F1 x Poker - 5 F1 Drivers You Won't Believe Play Poker

F1 x Poker - 5 F1 Drivers You Won't Believe Play Poker

The worlds of motor racing and poker have always enjoyed a nice rhythm together. The two activities enjoy similar audiences, so promotional partnerships have come easy, and cards games have long been a fixture in the garages of racing teams at all levels and in all formats.

Long after the checkered flag has been waved and the cars have been put away, racers and their teams are still in search for high-stakes action to pass the time between stops on the lengthy racing schedule.

Here are five F1 racers that you may not believe enjoyed poker off the track:

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#5 - Jaime Alguersuari

Photo: Mark McArdle from Canada. CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now a DJ and music producer, Jaime Alguersuari was once the youngest Formula One driver in the world when he took to the track for the first time in 2009. His record was eventually eclipsed by current World Champion Max Verstappen, but not before the young Spanish racer spent three years on the F1 circuit.

Alguersuari was an ambassador for partypoker while he was a member of the Toro Rosso team.

Years Active (F1)3
Most Notable F1 AchievementYoungest Formula One driver to start a Grand Prix in 2009 (19 years old)
Most Notable Poker Achievementpartypoker Ambassador in 2010.

#4 - Giancarlo Fisichella

Photo: David Merrett from Daventry, England.CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Giancarlo Fisichella raced for six different teams in his 14 years as a Formula One driver, and he crossed paths with the poker world as a partypoker Ambassador in 2009. Fisichella, one of many motorsports drivers who enjoys poker behind the scenes, even appeared in a televised high-stakes charity game in 2008.

The game took place in Italy and it included drivers Eddie Irvine, Giorgio Pantano, Tonio Liuzzi, Alex Zanardi, and Adrian Sutil. In the end, it was Nico Rosberg who came out on top for $43,828.

Fisichella also has one recorded cash on Hendon Mob, a second-place finish in a recurring daily tournament at Melbourne Crown Casino. The timing coincides with the Australian Grand Prix in Mrch of that year, so it looks like the world-class driver had time to sneak away for a daily during his prep for the race.

Years Active (F1)14
Most Notable F1 AchievementThree wins in 229 starts
Most Notable Poker Achievement2nd Place A$60 NLH Tuesday Night Melbourne Crown Casino (March 2009)

#3 Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is a two-time winner of the F1 World Drivers Championship with 32 victories in 20 years as a driver on the circuit. The Spaniard has been racing on anything with wheels since the age of three and he currently runs for the Aston Martin team.

Alonso is also known as a card shark among his friends. Here he is seen bragging about cleaning up at a home game in 2012:

Years Active (F1)20
Most Notable F1 AchievementTwo World Drivers Championships, 32 wins
Most Notable Poker AchievementCleaned out his friends in a cash game in 2012

#2 - Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher raced for 19 years and won the F1 World Drivers Championship seven times, a total only matched recently by Lewis Hamilton. The German dominated the F1 scene for nearly two decades for several teams, most notably Ferrari, where he won several championships and turned around the long-struggling operation.

The champ was also known as a fixture on the charitable poker scene and in private games. Unfortunately, he has remained very private since he suffered a skiing accident in 2013.

Years Active (F1)19
Most Notable F1 AchievementSeven-time World Champion, 91 wins
Most Notable Poker AchievementLikely cleaned out a few garage games of his own

#1 Lewis Hamilton

Photo: Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lewis Hamilton is the greatest driver of his generation, a seven-time champion with over 100 wins and one of the highest salaries in sports.

In 2020, Hamilton sat down for some high-stakes tournament action on GGPoker.

Ahead of theTurkish Grand Prixin November of 2020, Hamilton paid the $10,300 buy-in to enter Event #7 of the GGPoker High Rollers Week, which came with a $1.25 million guarantee. However, the six-time champion wasn't adding another win to his resume. He finished at the back of the pack in 113th place out of 130 players.

An official spokesperson forGGPokertoldPokerNewsthat Hamilton was just "a guest."

Years Active (F1)17
Most Notable F1 AchievementSeven-time World Champion, 103 wins
Most Notable Poker Achievement113th place in Event #7: $10,300 NLH during 2020 GGPoker High Rollers Week

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Honorable Mentions

Robert Kubica is a Polish driver known for his precise driving and modest off-track image. He prefers pastimes like snooker and poker over the celebrity lifestyle of your average driver.

Kimi Raikkonen is an accomplished Finnish driver who is known to play poker in his time away from the track. He was spotted at a Texas card room in Texas after the 2022 race in Austin.

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