Luis Suarez is a name familiar to every single football fan out there. Liverpool's striker, who scored 31 goals this season and was awarded the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award, will now be testing his skills on the much smaller green felt as well. Suarez entered a sponsorship deal with one of the poker industry giants, 888poker, and he is amongst the top sporting superstars to sign this type of deal in the recent period.
Bringing Suarez aboard should give the company quite an exposure amongst those who love football but may not share the same interest for poker. The football star was presented during a press conference held today in Barcelona where he talked about this latest development as well as his future plans and the upcoming football World Cup. Senior Vice President of 888poker Itai Pazner did not try to hide the company’s excitement about their latest acquisition either:
Luis Suarez is an incredible sporting talent - passionate, competitive, technically gifted, and emotionally invested in the game. It’s those qualities that make him an exciting player to watch, in poker as well as football. It’s fantastic to have him on board. pokerlistings.com
The Uruguayan player should become an integral part of the 888poker team, playing both online and in live events. However, with the World Cup quickly approaching, it is somewhat hard to imagine Suarez will have a lot of time on his hands for poker, as he is primarily a football player.
When he does have time to play, Suarez will be joining a team already consisting of the famous cricketer Shane Warne, UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre, as well as poker stars JC Tran, Sofia Lovgren and Xuan Liu.
While Suarez’s talent and skill as a footballer are beyond any doubt, some eyebrows are being raised when considering his fairness. The football star has quite a history of suspensions and fines linked to his name throughout his career, and for some in the poker community, this may seem like a red flag.
On the other hand, there are hordes of fans who enjoy watching him perform his magic on the field and they will probably enjoy (maybe not to the same extent, but enjoy nonetheless) seeing him try his luck at the poker table and being actually able to sit across from him on the virtual felt, chat him up and even take some of his money away.
Although there is often some heat coming from the hardcore part of the poker community when it comes to signing sporting stars, the fact is that their fame and popularity simply bring new players to the game and, in the end, it is good for everyone – rooms, amateurs and professionals. Now we just have to wait and see how successful Suarez will be in a discipline that doesn’t require an actual ball to play ball.
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