Footballers are well-known for being able to hide their emotions on and off the field of play, but a couple of Barcelona players took that to a whole new level as they scooped almost €500,000 at a European Poker Tour event in their city.
Gerard Piqué and Arturo Vidal are both incredibly accomplished poker players, with the World Cup winner taking home €352,950 as he finished as the runner-up, only beaten by professional Juan Pardo. It was a remarkable achievement by the centre-back as he reached the final two out of a field initially comprised of 70 participants.
His Chilean team-mate, Vidal, also enjoyed success, finishing the tournament in fifth position and taking home prize money of €134,460. That capped off an incredible weekend for Vidal, who had scored the final goal in Barcelona’s 5-2 win over Real Betis on Sunday night, a game in which Pique also played the full 90 minutes.
Eventual destroyer of the Barca duo and winner of the competition could not believe who he was facing at the table, telling PokerNews:
"I am obviously really happy, everything went my way... I was like a little kid with Piqué and Vidal at the tables."
Barcelona bounced back after a shock opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao with a win this weekend and they did so without Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, who are both out injured. Next up for the Blaugrana are Osasuna this Saturday as Ernesto Valverde’s men look to make it three La Liga titles on the trot.
Piqué’s poker face may come in handy when it comes to crunch time, later on in the season.
The footballers were playing in a game at the Barcelona Casino and it's not the first time PiquÃ© has won a big sum at the European Poker Tour. [as]