Former Reading star Jimmy Kebe forging successful career in poker

Former Reading star Jimmy Kebe forging successful career in poker

Jimmy Kebe is still at an age where he could feasibly still be playing football, but it’s now five years since the former tricky winger played regular first-team football.

The French-born Malian international isn’t doing too bad for himself, though, and is forging a successful post-football career as a poker hotshot.

Last September it was reported that from player poker for the last four years, Kebe had earned $128,000 from live tournaments, having started out just playing cash games.

This weekend was his latest triumph, although he might have been disappointed not to scoop the first place jackpot at the WSOP International Circuit tournament in Marrakech, losing out to Frenchman Sonny Franco who resides in Morocco. In the final hand, Kebe was defeated with pocket nines by Franco’s pocket fives, as a third five came out on the turn.

Despite the pot and victory being awarded to Franco, a Marrakech resident, Kebe still pocketed approximately $87,400 (950,000 MAD) from finishing in second place, which was roughly two-thirds of the grand prize.

Kebe, who made nearly 200 appearances over five years for Reading, is well-regarded by Royals fans, after he was a mainstay in their successful promotion campaign of 2011-12, although he shifted to the periphery as they were relegated in their first season back in the top-flight.

An unsuccessful move to Crystal Palace followed, with a short spell at Leeds proving similarly unfruitful. He finished his playing career at Real Mallorca but never played ended up playing a match for them.

It seems his football career was over by the age of 30, but if he keeps winning big at poker tournaments that won’t bother him.

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