Miles Austin Now Ranks Among Top Athletes to Become Celebrity Poker Players

Written by:
Ace King
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Miles Austin Now Ranks Among Top Athletes to Become Celebrity Poker Players

Two big names were out of the 2014 WPT World Championship Thursday.  Dallas Cowboys player Miles Austin and World Series of Poker bracelet record holder Phil Hellmuth were ousted after going deep into the remaining 42 players.  Austin did outlast Hellmuth for the recod.

While neither will cash this go-around, Austin in particular made a fairly impressive run.  Until this event, the wide receiver had not even registered among any of the major poker tournament databases (i.e. PokerPages and the Hendon Mob).  In fact, this was one of the most successful tournament runs for a big name athlete from a US professional sports league.

Big name Major League Baseball player Orel Hershiser has enjoyed success on the poker circuit, but he was already retired.  Austin remains in the NFL and, at press time, was a free agent having been released by the Cowboys following the 2013 season.  It should be noted that the National Football League frowns upon gambling in any form. 

Tennis players, for whatever the reason, have proven to be especially skillful at playing poker.  Boris Becker has had a few cashes in major tournaments while Rafa Nadal outlasted a field of six players that included the top-ranked poker player in the world, Daniel Negreanu, Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo and three-time Olympic gold medalist Alberto Tomba to win the EPT Charity Challenge in Prague this past December.

Australian cricketer Shane Warne has enjoyed some degree of success on the live poker circuit while representing the online poker site 

And then there is Olympic US gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps, who of late has been dabbling in poker.  He's yet to have any serious wins, however.

The most successful professional athlete to become a winner on the felt is none of the aforementioned men.  Actually, the honor goes to a woman athlete.

Erica Schoenberg was a professional volleyball player who has won $882,260 in her professional poker career, which, we'd be remiss to point out, is more than she ever earned in her entire volleyball career.

If Miles Austin performance at this week’s WPT World Championship is any indication, he could be well on his way to joining this distinguished club of athletes-turned-poker-players.

Congrats to him on behalf of all of us at

- Ace King,