Cristiano Ronaldo now a PokerStars Pro

by Jeremy Olson on May 28, 2015

For the past few weeks, there has been speculation that PokerStars was eyeing a major footballer like Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo. And the rumors have finally been proven true because, just weeks after signing Neymar, PokerStars also inked a deal with Ronaldo.

This deal seems like a natural fit because the Portugueese striker is a big fan of poker. In recent years, he’s instagrammed and tweeted pictures of himself playing the game. So unlike Rafael Nadal, whose signing by Stars came out of the blue, this deal makes a little more sense.

“I’m looking forward to taking my game to the online and live poker tables and meeting my fans head to head,” said Ronaldo. “Although football is my world, poker has always been my game. I’m very excited to join the team.”

The obvious appeal to Ronaldo is that he’s one of the most-famous soccer players ever to compete in the game. Michael Hazel, interim CEO of PokerStars, pointed this out by saying, “Ronaldo is one of the most famous names in the world and PokerStars is thrilled to partner with him. We look forward to him spreading his love of the game worldwide by sharing his PokerStars experiences with his huge social following and fan base.”

Speaking of Ronaldo’s social media following, he has 103 million Facebook friends and another 36 million followers on Twitter. This is key for PokerStars because they’re at a time when they really want to capitalize on social media and Twitch. So besides adding Ronaldo, they also brought Brazilian striker Neymar aboard, who has 51 million Facebook friends and 18 million Twitter followers. Additionally, WSOP champ Jason Somerville was signed by PokerStars namely because he has over 50,000 Twitch subscribers and the popular “Run It Up” podcast.