Thomas Gravesen & the Theories Behind His Poker Millions

Thomas Gravesen of Everton
Thomas Gravesen of Everton / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

"Only £100m? Where's the rest!"

That's the response Thomas Gravesen gave when he was asked about his net worth years after retiring from professional football.

The Dane was always an enigmatic character throughout his playing career, but interest in him has surged in recent years after stories broke claiming he had amassed a fortune following the end of his playing career.

Professional Football Career

Luton Town v Everton - Carling Cup
Luton Town v Everton - Carling Cup / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

While certainly not the most decorated footballer of all time, Gravesen's club career included spells with some pretty high profile teams.

He rose to prominence in Germany with Hamburg before making the switch to Merseyside with Everton, featuring in over 150 games for the Toffees.

The Dane made a surprising move to Real Madrid in 2004 - he would later admit he initially thought the approach came from Atletico, not Los Blancos - though his two seasons at the Bernabeu ended without a trophy.

The only competition successes he enjoyed came at Scottish giants Celtic, winning the Premier League and Scottish Cup double during the 2006/07 season before re-signing for Everton for his final campaign in professional football.

He also represented Denmark on the international stage, scoring five goals in 66 caps and featuring at Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004.

A Gravelly Enigma

Real Madrid Tours China - Training Session
Real Madrid Tours China - Training Session / Cancan Chu/GettyImages

Gravesen made plenty of headlines for his alleged offbeat personality.

During his Everton days he and Wayne Rooney, who had just broken onto the scene and established himself as a regular under David Moyes at the time, shot fireworks at each other in an old gym, leading current West Ham boss Moyes to remark: "He was a good lad but mental."

In August 2006, he was involved in a training scuffle after nailing Brazilian Robinho with a hard tackle, which saw former Real manager Fabio Capello admit: "The way he is, we won't have problems with him. He's just a little bit peculiar. I don't mess with him, he works well tactically. 

"His behaviour is like this, and I don't like it, everything has to be done like he wants it to be done."

He also knocked out legendary striker Ronaldo's tooth...

Living in Las Vegas

Danish Celtic midfielder Thomas Gravesen
Danish Celtic midfielder Thomas Gravesen / AFP/GettyImages

In 2013, it was reported by Danish outlet BT that the mysterious Gravesen had set up shop in Las Vegas with his partner Kamila Persse, who works in real estate. His neighbours included tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, and Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage.

He was seen out and about driving in a Mercedes SLR McLaren, which cost around ¢500,000 and had a top speed of 208mph - which is pretty fast and perfect for running errands in.

That same report from 2013 added that the former midfielder was 'good for a huge, unknown million' - while BT stop short of explicitly saying Gravesen made investments, the Sun and Eurosport both explicitly make that exact claim.

A Man Shrouded in Mystery

Real Madrid China Tour - Training Session
Real Madrid China Tour - Training Session / Cancan Chu/GettyImages

How Gravesen made his rumoured millions is still yet to be completely clarified.

One story that first emerged on poker forum Two Plus Two is that Gravesen became embroiled in a high-stakes poker game.

A post from from a user named TarantulaGargantu - yep, really - revealed: "I can confirm he has made £80m but it did not come easy. I was there in one of the sessions where he was playing some guy heads-up and lost £54m in one night. Can't say who it was against, though."

TarantulaGargantu can't be tracked down as the user is no longer part of Two Plus Two, so the identity of the player who lost to Gravesen may never be revealed.