The World Series of Poker Main Event draws thousands of entrants each year. The tournament has an entry price of $10,000, and its field consists of everything from professional poker players to wealthy businessmen to celebrities who play recreationally.
Former All-Pro defensive lineman Richard Seymour currently falls into the recreational celebrity category. But if he keeps on making deep runs in poker tournaments and earning big cash prizes like the one he did in this year’s WSOP Main Event, he might end up playing his way into the professional category.
Looking back at Richard Seymour’s football career
Drafted with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Seymour wasted no time at all on his way to becoming an impact player. Seymour played 13 regular season games in his rookie season and had 44 total tackles including three sacks. He chipped in 11 more total tackles and another sack in the postseason as the New England Patriots went on to win their first Super Bowl of the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era.
Seymour played with the Patriots from 2001 through 2008, making the NFL Pro Bowl five times and winning three Super Bowl rings with New England. He finished his career with the Oakland Raiders, playing four seasons from 2009-2012 with Oakland and represented the team in the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2011.
Richard Seymour was named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team in 2010. The former defensive tackle was not voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility this year, but many believe that he is deserving and will eventually be selected.
Seymour finds competition after football at the poker table
Injuries eventually cost Seymour his career in the NFL as he missed the final eight games of the 2012 season with a hamstring injury. He received multiple offers in 2013, but with $90,000,000 in career earnings already amassed, Seymour opted to retire over taking a pay cut to continue playing.
According to his poker database on Hendon Mob, Seymour’s first career cash in a poker tournament came in July of 2014. He finished in 178th place out of 1,945 players in a $1,100 buy-in tournament in Las Vegas, earning himself a payout of $2,488.
From 2014 to 2017, Richard Seymour played in a handful of tournaments around the country. He cashed in 12 of these events for a total of $139,958 in prize winnings. The best finish over that stretch was an 18th place finish in a $10,400 event in 2016 that netted the former Patriot a $52,174 payday.
That cash would be Seymour’s best until he played in a $25,000 high-roller event in the Caribbean in early 2018. Seymour finished in third place in that event, putting himself on the map as a poker player with a colossal $376,360 cash prize.
But Richard Seymour doesn’t only play in events with massive buy-ins and prize pools. On a quiet Monday night in Scottsdale, Arizona, last December 17, a 6’6” three-time Super Bowl Champion was one of 44 players playing in a $125 buy-in nightly event at the Talking Stick Resort. Seymour finished in first place that night and chopped the prize money up with the other players in the top five, ending the night with a grand prize of $968.
The WSOP Main Event
This year’s World Series of Poker Main Event had 8,569 entrants.
Richard Seymour outlasted 8,438 of them, eventually being knocked out in 131st place. This was the deepest Main Event run ever made by a former professional athlete from the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL. The five-day effort was good for a payout of $59,295, the second biggest cash of Seymour’s career. It brings his career total in poker tournament earnings up to $638,293.
With 496 tackles, 57.5 sacks, seven Pro Bowl appearances, three first-team All-Pro selections, and three Super Bowl Championships, Richard Seymour had himself one hell of a career on the gridiron. Now, we’ll just have to see what heights he can reach in his new career on the felt.