The power of poker

Poker has enjoyed a boom in recent years with the televising of the game and its influence has managed to achieve something which Formula 1 has struggled to do for years - it has got the drivers socialising at races. There is not much time in modern Formula 1 but in recent months a group of drivers including Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello, Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi have taken to playing poker some evenings in the quiet of the upper floors of the Force India motorhome.

Inveterate gamblers like Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Michael Schumacher have also joined in, but the drivers do not seem keen to turn the event into a spectacle and are happy to enjoy the the simple pleasure of a card game, something which has not been seen in F1 since the days when Alain Prost and Jacques Laffite used to while away the hours playing cards in the 1980s.

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