For Neymar, Poker is Another Big Competitive Pasttime

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Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil winger Neymar is one of the best footballers alive today, and he’s also held the title as most expensive since he broke the transfer fee ($222M) record in 2017. Famous for his exploits on the pitch, the Brazilian national team captain has also seen his portfolio of endorsements off the pitch grow in stature.

Playing poker is a passion for Neymar, and just like football/soccer, he’s in it to win it. He finished sixth at the Brazilian Series Final in 2018, after the Both he and Cristiano Ronaldo work for the same poker betting site. 

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So you’ll see images of the two soccer superstars all over poker blogs, online casino sites, and other related web content. Neymar and Ronaldo are just a couple of the athletes who enjoy gambling. Where you have casino games and slots to play online you’ll have world famous jocks. Another global football star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, endorses poker for a different company. Meanwhile the face of MMA, Conor MacGregor, is one of several athletes partnered with online casinos that offer a multitude of games.

Neymar has a passion for playing cards, an afinity he shares with Manchester City number two striker Gabriel Jesus, and the inside story of the high stakes games the two have been known to partake in a fascinating read. Poker is a contest of wits and mind games, and that’s where some of Neymar’s antics and controversial behaviors on the field translate to the table. Synonymous with “diving,” or “simulation” to the point that he was even once lampooned for it on an episode of The Simpsons, Neymar knows what he’s doing.

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He knows that what some might call playacting or simulation gets in the heads of the opponents, and that’s exactly what you need to do when you are pushing all your poker chips in to the middle of the table.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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