NFL's Calais Campbell Bucket List: Win Super Bowl, WSOP ME

Calais Campbell WSOP
Calais Campbell playing his third WSOP event of the summer.

Arizona Cardinal Calais Campbell wants to win the Superbowl and the WSOP Main Event before he kicks the bucket.

With no offense intended to his poker skill, it's safe to say accomplishing one of those goals is a lot more likely than the other.

“We're going to be very good this year,” Campbell told at the WSOP in Las Vegas.

“I think we have a real chance to make a run at the Super Bowl. I think everyone's giving us that. Last year we had a real shot but this year I think we're going to be better.

“I wouldn't be surprised if we're hoisting that trophy at the end of the year.”

Winning the massive World Series of Poker Main Event is a long-shot for even the very best poker players in the world, but Campbell keeps showing he has what it takes to compete against the pros.

The latest evidence? Knocking 2013 Main Event champ Ryan Riess out of a WSOP event earlier this summer.

Ryan Reiss
Campbell eliminated former WSOP champ Ryan Riess from an event this summer.

“I watched the World Series where he won and I have a lot of respect for him,” said Campbell. “He's a stud.”

Campbell explained that the hand Riess busted on was just a race that Campbell happened to win. The moment he's most proud of came before.

“I caught a straight on the turn and I put him on two-pair and I got some good money out of him,” said Campbell.

“He said he thought he might be paying me off but that he had to call and I was just like, 'Yes!'

“To me that's like him coming onto the field and trying to pancake block me or something,” he laughed.

Less Poker in NFL Nowadays

Campbell started playing poker in college at the University of Miami.

“I learned by playing with a bunch of my teammates,” he said.

Calais Campbell WSOP 2
“Most of the guys that were really good poker players are retired now."

“We used to do a weekly home game in the off-season. We weren't playing for much, dollars and quarters on the table, but we had fun.”

Campbell also got his first taste of playing in a casino with other football players he looked up to.

“I remember Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas used to be pretty good poker players back in the day. That was when I was learning to play in Miami. We'd go to the casinos in my later years in college.

“That was pretty cool, especially since they were in the NFL already and I was trying to get there,” he said.

When Campbell made it to the Arizona Cardinals he continued playing poker but he's seen poker in the NFL drop off.

“Most of the guys that were really good poker players are retired now,” he said.

There's no team game on the Cardinals and Campbell said even though he loves poker, it's not a big priority while he's playing pro ball.

“I Won't Play in the Main Event Until I Retire”

Campbell would love to play in the World Series of Poker Main Event but since the final table is in November, he doesn't see the point.

Calais Campbell WSOP 3
"I don't see any reason to play in a tournament I can't final-table."

“We're busy in November so I don't see any reason to play in a tournament I can't final-table,” said Campbell.

He explained that nowadays he's lucky to play poker once a month, compared to other periods of his life when he played every week.

“I think I'd be a lot better if I played more regularly. When I retire I plan to play a lot more,” he said.

Campbell made it clear that one of the things he's looking forward to about retirement is the chance to play the WSOP Main Event.

“Those are two things on my bucket list, winning the Super Bowl trophy and winning the Main Event bracelet,” said Campbell.

Keep an eye on our WSOP 2016 Page for more updates from the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

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