. She also featured in the movie Rent, which ended up getting her the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress.
While many know of the starlet’s Hollywood accolades, not everyone is as familiar with her poker playing. Dawson has competed in her fair share of poker events in her spare time, playing the in the Celebrity Poker Showdown in which she made it to the Championship Game, only to lose to Maura Tierney.