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Footy Star Finds Action on Aussie Millions Felt
Aussie Rules Football's brightest star survived to Day 2 at the 2011 Aussie Millions main event.
But despite a true passion for the game of poker, don't expect Gary Ablett Jr. to trade in his newly inked multi-million dollar contract with the Gold Coast Suns for a rack of chips and a deck of cards anytime soon.
"Poker is one of those games that's very time consuming and I really don't get a lot of time to play it," he told PokerListings. "I love the game, I do a play a bit of online poker and as you know, Footy will end up being only a short time in my life, so hopefully when that finishes up I can get back into poker and play a lot more. But for now, I'm a Footy player"
And as far as Ablett is concerned, outside of the fact you need to develop some kind of strategy coming in, the two games couldn't be more different.
"That's probably about it," he said. "They're both very different. Here you sit on a chair all day and in Footy you're on the go the whole time."
Regardless, the man who led the Geelong Cats to AFL Grand Final victory two out of the past four seasons picked up poker six years ago, and hasn't really been able to put it down since.
"Most people start off just playing with their mates and having a good time and the competitive juices just come out," he said. "It's one of those games, really, where I don't think anyone can say there's no room for improvement in their game. You can always improve. That's a bit of a challenge and I'm a pretty competitive person, so I just love it."
With a few months before the new Aussie Rules season kicks off, Ablett decided to play the Aussie Millions main event for the first time this year and, while short stacked, he was among the contenders to push through to Wednesday's Day 2 at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
But win or lose, the three-time Leigh Matthews Trophy winner for league MVP and four-time All-Australian selection says he's enjoying his time on the felt.
"It's good to get away from Footy sometimes and I really love playing poker," he said. "So its good to get away and do something else I love to do."
Still, having signed a $10-million-plus five-year deal with the AFL's newest expansion team, Ablett is looking forward to March when he can get back to the game that made him one of Australia's biggest sports stars.
"It should be good mate," he said. "It's exciting. We've got a bunch of good young players and lots of good people around the club.
"It's going to take a little bit of time to all come together, but I'm excited about the year and the new challenge for everyone and hopefully we can win a few games."
To follow Ablett's progress and find comprehensive coverage of the 2011 Aussie Millions main event, tune in to PokerListings' Aussie Millions Live Updates.