Sports fans around the world know of Boris Becker. The German tennis pro spent years perfecting his game, winning major titles, and ultimately earning his way into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Poker fans know that he also has a passion for cards. While he doesn’t consider himself a professional player, Becker has been seriously involved in the game since 2007 when he signed a deal to become a member of Team PokerStars SportStar. He remained a sponsored pro with them for more than five years, playing online as well as in live tournaments around the world.
This week, Becker turned the page on a new chapter of his poker story by signing on as a PartyPoker ambassador. Not only does he share space on a roster with names like Mike Sexton and Sam Trickett, he also brings nearly a decade of poker experience to the tables.
Once a Legend, Always a Legend
Becker is best known for his tennis career. He was born and raised in Germany and took his years of tennis practice to the professional tour in 1984. He became the youngest Wimbledon men’s champion at the age of 17 and went on to win numerous other titles, including 13 Master Series and five elite indoor titles. He became the first player to ever win all three Open era season end finals – ATP Tour, WCT, and Grand Slam Cup – and won a doubles tennis Olympic gold medal.
He officially retired as a pro in 1999 after earning more than €18.3 million, and he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2003 for his many contributions to the game. And he still plays sometimes, as much as physical injuries allow, but also coaches other pros like Novak Djokovic and works as a commentator for networks like the BBC to cover Wimbledon.
As hear nears the age of 50, there are limits to what Becker can do in a physically-taxing sport like tennis. But poker enables him to compete, improve at a new game, and enjoy a game that celebrates his accomplishments in tennis as well as poker.
The man is no longer a newcomer to poker, either. Becker garnered some serious cashes in the game through the past few years, the biggest of which was a 40th place finish in the 2009 WPT World Championship for $40,855. Most recently, he took 13th in the PartyPoker WPT UK Festival’s Devilfish Cup for £15K. That put his lifetime live earnings over $111K.
Becker to Keep Busy as Ambassador
With the announcement of Becker’s ambassadorship with PartyPoker, the company also announced a tennis-themed promotion with Becker in the hot seat. Players can participate in an online poker game called Beat the Ace, in which they can win seats to play in any of the four $5K freerolls over the coming month. The overall winner will take home cash along with a seat in a live heads-up match against Becker in Germany with a $25K prize pool up for grabs.
Becker will be playing a good deal of poker going forward. He noted, “I am equally competitive at the poker table as I was on the tennis court, so I’m really excited to be partnering with PartyPoker and taking on players around the world. … PartyPoker has some world-class tournaments coming up, and I look forward to playing online as well as live at the PartyPoker MILLIONS in April, so see you there!
While Becker currently lives in the UK, he also maintains close ties to his home country of Germany and will participate in PartyPoker’s efforts to expand the availability of games there in 2017.
PartyPoker has been busy signing quite a few pros to its team roster this year as sponsored players and ambassadors. Fellow German player Jan Jachtmann joined at the same time as Becker, and Sam Trickett of the UK was just signed in November. Earlier this year, PartyPoker added Jackie Glazier and Beata Jambrik to the team, which already included Carl Froch, Mike Sexton, Tony Dunst, Roberto Romanello, and Natalia Breviglieri.