Richard Seymour Reflects On WSOP Main Event Run: “My Time Will Come”

Richard Seymour
Richard Seymour's 2019 WSOP Main Event run ended in 131st place for nearly $60,000 (photo: 888poker)

Richard Seymour’s run in the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event was one for the ages. He finished 131st out of 8,569 entries, resulting in the top finish for a major professional athlete.

Late on Day 5, Seymour moved all in for 725,000 in Level 26 with the blinds at 25,000-50,000 with a 50,000 big blind ante. The player in the small blind, Zhen Cai, called, and then the player in the big blind, Anuj Agarwal, moved all in for around 2.7 million total. Cai quickly called to create a three-way all-in pot.

Seymour had the Kh4d, Cai had the QdQh, and Agarwal had the Ad3d. The flop came Seymour the lead with the Kc6h2d falling, but the turn was the Qs to give the hand to Cai. The Ks on the river meant nothing. Seymour’s run earned him $59,295.

After starting Day 5 with 2.75 million and in 35th place among the 354 players left, the three-time Super Bowl champion and seven-time Pro Bowl selection jumped out to a hot start. Seymour was seated with another former NFL player, Eric Stocz, to begin the day. After Stocz busted early, Seymour went to work building. He moved to 3 million about 15 minutes into the day, then hit 3.8 million another 15 minutes later. That’s where he stayed until he was moved to the main televised table. Once moved, things started to go the other way for Seymour.

“As a competitor, you always want to still be in it,” Seymour said following his elimination. “You know, sometimes you just try to go out and make the best decisions possible and today was just a day where I had to fold a lot of hands. Just some pretty sick spots. It just happens that way sometimes. I’m happy with a lot of my decisions and that’s all you can do in this game. You let the cards fall where they may and it just didn’t go my way today.”

Seymour called his run “bittersweet.” A couple of days prior, he told The Fives Poker Podcast that he was elated to cash on his sixth time competing in poker’s greatest tournament. The result also gave Seymour his second best payout from a live poker tournament, behind the $376,360 he earned for finishing third in the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller.

“I got a ton of outpour and support from a lot of friends of mine and I’m very grateful for that,” Seymour said. “As a competitor, you always want to win. In tournament poker, it’s really only going to be a handful of guys that are truly happy at the end of the day, but that’s what we signed up for. I knew that coming in. It was a tremendous event and I’m very happy with coming out and playing.”

Right before his run in the 2019 WSOP Main Event, Seymour competed in the $400 buy-in Colossus tournament that drew a field of 13,109 entries. In that one, Seymour finished 300th.

“I may be one of the only guys who played in the $400 Colossus and the $10K at ARIA and the $10K here,” Seymour said. “I just really enjoy this and playing the game, and that won’t change. So we’ll just go back to the drawing board and see what’s next.”

Tournament poker can result in plenty of disappointment, as often deep runs don’t result in winning the tournament, and that’s the ultimate goal. While his fierce competitiveness is highly evident when he tackles the felt, the enjoyment of playing on poker’s biggest stage wasn’t lost on Seymour.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Seymour said. “My family and friends enjoyed it. It was a fun time. Obviously, like I said, I’m disappointed that it didn’t finish the way that I wanted it to, but there are a lot of positives that I can take away from it as well. It’s a huge field. At the end of the day, if you think you’re going to final table, that’s a sucker bet and I’ll probably bet against you. But, you just come out and play the best and hopefully you can put yourself in the position to make a run. I’m just grateful and humbled.”

Seymour may not have found the winner’s circle he ultimately dreamed of, and we won’t be seeing him at the televised final table on ESPN starting Sunday, but we’ll be seeing plenty of Richard Seymour in the poker world. His first live tournament cash came in July 2014, so he’s spent a fairly short time in the poker world. He’s befriended some of the best poker players in the world and given a lot of focus to improving his game.

“For me, a lot of people always talk about how I go from football to poker or whatever the case, and I just believe at the end of the day that if you’re a champion at heart it doesn’t matter what field you’re in, period,” Seymour said. “Being a champion means you just prepare in everything that you do relentlessly as you need to. Just those qualities in life in general I feel like separates good from being great. My time will come for sure.”