Motorsports Stars Who Are Known to Enjoy Poker
Motorsports stars have a variety of different ways that they like to relax and spend their spare time, and among the current F1 stars, there are music makers, fashionistas, and even poker players.
Monaco has long been a location that is ingrained in motor racing culture, and it also happens to be one where there are some prestigious old casinos, where some of the stars of motor racing have been spotted at times. But as things have become more modern, there are more poker games and tournaments taking place online, and some sports stars and motor racing stars are known to take part in poker.
Crossover Between Poker and Motorsports
Poker is a very different experience from driving 200 mph around a track and trying to overtake your opposing cars, but a little bit of digging shows there are some parallels and similarities that may draw motorsports stars to poker games.
Concentration is one of the key concepts for both, and you can’t let your brain drift away for a second if you want to achieve anything in poker or motorsports, as it is crucial to always be aware of the opposition and the conditions.
Reading the other players and competition is also a huge part of both, knowing when somebody is bluffing in poker, and predicting when they are planning to be aggressive and overtake in motorsports.
Poker and motorsports like F1 also have a competitive edge to them, and that means that players of one of the games may be drawn to the other, with their natural competition meaning they wish to play against other people, something poker matches facilitate in a way some other casino games don’t, as the competition is between fellow players rather than directly against the house.
Motorsports and poker have plenty of unique and differentiating features, but both have their roots in entertainment as well as being highly competitive games, so it isn’t hard to see why some of the top F1 stars and NASCAR players get involved on the poker tables.
Hamilton is one of the biggest names in the history of F1 and the British racer has proven to be a serial racing winner over the years, but that wasn’t true when he participated in a poker tournament with a buy-in of over $10,000 and finished 113th out of 130.
Lewis probably didn’t shed too many tears over that $10,000 having been one of the highest-paid sportsmen in the world over the last decade, racking up millions in prize money and sponsorships as well as becoming an icon of the sport. His success has been largely attributed to his hobbies off the field, too, and Hamilton has spoken about “the power of diverse interests” and how being a fan of other things like tennis, golf, and piano, has helped him in his career.
Lewis Hamilton’s form has been off the boil in the last couple of seasons due to problems with the vehicles including the porpoising debacle that has plagued F1, but he’s still focusing on regaining the top spot in the Driver’s Championship so it is unlikely to see him playing too much poker publicly at the moment.
NASCAR’s Jason White is not as much of a household name as some of the others on this list but his love for poker means he is worth including on this list. As well as having a successful stock car racing career, he has participated in poker events including some that have been attended by the likes of Phil Ivey.
Jason White gained his poker skills playing with the pit crew and other members of the team in between races and practicing and has reached an impressive level where people know him for both racing and poker skills. “Endurance and focus” are the two things he has said he has taken from his motoring career and used in his poker playing.
Alonso, the Spanish driver who currently represents Aston Martin, has made no secret of the fact that he is into poker, and once famously shared on X (or Twitter as it was then known) a stack of chips he had won from a game.
Alonso has competed in F1 as well as 24 Hours of Le Mans, IndyCar Series, and other events, and has racked up many millions through his racing career, which has shown impressive longevity as not too many racers keep going into their 40s. When he’s not at the wheel he has also been spotted in casinos including one trip with American driver Alexander Rossi.
Casino culture has a significant crossover with racing, and racing events take place in some areas known for poker and other casino games, including Las Vegas and Monico.
You can imagine players during their time off playing some card games by the track or back in the hotel, plus some of the top players have also been known to frequent the casinos and even play online poker tournaments