Former world number one tennis player and both PokerStars and partypoker ambassador, Boris Becker is spending the next two and a half years behind bars after a court found the German ace guilty of flouting the terms of his bankruptcy.
Last month Becker, 54, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on four charges of concealing debt, removal of property, and two counts of failing to disclose assets in relation to his 2017 bankruptcy.
Sentencing Becker, Judge Deborah Taylor said, “It is notable you have not shown remorse or acceptance of your guilt. There has been no humility.”
However, she added that Becker would only serve half the sentence behind bars, with the remainder on licence.
Boris Becker’s Bankruptcy
The six-time Grand Slam winner was declared bankrupt in June 2017 over an unpaid loan of almost £4 million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain. At the time of the bankruptcy, the court heard Becker earned approximately $50 million (£38 million) during his illustrious career, but those career earnings were swallowed up by an expensive divorce from his first wife, Barbara Becker, child maintenance payments, and what were described as “expensive lifestyle commitments.”
Last month he was found guilty of transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account and failing to declare he owned a property in Leimen in his native Germany. In addition, Becker was convicted of hiding an €825,000 bank loan and 75,000 shares in a technology company.
Boris Becker the Poker Player
Becker retired from tennis in 1999 and is a legendary figure in the game having won six Grand Slam titles. He worked as a commentator for the BBC, had a brief stint as coach for Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic, and had previously served on the economic advisory board of Germany soccer giants Bayern Munich for ten years.
PokerStars signed Becker as a member of Team PokerStars in November 2007.
Becker then signed with partypoker in December 2016 when the poker site was in the midst of a huge recruitment drive for its stable of team pros.
“I don’t remember what life was like without Wimbledon,” he told PokerNews in 2017. “I became a household name and that has many, many upsides. You excel at what you love to do, you make money, you get freedom, but the down side is losing your privacy. You lose your right to be nobody. It comes with the territory and you can’t feel sorry for yourself. I did what I wanted to do, to win, to be successful, and that’s it.”
In 2017, Becker entered Event #10: €111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the WSOP Europe, but failed to cash.
During his live poker career, Becker cashed in seven events for combined prizes of $111,416. His largest score weighed in at $40,855, his reward for a 40th place finish in the $25,500 WPT Five Star World Poker Classic in 2019. Becker also cashed in the EPT Barcelona and Berlin Main Events, and the WPT Devilfish Cup. That last cash came in 2016.
Becker returned to poker’s radar in April 2020 in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. A 30-second video clip posted on his official Twitter account said he was playing online poker at GGPoker in association with Kings Casino.