For those of you who didn’t hear the news this week, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has signed a sponsorship deal with online poker site 888poker. While signing high profile sports stars has become a popular publicity stunt in recent years with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Boris Becker linked with PokerStars, Suarez is quite a coup for 888poker given his incredible EPL season.
Named PFA Player of the Year, he scored a record-equalling 31 goals in just 33 games for the Reds in 2013/14 and was later labelled the most influential player on Europe. But can he play poker?
In the end, that doesn’t really matter. Nadal didn’t know a King from a Queen when he signed with PokerStars in 2013 but having been mentored by the site’s team of pros has acquitted himself well in various charity events. More importantly, he has attracted plenty of media interest for PokerStars due to his high profile and no doubt Suarez will do the same for 888poker – although with the World Cup coming up it’s unlikely he will have much spare time to spend at the tables just yet.
Other sports stars to be sponsored by online poker sites include French tennis player Gael Monfils and NHL legend Mats Sundin, while Suarez joins cricket great Shane Warne and UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre at 888poker.