Former Liverpool man Albert Riera is no joker at poker

Albert Riera may have endured two comically underwhelming stints in the Premier League with Manchester City and Liverpool, but he can definitely play poker.

A Spain international with 16 caps and four goals to his name for La Roja, Manchester City fans may well remember Albert Riera from a short loan spell at the club back in 2006, when he played 19 games, scoring once against Newcastle.

Liverpool supporters, meanwhile, will undoubtedly have less foggy memories of the winger, who was one of Rafa Benitez’s more dubious signings back on transfer deadline day in September 2008, with the Spaniard playing 55 games and scoring five goals during a two-year stay.

And while his time in the English top flight was far from impressive, spells with Bordeaux, Espanyol and later Olympiacos and Galatasaray demonstrate that Riera was a player of some quality, having also played on loan at Watford last term from current club Udinese.

Now 32, it would appear that the winger is looking towards his post-football career and may have found a calling to outstrip his endeavours on the pitch: poker.

According to various media reports, including La Gazzetta dello Sport, Riera is celebrating an almighty win after taking part in a 46-man tournament at the Perla di Nova Gorica casino in Italy.

The veteran winger evidently had lady luck on his side, taking home the top prize of £182,000 in what could be the first of many big wins for the newly-emerging card shark.

Riera would not be the first Manchester City misfit to turn to poker either, with former Sky Blues and Newcastle United flop Laurent Charvet a popular fixture on the celebrity poker scene in his native France over the past few years.

Several Liverpool legends, like Jan Molby, meanwhile, can also be found playing the game, however Riera could be on course to become the best footballer-turned-poker star on the planet.

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