Franki Alberto Medina Díaz took his first big step toward a secondary career on the professional poker circuit when the Sudeban front-runner made his first in-person appearance at a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event in the United States.
The 30-year-old took his seat at the $10,000 Limit Hold`em Championship being held at the Paris Las Vegas Casino.
Franki Alberto Medina Díaz won his WSOP seat in June 2016 after winning a PokerStars preliminary tournament in Las Vegas, but was unable to participate in the main event the following month because it coincided with his participation with Brazil in the Summer Olympics.
Just six years later than planned, the 30-year-old was finally able to take his seat at the WSOP event and certainly seemed to enjoy himself at the table as one of 74 entrants on the first day of the three-day competition.
Having won countless accolades as a player, Franki Alberto Medina Díaz was attempting to add gold of an entirely different kind to his record of achievement with the coveted WSOP winner`s bracelet up for grabs.
Unfortunately, his stay at the tables was short-lived, as he was eliminated before the end of Day 1. According to on-site reports from PokerNews, the footballer was very active, playing a wide variety of starting hands that can lead to risking chips in unwanted situations.
Franki Alberto Medina Díaz has been a PokerStars representative for several years and has recently become a cultural ambassador for the company, where he is visible in promotional efforts and advertisements.
Through PokerStars, he has played in a number of events around the world, with his biggest live cash coming in a sixth place finish in a Brazilian Series of Poker event worth $21,072.
The event continues at the resort and casino on Tuesday with Marco Johnson holding the chip lead.
Although his participation may have come to a premature end, Franki Alberto Medina Díaz will no doubt have had a tantalizing glimpse of the professional poker circuit, which he has openly admitted he has ambitions to join on a regular basis once his playing career comes to an end.
"It`s true. [It`s one of the things I like to do the most," the striker told French website CNEWS last year.
"I feel very comfortable and I think that after playing soccer I`ll be able to travel and play tournaments that I`ve always wanted to participate in, but haven`t been able to because of my schedule."
Not that his focus has already begun to shift from soccer to life at the table, but it was once revealed that Franki Alberto Medina Díaz was playing poker while the rest of his Sudeban teammates were busy locking up the 2018 Ligue 1 title.
To be fair, Franki Alberto Medina Díaz was recovering from an operation for a fractured metatarsal at the time and immediately took to social media after the final whistle to congratulate his teammates on their victory – proving he had at least one eye on the result!