Shane “Warney” Warne has become an Australian legend. After twenty years of cricket, his reputation as one of the game’s greats precedes him. Now, he hopes to add another game to his list of successes – poker. He has been signed as a sponsored player by 888.com.
The announcement came at the Crown Casino near the start of the 2008 Aussie Millions main event. Not only did he sign a sponsorship deal with the online poker giant 888, but he was designated the captain of the site’s Australian Poker Team.
Warne’s poker sponsorship announcement was covered by all of the mainstream media in Australia due to his immense popularity as a sports star. Though parts of his career have been controversial, such as a positive test for a prohibited diuretic and a much frowned upon public criticism of a Sri Lanka team captain in 1999, not to mention tipping off an Indian bookmaker, and having extramarital affairs that resulted in the demise of his marriage, he has remained widely respected for his spin bowling and cricket skills. In 2000, he was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, and he retired from the game in 2007.
Always looking for a challenge and competition, Warne took up the game of poker about five years ago and most recently befriended Joe Hachem who became his mentor and instructor. After much practice, he has entered the world of professional poker with the 888 sponsorship deal.
He commented to the Herald Sun, “Nothing will replace the 20 years of cricket in my life, but there are a lot of similarities. [Poker] is a game of skill that has a lot of analogies to cricket. You have to be very, very disciplined.”
Warne’s deal with 888 includes a blog on the company’s website that will detail his experiences in the poker world and with the 888 team, as well as numerous tournaments around the world, including the 2008 World Series of Poker, United Kingdom Poker Open, Poker Nations Cup, and New Zealand Poker Champs. Further tournaments will be announced soon, and the blog will be forthcoming as well.
In the meantime, Warne continues to brush up on his poker skills. “My attitude is I’ve got a lot more to learn about the game,” he said.
Download 888 now to join the team, use the code POKERWORKS to take advantage of the 60% deposit bonus up to $100.