The primary Saturday on the World Collection of Poker (WSOP) noticed a wave of greater than 5,500 gamers on Day 1C of the $500 Housewarming occasion. Because the match performed out at Bally’s / Paris on the Las Vegas Strip, one participant stood out among the many execs and weekend warriors.
Baltimore Ravens defensive finish Calais Campbell is a 14-year NFL veteran drafted out of the College of Miami and has performed for the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Baltimore Ravens. With NFL mini-camps getting underway league-wide earlier than coaching camps begin in July, Campbell managed to make a visit to Las Vegas to play his first WSOP occasion since 2019.
“I actually didn’t anticipate to win at the moment, I actually simply needed to play and get some expertise,” Campbell mentioned after being eradicated from the Housewarming. “I don’t play sufficient to be actually good like that. I simply needed some reps and it was enjoyable to go on the market and compete.”
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Unhealthy Beat within the Housewarming
Campbell was eradicated late within the day in 2,405th place from the general 20,080-entrant discipline which was the fourth-largest discipline in WSOP historical past. Within the small huge blind with ace-queen, Campbell moved all-in over a cutoff elevate from Qinghai Pan who had king-deuce suited. Pan referred to as the extra quantity of chips and when he turned a flush, Campbell was eradicated.
“I would like him to name me with that hand,” Campbell mentioned on being a three-to-one favourite when the cash went into the center. “Statistically, I’m successful the vast majority of the time. I obtained my cash in good, and it could have been method higher if I gained the hand. However on this match, you want just a little little bit of luck, and that’s simply the sport.”
It was Campbell’s fifth-lifetime money in line with The Hendon Mob, and his second WSOP money following a 338th-place end in Occasion #37 on the 2019 WSOP.
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“I’m going to attempt to play in two extra tournaments,” Campbell mentioned about his plans for the remainder of the WSOP. “It’s just like the Tremendous Bowl for me as I don’t get to play that a lot. I want I may simply sit right here and play for a few weeks and play each match as that may be enjoyable.”
Baltimore Ravens Eyeing Tremendous Bowl
Campbell was traded from the Jaguars to the Ravens previous to the 2020 season, and in April this 12 months, he re-signed on a two-year deal value $12.5 million. Enjoying out of the powerful AFC North division, the Ravens are standing behind their dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson who’s hoping to steer them again to the Tremendous Bowl the place they tasted victory in 2012 and 2000.
“I believe it’s going to be a terrific 12 months,” Campbell mentioned on his ideas on Baltimore heading into the season. “One of many greatest causes I got here again was that I consider the staff is in a very good place for us to have a chance to win. And that’s the place it begins. Do you might have an opportunity to win? If you don’t have an actual probability to win, it’s arduous. It’s not as enjoyable.”
Campbell could have eyes on among the greatest quarterbacks within the league this season as he faces off towards Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson all through the 2022 season. He’ll be hoping to get to the quarterback at the very least 6.5 extra occasions in his profession so he can enter the 100-sack membership the place solely 39 gamers are presently members.
Of Campbell’s accolades which embody an All-Professional choice and a number of Professional Bowl alternatives with the Cardinals and Jaguars, there may be one award that resonates above all of them; being awarded the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months in 2019.
“The Professional Bowls and All-Professionals are wonderful, however being awarded one thing that has the historical past that the Walter Payton Man of the 12 months has with all of the greats which have gained the award earlier than. Getting an award for serving to individuals, that’s what I believe this world is all about.”
“It’s such a blessing to have the ability to encourage individuals sufficient the place my friends and the voters thought that I used to be worthy of that,” Campbell mentioned after being acknowledged for establishing the Charles R. Campbell Basis to reinforce the neighborhood by the educating of important life expertise to younger individuals. “It’s a present from them.”
“All people that performs this sport needs to be a champion,” Campbell mentioned about eager to win a Tremendous Bowl. “You realize you’re a champion at coronary heart, however you need to get it on paper. I simply need to go on the market and have an opportunity to compete for a Tremendous Bowl once more.”
Poker to Observe Retirement
When time expires on Campbell’s illustrious NFL profession he can be setting his sight on the poker tables.
“Poker does that for me,” Campbell mentioned about how he’ll get his thrill as a competitor as soon as he has retired. “I plan to play much more poker after I retire as a result of it’s a superb feeling, a superb thrill. It offers me that aggressive spirit. It’s the gratification, the outcomes.”
All through his 14-year NFL profession, Campbell’s focus was all the time on being the very best soccer participant he may as poker remained a pastime.
“I by no means frolicked to be good at poker. I simply loved it, Campbell mentioned on how he approaches the sport. “After I retire, I plan on placing in much more effort to be actually good at poker.”
On the soccer discipline, Campbell chased down quarterbacks and strived to win Tremendous Bowls. On the poker felt, he desires simply as huge along with his eyes set on poker’s Vince Lombardi trophy; a gold bracelet within the WSOP Most important Occasion.
“I need to win the WSOP Most important Occasion. It’s a tricky factor that only a few individuals have completed, however I really feel like why not? If it may be completed, why not me? Simply to win a bracelet can be cool. It’s actually nearly getting the reps, getting the expertise. Like anything, it takes time to be good at it, and finally, I plan to be a fairly good poker participant.”
Earlier than Campbell turns all of his consideration to successful a Tremendous Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens, he could have another shot at successful a WSOP bracelet when he returns to Las Vegas for Occasion #37: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE Maker.
Whether or not he hoists the Vince Lombardi trophy or not, Campbell has had an amazing soccer profession and could have a poker profession ready within the wings when he hangs up his cleats. Campbell’s satisfaction and pleasure will all the time be his esteemed Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award, however he’ll fortunately make some room on the highest shelf of his trophy case if he wins a WSOP bracelet, or the Lombardi Trophy.
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