The first weekend of March saw the launch of the popular 888poker Live Local Series in Aspers Casino, London. A number of team pros gathered for one of the most highly anticipated events in poker – including the long-time poker player and new 888 ambassador, Kara Scott.

The tournament also welcomed a less familiar face to the poker circuit – though a familiar face nonetheless. Andy Cole has become one of 888poker’s most recent sponsored players to partake in the Live Local Series – a fact much appreciated by the ex-Man United player, who considers himself a ‘poker newbie’.

“I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to poker. You have to ask 888 why they picked me. But it’s a new challenge, and in life many things just happen out of the blue,” he tells PokerListings.

Cole may have swept every possible honour in the English game, along with numerous international trophies, but that hasn’t prepared him for the intimidating nature of professional poker. The ex Manchester United star is optimistic about his endeavours in the game, regardless.

“I’ve been watching my teammates play for numerous years when I was still in football, but I didn’t play myself. That’s going to change now.”

As for the winning aspect – Cole attests the game is more about having fun is more important than financial gain. “It’s more about enjoyment – especially at my level”. He adds that this tournament is, after all, his first live poker event. Whether he’ll be back for a second depends upon his progression within the game, Cole explains. As for now, he sees the event simply as an opportunity to have a good time. The retired striker is not the first footy star to take up poker as side hobby (both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gerard Pique have already discovered their love for the game), but whether Cole will become a prominent name within the poker circuit remains to be seen.
Read the full interview here.