Soccer Star Neymar Embraces Poker: Dives into $5,200 Tournament as Blaze Ambassador


Posted on: October 31, 2023, 08:19h. 

Last updated on: October 31, 2023, 09:45h.

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known as Neymar Jr. in the world of soccer, is making waves in the poker scene. The Brazilian footballer, who is also an ambassador for the online casino Blaze, recently came close to winning his first-ever tournament, ultimately finishing in second place.

Brazilian soccer player Neymar down on the field with an injury
Brazilian soccer player Neymar down on the field with an injury. He’s spending more time at the poker tables and is reportedly getting better all the time. (Image: Getty Images)

Neymar, who reportedly lost $1 million in online gambling in the past, had a strong showing at the recent $5,200 Titans Event on PokerStars. Although he settled for the runner-up position, taking home $66,056 in prize money, he had hoped to claim the tournament victory.

A $5,200 buy-in may not seem significant for a player who recently signed a $219 million contract, but Neymar’s competitive nature drives him to strive for victory both on the soccer field and at the poker table.

Close, but No Cigar

In the final heads-up battle, Neymar went up against Lithuanian player Domynikas “Mikensonas” Mikolaitis. Both players were guaranteed a minimum of $66,350, but Mikolaitis emerged as the champion, earning the title and an additional $25,600. While Lithuania has never defeated Brazil in soccer, Mikolaitis proved to be the stronger player at the poker table.

Mikolaitis now boasts a story of defeating a soccer icon and adding $91,663 to his bankroll. Although he doesn’t have a profile on Hendon Mob, he has amassed over $350K in poker winnings over the past seven years.

This is not Neymar’s first foray into online poker. Previously, he finished in third place in the $1,050 Turbo event during the PokerStars Winter Series last year, earning $23,884. He also achieved a third-place finish in the $10,300 high roller event, winning $125,678.

Six months later, Neymar made his debut at the WSOP. While he did not cash in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, he finished 49th in the $1,000 Super Turbo tournament, earning $3,959.

Due to his injury sustained during a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay, Neymar will likely spend more time playing poker, both online and in live events. Medical tests have confirmed a meniscus tear and an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, resulting in a lengthy rehabilitation period and the premature end of his season.

Titans Events Continue to Attract Attention

The PokerStars Titans Event is a highly popular online poker tournament that draws some of the biggest names in the game. With a standard buy-in of $5,200, it stands as the largest weekly tournament at PokerStars.

The event consistently attracts a large number of players, leading to substantial prize pools. For example, one event saw 69 players create a $345,000 prize pool. The top finishers receive a portion of the total prize money, with the champion claiming the largest share.

Rodrigo “seijistar” Seiji Sirichuk from Brazil won $93,118 in one such event, and Mikolaitis’ recent victory also secured a substantial cash prize. Renowned for its intense competition and high stakes, some players refer to the Titans Event as the “temporary high-stakes championship.”

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