Tennis legend and three time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker made his first big entry onto the poker felt as a partypoker brand ambassador last week when he joined the partypoker MILLIONS Main Event held at Nottingham's Dusk Till Dawn Casino.
Becker retired from professional tennis nearly 30 years ago but he has continued to remain in the mainstream media as he has coached top ranked tennis players and also taken to playing poker and promoting the game. Becker signed up as a partypoker brand ambassador last year and is looking to spread the popularity of the game across the globe.
Just like in tennis, Becker has also had good success on the poker felt and has career winnings of over $111,417. He has participated earlier in the $25,500 WPT Five Star World Poker Classic in 2009 finishing 40th and also finished 13th in the inaugural Devilfish Cup. Partypoker hopes to piggyback on Becker’s brand power to gain exposure in Germany, his home country Partypoker is looking to expand its presence in Germany and will rely on Becker’s fame to make inroads.
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Becker attributes his confident entry to his inherent personality type. He said that since he wasn’t a nervous character he was able to handle his doubts whether in tennis or poker, both of which he called mind games.
In a statement, Becker said
You can see when you serve to the opposition if they have moments of doubt or are nervous. On the other hand, every top player has the same ability not to show nerves. You need to have a great mentality otherwise you won’t win. So when you face someone who has the same qualities as yourself, it becomes a real match
Acknowledging the impact of tennis on his life, Becker said that being a tennis champion helped him gain fame, money and freedom but took away his privacy. He said that privacy was more at threat for the younger generation today as a result of technology.
Becker had cultivated a fearsome reputation as an aggressive and competitive tennis player besting rivals such as Stefan Edberg and Michael Stich repeatedly. For him beating rivals was all about managing nerves and controlling his emotions. The Becker of today seems to have toned down much of his aggressiveness and can be seen to have a stoic appreciation of poker as a game. There are still flashes of his brilliant sporting temperament and skill on display which could well translate into a big win on the felt one of these days.