Hockey and Cards, Hand in Hand

It’s not hard to see why hockey players are drawn to playing cards. When a good part of your career involves whiling away the time on planes, trains and in hotel rooms, a deck of cards can come in pretty handy. And what game do you think bored millionaires are going to play – crazy eights?

Hockey and poker games have been bedroom buddies for a long time now and with Texas Hold Em coming into the mainstream, players have even more opportunity to show off their skills. And the players aren’t just passing the time – many charities have received a boost in revenue thanks to charity games. One on the biggest has been the Playground Poker Club’s No Limit Hold’em NLH Faceoff Tournament. Thanks to the goodwill of past and present hockey stars and a few great corporate sponsors the tourney raised $50 000 for the Jodi Taiger Lazarus Fund for Hereditary Breast Cancer Research. Now I know there are some people against gambling but wow, that’s a lot of money going to a great cause. Some of the stars that participated were P.K. Subban, Carey Price, Mike Bossy, Guy Lafleur and many more.

Of course hockey players aren’t the only athletes getting into poker. There is a pretty famous field hockey player, in fact she was a Dutch Olympic Gold Medalist, who has moved her career from the field to the table. Fatima Moreira, along with Mats Sundin, Boris Becker and other sports stars have teamed up on a Poker Stars Sports stars group. It makes sense that these uber-competitve folks look for a new avenue once their playing days are over. Another pro hockey player that has been doing quite well at the poker table has been Greg Mueller. After playing for 9 seasons in Germany he has moved onto the Pro poker circuit and has already won a World Series of Poker bracelet – no mean feat.

Here’s a little clip from the Flames’ 2011 charity game – looks like a blast.