Former Arsenal Striker Nicklas Bendtner Admits Losing £6m Playing Poker

  • Nicklas Bendtner first started playing poker when he was 19 years old
  • He regularly played in high-stakes poker games while living in London
  • Turning point was one night when things got out of control, managed to limit his losses
  • Has played for smaller sums ever since, still enjoys playing the game
Nicklas Bendtner during UEFA Europa League soccer match
Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has admitted to blowing £6m playing poker since the age of 19. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Significant losses

Former Denmark and Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has revealed that he has lost £6m ($7.3m) playing poker. The 32-year-old first started playing the game when he was 19 years old. 

These revelations were made by the soccer player on a reality television show that he hosts in Denmark alongside his girlfriend Philine Roepstorff. Reflecting on his substantial losses, Bendtner said:

I have lost lots of money – a totally unrealistic amount.”

When Bendtner was playing for Arsenal and living in London, he would regularly play in high stakes games. He still maintains that he never had a gambling problem, but significant losses did lead to him becoming more conservative with his play. 

A turning point

While he said it is tough to put an exact figure on his losses, it would be around the £6m ($7.3m) mark. He spoke about how his turning point was one particular night at a game in London. He said that things could have turned out very badly, but this outcome was ultimately avoided. 

From that point on he has been playing with much smaller sums and more for the enjoyment of the game rather than for the money. He regularly plays poker with a group of friends. The buy-in is just £12 ($14.63) each. 

Who is Nicklas Bendtner?

Bendtner has always been a big personality in soccer. After playing for Arsenal between 2005 and 2014, he also played for the likes of Sunderland, Juventus, and VfL Wolfsburg. He represented Denmark on 81 occasions, scoring 30 goals in the process. He has not played soccer since being released from FC Copenhagen at the end of 2019. 

He has been involved in numerous controversies over the years. In November 2018 Bendtner was handed a 50-day prison sentence in Denmark following the assault of a taxi driver. The player served this sentence at his residence under house arrest, wearing a leg monitor to track his movements.

During a Euro 2012 group game against Portugal, Bendtner scored a goal and caused some controversy with his ensuing celebration. He exposed a pair of green underwear that had the popular sports betting operator Paddy Power’s name on them.

Paddy Power is renowned for its controversial publicity stunts over the years. Bendtner was fined €100,000 ($107,860) by UEFA for this stunt, with Paddy Power paying the fine on his behalf.