Top 5 Athletes to Become Celebrity Poker Players

"Celebrity Poker Live" is going to be the newest poker show on television. This show, which is the product of a partnership between Bicycle Casino and Studio 102 Productions, will feature celebrities vying against each other in a Texas Hold'em poker tournament.

Poker chips.
Wikimedia Commons

Jose Canseco, a former MLB star, will be among the celebrities on the show. If Jose Canseco wins "Celebrity Poker Live," he will win $10,000 for his favorite charity.

However, winning $10,000 on "Celebrity Poker Live" will not place Jose Canseco among the most successful athletes to play poker.

Here are the top five athletes to make the transition from sports to becoming a successful celebrity poker player. Each of these celebrity poker players has won more than Jose Canseco will on "Celebrity Poker Live."

Borris Becker

For 15 years, Borris Becker was among the best tennis players in the world. Among his tennis achievements are 49 major titles and an Olympic gold medal. He has won six Grand Slams, which is the same number of times Jose Canseco was an MLB All-Star. In poker, Borris Becker's success has not been as distinguished. In his best performance, Becker won $18,672, finishing seventh.

Gualter Salles

Gualter Salles had a career racing cars, including those on the Indy racing circuit. His best achievement was winning the 1995 Formula 3 British Grand Prix. In 2006, Salles finished 447th at the World Series of Poker's $10,000 no-limit tournament. Since then, he as finished in the money several times.

Orel Hershiser

Jose Canseco is known for his hitting, but Orel Hershiser was known for his strikes. After leaving baseball, he eventually entered professional poker tournaments in 2006. Since then, Hershiser has had respectable finishes in several tournaments, most notably the 2008 NBC Heads-Up Championship. That event earned him status as a celebrity poker player.

Al Barbieri

Al Barbieri is not nearly as talented on the baseball diamond as Jose Canseco. However, if Al Barbieri was in "Celebrity Poker Live," Jose Canseco would stand little chance of winning. After leaving minor baseball, Al Barbieri played poker professionally in 1998. Since then, he as over $1,000,000 in winnings, many of which came before large purses and major celebrity poker events existed. Jose Canseco will have a hard time becoming a better celebrity poker player than Barbieri. If Jose Canseco wants to beat him, Jose Canseco should stay on the diamond.

Erica Shoenberg

Erica Shoenberg has become more popular as a celebrity poker player than she was as a professional volleyball player. After retiring from playing volleyball, Erica Shoenberg has racked up over $725,000. Jose Canseco will have to be on a lot of celebrity poker shows before he catches Shoenberg.

Sources:

Jose Canseco to be on Celebrity Poker Live

Athletes Turned Celebrity Poker Players

Sponsored Celebrity Poker Players

Scott Brodie enjoys playing sports and watching them played at their highest level. He writes on a variety of sports news.

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Updated Friday, Mar 2, 2012