Three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour is a familiar face these days in the $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He’s been retired from football for about five years and since then he has found a passion for cards.
Obviously familiar with the pinnacle of football, the 37-year-old is also no stranger to poker’s biggest stage, where fortunes are won, and lost, on the felt.
“Poker is really competitive,” said Seymour during the main event on Saturday. “It’s a great hobby. It keeps me mentally sharp. I get to compete against the best in the world. Poker is one of those things that my buddies and I enjoy playing. It’s fun. That’s the bottom line. [The WSOP] is always a great time of year. This is really the mecca during the summer.”
Seymour has poker tournament results dating back to 2014. So far this year, Seymour has cashed in four major tournaments, including a 24th place in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP in late June. Seymour won $11,144 for making a deep run from a 1,580-player field.
Just days later, he outlasted more than 7,000 players by finishing 725th in the $888 Crazy Eights tournament. Based on his results, it’s clear that Seymour’s game has been taken to the next level over the past two years. Seymour knows what it takes to reach the later stages of a massive no-limit hold’em field.
“It’s a marathon,” Seymour said about the main event on Saturday. “I’m not trying to get into any really big pots unless I got it. I’m just cruising along. You don’t want to play too fast in this tournament, because it has a really great structure. You try to wait for good spots and hope the cards cooperate.”
Even with a sharp poker mind, Seymour will have to catch some strong holdings to navigate through a poker minefield over seven days and make the final table.
Seymour isn’t the only current or former NFL player to ever compete at the WSOP. Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals and former Minnesota Viking Antoine Winfield also have played recently at the Rio casino located just off the Las Vegas Strip.
According to Seymour, NFL players and fans are going to be happy with professional football games in the gaming capital of America. Earlier this year the NFL approved the Raiders’ plan to relocate to a roughly $2 billion stadium in Las Vegas.
“I’ll tell you what,” Seymour said, “it will be a great traveling deal for their fans. I think it will be good for the league, and I think Vegas is going to boom from it. I’m sure the players will enjoy it.”
When asked if he thinks more NFL players might find an interest in poker thanks to a team in Las Vegas, Seymour laughed and said he knows of a “few guys” who will.
For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.