Ex-Soccer Star Allegedly Lost $54m in High Roller Poker Night at a Vegas Casino

  • Ex-soccer player reportedly “became engrossed in an electric high rollers game” of poker
  • The former Everton star is said to live in an exclusive Las Vegas Valley neighborhood
  • UK tabloids report that Gravesen has made over $100m from playing poker in Sin City
  • Gravesen joins a list of celebs with gambling links, including Gordon Ramsay and Michael Jordan

pocket Aces, chips, and cash in black and white
According to UK tabloid reports, former Real Madrid and Everton soccer star Thomas Gravesen lost $54m in one night playing in a high roller poker game in Las Vegas. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Loss came in a heads-up match

According to a report in UK daily tabloid Daily Star, former soccer pro Thomas Gravesen lost over $50m in a one-on-one poker game in Las Vegas.

became engrossed in an electric high rollers game”

On February 12, the publication ran a story that Gravesen, 44, “became engrossed in an electric high rollers game” of poker with a single opponent at an unnamed Sin City casino and lost $54m in one night.

Gravesen represented English Premier League team Everton and Spain’s Real Madrid. He also played for Germany’s Hamburger SV, Scottish team Celtic and represented the Danish national team from 1998 to 2006.

Gravesen’s Twitter page features a bio quoting a famous line by retired NFL linebacker Ray Lewis: “Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort? Nobody can judge that. Because effort is between you and you”.

Reported poker winnings of $100m

UK tabloids report that despite losing $54 at one sitting, Gravesen has made over $100m from playing poker in Las Vegas.

Gravesen reportedly moved to Las Vegas in 2013 after retiring from soccer at the age of 32. The Dane allegedly lives with his Czech-American model wife Kamila Persse in the exclusive gated community of Summerlin in the Las Vegas Valley, where property prices start at $5.5m.

According to another UK tabloid, The Sun, Gravesen’s Vegas Valley home is located behind the gated community of Canyon Fairways, which is prime real estate for top golf courses including Angel Park Golf Club, TPC Las Vegas, and Tournament Players Club Summerlin.

Gravesen joins gambling-minded celebrities

If Gravesen’s poker playing exploits ring true, the ex-midfielder isn’t the only celebrity to see opportunity in the gambling world. Last year, “Hell’s Kitchen” celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay announced that he’d be turning his attention to the online casino world after applying to the UK Intellectual Property Office to protect his trademark.

In February 2020, NetEnt announced that the British chef would be “top of the menu” in the iGaming giant’s licensed slots portfolio based on the star’s “Hell’s Kitchen” TV series. NetEnt Director of Games Bryan Upton said at the time that Ramsay’s celebrity status “allows us to produce a true slot with a strong narrative and a lot of adult fun.”

celebrity status “allows us to produce a true slot with a strong narrative and a lot of adult fun”

Ramsay and Gravesen aren’t the only celebrities with links to gambling. Stars like Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, and jockey Frankie Dettori have also thrown their hats into the scene, with gaming entities keen to gain leverage from the large fan bases celebrity names enjoy.