Daniel Ricciardo secured his first victory for McLaren this year – in the McLaren Turbo Poker Series.
The Formula 1 ace has struggled for form ever since he moved over to the Woking team from Renault in 2020, but the Australian was No.1 when he took on former world boxing champion Carl Froch, professional poker player Jamie Roberts, Party Poker president John Duthie, and sports reporter Abbi Summers. This victory was somewhat of a miracle, as Ricciardo needed a one hour tutorial in poker, as he admitted he had not played in ten years.
And this fatal inexperience began to show through in desperate fashion, as the Honey Badger went all in midway through the contest with a strong looking three of a kind hand, only for Roberts to oust him with a full house. But the Aussie showed his determination once more, bouncing back to record a stunning victory after being bought back into the contest.
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Needless to say, his smile was beaming, as wide as an F1 track itself. “Winning is always fun. I am a competitor so winning always sweetens it,” Ricciardo said exclusively to Daily Star Sport. “But I really did have fun today.
“Last time I played poker was ten years ago and I kind of just threw it all together again. After I was thinking, ‘why haven’t I played in ten years’ because I really enjoyed it today. I like the banter as well. I can just imagine [playing it] with a few mates and stuff.”
While there was no real money at stake, the competition remained a very competitive one.
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An ice cool Froch sat to the right of Ricciardo, looking for any potential crack or hesitation from his grinning opposite number. But unlike his final fight against George Groves in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley, Froch was not able to find the knockout blow to clear Ricciardo and his other opponents out.
“I think it was fitting that the McLaren man won the McLaren Cup, that’s poker for you,” Froch said to Daily Star Sport soon after Ricciardo’s victory. “It shows that if you’re a beginner, if you don’t have any experience in poker, you can win something big.
“That was a big win today. It was a big win. He got the Party Poker trophy, I’ve wanted one of them for ages. It’s fitting that he won that today, but he did get a bit lucky.”
Ricciardo and Froch were speaking at the launch of the McLaren Turbo Series on PartyPoker, in association with McLaren Racing. The full McLaren Turbo Series schedule can be seen here.”
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