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Former United defender Gerard Pique clearly has a career awaiting him once he hangs up his football boots after. The Spaniard recently bagged a six-figure sum at a European Poker Tour (EPT) event in Barcelona and he shows no signs of slowing down.
The first Single-Day High Roller event at the 2019 EPT Barcelona festival, hosted at Casino Barcelona, had not one but two very familiar faces at the tournament’s final table. Pique managed to finish runner-up to fellow compatriot, Juan Pardo, scooping a stunning €352,950 prize. Meanwhile, his Barcelona team-mate, Chilean midfielder, Arturo Vidal, also made the final nine, eventually finishing in fifth place, taking home €134,460 for his day’s work.
Both Pique and Vidal are an inspiration to amateur poker players around the world. They are proof that you don’t need to play professionally to win big bucks and qualify for the biggest tournaments. The leading real-money poker apps allow amateurs to play on the go and even attempt to be eligible for major events like the European Poker Tour via satellite tournaments. Pique has certainly enjoyed taking part in events on the EPT circuit, with his career prize money from live tournaments now surpassing the €500,000 mark.
Pique is actually 28th on Spain’s All-Time Money List of poker players, which is some achievement when you consider that he’s only cashed in five major tournaments. The last major win on this scale was also in Barcelona when he finished fifth at the PokerStars Championship in 2017 for €129,350. Whether he’s ever likely to go full time with his poker remains to be seen. Pique certainly has plenty of other interests going on outside of his football playing career. At the age of 32, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he may look to hang up his boots prematurely given the riches he has earned and the other exciting opportunities he’s involved in.
Pique’s Kosmos Group
One of Pique’s biggest interests outside of life in the Nou Camp is his new sports and media investment group, Kosmos Holding. Founded in partnership with Japanese tycoon, Hiroshi Mikitani, owner of e-commerce platform Rakuten, as well as Edmund Chu, Nullah Sarker, and Mike Evans, Kosmos has played a significant role in the transformation of tennis’ Davis Cup competition. A $3bn investment in a reformed Davis Cup, in partnership with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), was launched this autumn with the first knock-out cup-style event staged in Spain.
Could Pique transform club football in Andorra?
Pique is also using his Kosmos Holding group to invest in the Spanish semi-professional football club, FC Andorra. It is Andorra’s primary club side, which plays in the third tier of Spain’s football league, the Segunda Division B. The deal to buy the club was completed in December 2018 and since then, FC Andorra has been on an upward curve – largely thanks to their financial backers. Despite only winning promotion to the fourth tier in 2018/19, the Kosmos Group agreed on a deal with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) worth €452,022 to replace Reus in Segunda Division B due to ongoing financial problems.
One thing is for sure, Pique certainly won’t be bored when he eventually chooses to call time on his glittering football career, including two treble-winning seasons and not to mention a league and Champions League double at Old Trafford during a period of late-noughties dominance for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.