Shane Warne: Trading the Cricket Pitch for the Poker Felt

Shane Warne
Shane Warne.

One of Australia's most beloved sons traded in the cricket pitch for the poker felt almost six years ago.

But Shane Warne, known worldwide as one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game, has only made Day 2 once in six tries at the Aussie Millions main event.

"This is my sixth Aussie Millions and the first few there was (some pressure on me)," he told PokerListings as he took to the felt on the third starting day of the 2011 Aussie Millions at Crown Casino in Melbourne Tuesday.

"I didn't really know what I was doing either, although it's probably worse now that I have a bit more of an understanding of what I should be doing.

"I love it though, I love the game and I love touring around playing about a half dozen tournaments around the World every year. Of course, I enjoy playing here, I just haven't done really well at the Aussie Millions yet. Only once have I made through to Day 2."

Cricket success came naturally to Warne, who ammassed over 1,000 International wickets for the Australian side over a 14-year career, becoming only the second bowler in the game's history to do so.

Poker has been a different story, however, as the 888 Poker sponsored pro has earned just $46,101 in tournament cashes since 2008.

Regardless, he still believes he's learning the nuances of the game and the similarities between cricket and poker will pay off eventually.

"There's the 12-hour days for one," he said. "At cricket, we have to play eight hours a day, five days in a row and be out there the whole time. It takes a lot of concentration and working up strategy and adjusting to the other players, just like poker.

"Whether you have seen them before or you haven't seen them before, you've got to search through your memory banks. So there are a lot of similarities when it comes to developing strategy. There's a lot of little things about the game, position and pot odds, those things that you pick up as you play the game that you get to know - all those things, the more you play, the better you get, just like cricket.

"You're going to make some mistakes here and there, but thats the game isn't it?"

And as he raises and folds his way through the Aussie Millions field Tuesday, Warne is hoping he can manage a little better than the Australian cricket side did in the recent 2010-11 Ashes Series, where they lost to England 3-1.

"All credit to England, they played really well and they outplayed Australia that's for sure," he said. "I think Australia has a few issues they need to sort out and hopefully they will because it's always disappointing when you lose the Ashes.

"I only lost once in about eight or nine, so hopefully the next time they can win and I can get something going here at Crown."

To follow Warne's progress and find comprehensive coverage of the 2011 Aussie Millions, tune in to PokerListings' Aussie Millions Live Updates.

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