There are many talents that you need to be a successful NFL player that don’t revolve around ball skills. Being able to think under pressure, making correct decisions quickly, having a memory for charts, dedication, perseverance, and the will to win. It might just be a coincidence, but all of these qualities also tend to be what makes a great card player. It’s certainly no coincidence then, that there are a great deal of NFL players who also like to tear it up at the card table. Here are some of the ones you really should know.
Emmitt Smith had a glittering career with the Dallas Cowboys, securing them the Superbowl title three times. He’s beloved by fans thanks to his prowess on the pitch and his winning personality. As well as being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, he’s found success in many other aspects of life, including the 2006 airing of Dancing With the Stars, and as it turns out, poker.
He’s got a few tournaments under his belt and though he hasn’t raked it in terms of earnings, his experience should stand him in good stead. Emmitt Smith hasn’t made it as far as the WSOP live events since 2010, but that might not stop him this year. This ex-cowboy has a real talent when it comes to poker, so it might be worth seeing if his name makes it to the headlines in the WSOP live reporting.
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Entering the NFL in 1990 with the Denver Broncos, Shannon Sharpe played twelve years with them before spending a couple with the Ravens. He is the NFL’s leading player when it comes to touchdowns with no less than 62 to his name. After his illustrious career, Sharpe wasn’t happy with the idea of just retiring.
He discovered that he had a real knack for poker and began really putting some hours in. Fast forward to 2005 and Sharpe was offered a deal with a major poker company. He would become one of their star players and they’d assign him a mentor in the form of Mark Self. Sharpe took the deal and has performed well at some pretty major events. He says that he takes the game just as seriously as he takes football, putting in the time and giving it all of his focus.
This former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles is a huge face on the poker scene. He spends a lot of his time at charity poker tournaments, choosing to use his experience to give back, rather than for personal gain. Of course, after seeing the wages he received during his football career, it’s not like he probably needs the money!
Although he’s a regular on the charity poker circuit, Austin is still looking for his big break when it comes to professional competitive poker. Back in 2014, he made it to the third day of the World Poker Tour Championships, which is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. However, since then he’s been met with little success.