Antoine Winfield was one of the greatest cornerbacks in Minnesota Vikings history, intercepting 21 passes and earning three Pro Bowl selections in nine seasons with the team.
The 39-year-old has taken up a new hobby since retiring from football in 2013: Poker.
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Winfield competed in the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament this past weekend at the 47th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He was among 218 of the 764 entrants of the "Main Event" who lost on the first day.
"It’s fun for me," Winfield told the Las Vegas Review-Journal of playing the tournament. "I’m a competitor, but seeing all these professionals and then to go and beat them and rake down a pot knowing I’m an amateur is always exciting."
Winfield lives in Houston and spends much of his free time coaching his three sons, according to the website, casinocity.com. The site reported that his interest in poker came from watching amateur player Chris Moneymaker win the 2003 Main Event.
"I remember watching him on TV and saying, ‘Hell, if he can win it, so can I!’" Winfield told the site. "I’ve been competitive all my life, and this is no different. You’re competing against a huge field so it’s hard to make it, but it’s a lot of fun."
Winfield was drafted 23rd overall in 1999 by the Buffalo Bills, where he played five seasons. He signed with the Vikings in 2004 and appeared in 119 games for Minnesota, making 613 tackles and scoring five touchdowns.
Winfield has stayed connected to Minnesota since his playing career. Casinocity.com reported that Winfield played a game of online chess vs. former teammate Adrian Peterson on his iPad during the poker tournament. His son, Antoine Winfield Jr., is a freshman defensive back with the Gophers.
Winfield wasn’t the only former NFL playing in the poker tournament. Former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour also competed in the event.