Numerous athletes and celebrities have appeared on poker tournaments and many online poker sites have signed celebrities to deals. Rugby players have joined in on the trend with players like James Haskell, Dylan Hartley, Mike Tindall, Delon Armitage and Ben Foden starring in major poker games and recently some poker sites have become sponsors of national rugby unions.
Some players enjoy the thrill and competition of the game whilst others play for more selfless causes to help raise money for charity.
One particular player that appears to have a great love for the game is French rugby player, Sebastien Chabal. On the pitch Chabal is known for cave-man-like profile with his full beard, long hair, large build and ferocious tackling, which has led the French rugby fans to nickname him “l’Homme des Cavernes”, which means “the Caveman”. Although Chabal has not recently been selected for the 6 Nations’ French squad, he continues to be among one of the highest paid players in the sport due to a large number of sponsorship that he receives annually.
Chabal loves poker, which is evident by the numerous poker tournaments that he has taken part in over recent years. The Frenchman began his interest in poker with various online tournaments and his aggressive no-nonsense style of rugby has translated perfectly to his poker strategy, which is equally aggressive.
As menacing as he may look, Sebastien Chabal also shows a softer side with active membership in the Champions for Peace, an organization that works worldwide on peaceful initiatives. Chabal often plays poker to win needed funds for this charity.
Although Chabal hasn’t won any major tournaments as of yet, he is often seen participating in live events and it is only going to be a matter of time before he finds success on the felt table.
One reason why sports personalities like Sebastien Chabal have taken a liking to the game of poker is that the level of competition in the game is similar to that on the rugby pitch. While it is not a physical game, similar skills are needed to excel in the game of poker. These include keen instinct, incredible focus in the midst of great pressure, and the ability to adjust on the fly. It is no wonder that many current and former rugby players enjoy the game on at least a recreational level and why you should expect to see more rugby players take up the game in the near future.
If you would like to follow in Chabal’s steps and try online poker, PartyPoker Francais is a good place to start. Partypoker has the reputation of being one of the world’s best and largest online poker sites with a huge player base. It is also an official partner of the World Poker Tour (“WPT”). Signing up is easy and there are many online games to try.