Transitioning from one sport to another upon retirement isn’t as uncommon as it once was. For ex-New England Patriots and Oakland Raider defensive tackle, Richard Seymour it seemed the only way to combat the potential idle hours he was facing after finally bringing down the curtain on an illustrious career.
A career which saw the former NFL star win a total of three Super Bowls as a defensive lineman for the New England Patriots, Seymour needed something to keep that fire burning. Transitioning onto the couch was never an option and “plan b” was always at the forefront of Seymour’s mind during the last couple of years of his pro football career.
The catalyst for this “plan b” was born from the idle hours Seymour and his teammates had when traveling to away matches on planes. During those hours he would participate in poker games with his peers. It was these games that would ignite his love for poker, and would initiate his desire to play at a competitive level. So, when he retired at the end of 2012, he began to look for possible inroads into the world of professional poker.
Seymour came to the conclusion that in order for him to gain the most experience possible, his first notable tournament event would be at the prestigious World Series of Poker – an event that attracts the very best poker professionals in the world. To enter the tournament event Seymour would have to submit the $10,000 buy-in to enter.
Although ex-football player didn’t make it into the cash prize winners he make it into the last 2,000 players. Now that might not sound particularly startling however a total of 6,683 players entered this year’s Main Event, as reported by SB Nation.
But what’s interesting is why did Seymour decide to through himself in the deep end with a bunch of poker pros? Many feel that decisions like this are due to two factors: 1) having the money to enter such a tournament, as Seymour does and 2) the death of Internet poker.
When Black Friday hit in 2011 all online poker sites were taken down by the US government and thus limited the availability to play poker online. Unfortunately, this stunted the growth of the sport and the next generation of poker players didn’t have the chance to pit themselves against competitive opposition online anymore. It also meant they couldn’t attempt to qualify online to events such as the WSoP. Since the birth of online casino gaming via InterCasino in 1996, the online platform was credited with helping many American’s to the WSoP, none more than the rags-to-riches story of Chris Moneymaker. So, this latter variable is thought to be the reason why Seymour sought to test himself off the bat in the major tournaments.
After enjoying the experience so much, Seymour has already stated his intentions of playing in next year’s Main Event. So, keep your eyes peeled as the may be some more ex-football players competing next year.