Who did you back to win Super Bowl LVIII? If you thought it was a match between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, you’d be right. But it was also a clash between a poker player who played the odds but not the occasion as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, Taylor Swift, proved she knows all about fate’s place within sportsbetting.

The Poker Pro Who Dropped a Million

So who was the poker player in question who lost a million dollars betting against the Queen of Pop? It was none other than Sean Perry, a former world number three in poker as recently as 2021. Since winning over $7 million at the live felt, often inside the PokerGO Studio, Perry has pivoted to the life of a professional sports bettor and has become something of an Instagram hit in that area.

Before the game, Perry posted a picture of his betting slip, minus the team he was backing, so that loyal fans could pay a premium and find out which side he had favored. Plenty of sports bettors did exactly that and learned that Perry came down on the side of the 49ers. They were, after all, the favorites to win and he stood to get $2.1 million back on his seven-figure investment if they could live up to that billing.

As it happened, it all went wrong for Perry, as the Kansas City Chiefs won their third Super Bowl in five years.

Taking the title 25-22 after overtime, The Chiefs had the MVP, Patrick Mahomes, the world’s best quarterback. They had a team who seemed impossible to beat this year, coming back time and time again to steal victories, to sweep all before them on their way to Las Vegas.

As the biggest television audience since the 1969 moon landing in the United States watched the action, however, there seemed an air of inevitability about the outcome, and it had nothing to do with anyone on the field. The Chiefs had a secret weapon up their sleeve and all she had to do was race from Tokyo to Sin City in time to see her man take the field.

The Chiefs had Taylor Swift.

Miss Americana

“I’m all about growing football and Taylor’s a great role model.” ~ 2024 Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Travis Kelce won the Super Bowl in 2023, so him winning it again in 2024 shouldn’t have been a shock. How the reigning holders of the Vince Lombardi Trophy won on Sunday owed a lot to the impact of his partner on proceedings. Since ‘Taylor and Travis’ became a global phenomenon, Taylor Swift has become a key part of the NFL and the circus she inevitably brings with her has caused consternation and celebration in equal measure.

Some argue that her attendance at Kelce’s games this season has taken the spotlight away from the game of American Football itself. Others argue the opposite, that it has brought in millions of new fans to the sport that might never have turned on had she not been in the crowd. Certainly, Swift has felt every thump of one helmet against another, cheered every touchdown and was filmed in a particularly tight game for her Tight End boyfriend yelling “Let’s ***king go!!!” at the top of her heavily insured lungs.

The impact of Swift’s attendance on Sunday was huge for the sport, and the three-time MVP Patrick Mahomes couldn’t help admitting on CNN that the ‘Swift Effect’ was huge on the Chiefs and the NFL in general.

T and T

“I’m all about growing football and Taylor’s a great role model,” he said. “I’m glad that she loves football as much as anybody else. We’ve brought a new fanbase to the Chiefs kingdom. To be able to bring girls and their fathers together, to have those family moments is special.”

Swift being at the ball game brought everyone together inside American homes. High Stakes Poker crusher Xuan Liu was thrilled to be ‘eye-level’ with her hero, the world stood still to watch Swift chug a beer and former WSOP Mystery Bounty millionaire Matt Glantz offered up odds of Kelce and Swift becoming engaged by the end of the year.

The pro-Swift feeling was typified by one of poker’s most famous sons, 2003 WSOP Main Event winner, Chris Moneymaker.


The Certainty of Chance

The inevitable nature of The Chiefs’ victory has plenty to do with the sense of destiny that centers around Taylor Swift. Since she wrote the song You Belong With Me 15 years ago, there has been the air of a musical artist – and person – that has been transformed from the try-hard girl singing in car parks to the global princess upon whose shoulders pop itself seems to rest in 2024. Once upon a time, Swift sung the famous line:

“She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts, she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers.”

That line references that Taylor Swift had been dreaming about the day when the all-American football hero would wake up and find that she was what he had been looking for, that she had ‘been here the whole time’. Travis Kelce isn’t just another boyfriend, the latest in a much shorter line of suitors to Swift’s heart than the media would have you believe. He is a destiny-fulfilling fantasy made real. Just as she has fulfilled her musical dreams, she has also manifested her personal desires, becoming the cheer captain.

Taylor Swift You Belong With Me Cover

If poker players know about one thing, it’s often numbers. So the final nail in the coffin of Perry’s bet was a particular number, that being 13.

Taylor Swift’s birthday is the 13th of December. Midnights was her 13th album. As ‘Swifties’ will tell you, Travis Kelce’s number for The Chiefs is 87, and if you add that to 13, then the couple are ‘100%’ right for each other.

Even if he was to ignore all the twin factors of destiny and numerical alignment, all Sean Perry needed to do was to look at how many times Taylor Swift had attended games in which Travis Kelce played.

On Sunday, that number, of course, reached 13.

Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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