Soccer Star and Blaze Ambassador Neymar Runs Deep in $5,200 Poker Tournament

Posted on: October 31, 2023, 08:19h. 

Last updated on: November 1, 2023, 08:46h.

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, whom most soccer fans know as Neymar Júnior, continues to make a name for himself at the poker tables. The Brazilian soccer player and ambassador for the online casino Blaze has a lot more time to play and recently came close to securing his first tournament win before settling for 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 reportedly spending more time at the poker tables while out of the game. (Image: Getty Images)

Neymar, who allegedly once lost $1 million gambling online, came very close to winning the $5,200 Titans Event on PokerStars a little over a week ago. Although he received $66,056 as runner-up, he was probably disappointed that he couldn’t win the title.

A $5,200 buy-in doesn’t seem like much for a player who recently signed a two-year, $219-million contract. However, being as competitive on the feet as he is on the field, his only goal is to win.

In the final heads-up battle, Neymar faced Lithuanian player Domynikas “Mikensonas” Mikolaitis. Both players guaranteed themselves at least $66,35, but the champion received the title and an additional $25,600. Lithuania has never beaten Brazil on the soccer field, but the Lithuanian player was stronger at the poker table.

Mykolaitis now has a story about defeating a soccer icon and the $91,663 he added to his bankroll. He doesn’t have a profile on Hendon Mob, but he has accumulated more than $350K in poker victories over the past seven years.

Not the First Time

This isn’t the first time Neymar, who transferred from French side Paris St. Germain to Saudi side Al-Hilal for $95.5 million in the summer, has spent time at online poker tables. In January of last year, during the PokerStars Winter Series, he finished third in the $1,050 Turbo event and won $23,884. Another third place in the $10,300 high roller earned him $125,678.

Six months later, he made his WSOP debut. He didn’t cash in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. But in the $1,000 Super Turbo tournament, he finished 49th for $3,959.

He was injured in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay and now faces a lengthy rehabilitation. Medical tests confirmed a meniscus tear in his knee and a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture.

Titans Events Continue to Draw Crowds

The PokerStars Titans Event is an online poker tournament that attracts some of the biggest names in the game. It’s the largest buy-in weekly tournament at PokerStars, with a standard buy-in of $5,200.

The event typically sees many players, creating a significant prize pool. For instance, one event saw 69 players create a $345K prize pool. The top finishers win a slice, with the champion taking home the lion’s share.

Rodrigo “seijistar” Seiji Sirichuk from Brazil won $93,118 in one event, and the recent win by Mikolaitis was also one of the biggest. The event is known for its intense competition and high stakes, with some players calling it the “temporary high-stakes championship.”