Former NFL Running Back Cadillac Williams Wins Florida Poker Tournament

Written By Steve Schult on August 1, 2022 - Last Updated on August 2, 2022
NFL RB wins Florida poker tournament

Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams won a lot of games in Tampa as a running back for the Buccaneers. Last week, he scored another win in the city, but this time it was on the poker felt.

The 40-year-old Alabama native won the $400 no-limit hold ’em Triple 30s event at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa property. Williams defeated a 185-entry field and Ryan Hogan heads-up to win $16,915 for his efforts.

Despite a sparse schedule, Williams showed skills on the felt

The former NFL star doesn’t have many results on his poker resume. But the few he does have show that Williams has some natural talent for the game.

This is just his fourth-ever cash win, with three coming in Florida poker tournaments. Yet, it is his second outright victory. He also won a $345 no-limit hold ’em event in Biloxi in 2015 for $7,753.

According to Hendon Mob, a popular database that tracks poker tournament results, here are his career results.

July 23, 2022 $400 No-Limit Hold'em Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 1st$16,915
March 17, 2018 $250 No-Limit Hold'em Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 19th$427
April 2, 2015 $345 No-Limit Hold'em Beau Rivage Hotel & Casino, Biloxi1st$7,753
October 21, 2013$200 No-Limit Hold'em Isle Casino Pompano Park10th $639

Top 19 of 185 finished in money for Florida poker event

The final table also featured local pros Karl Manouchakian and Manny Minaya. Minaya finished sixth for $2,780. Manouchakian earned $7,190 for his third-place finish in the FL poker event.

The top 19 spots finished in the money for at least $910. Here are the final table results:

1st: Carnell Williams – $16,915
2nd: Ryan Hogan – $10,430
3rd: Karl Manouchakian – $7,190
4th: Pasquale Hudson – $5,090
5th: Jason Block – $3,710
6th: Manny Minaya – $2,780
7th: Jonathon Defaria – $2,150
8th: Donald Brown – $1,720
9th: Jason Goldman – $1,410

The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa casino, one of the busiest Florida poker rooms, hosts tournaments every day. They usually start at 11 a.m. or 6 p.m.

The World Poker Tour is making a stop there on Aug. 25 through Sept. 7. The championship event is Sept. 2-7, one of the highlights on the calendar for poker in Florida.

Cadillac joins the ever-growing list of poker-playing professional athletes

Williams was selected fifth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award that same year, which resulted in a five-year, $31 million deal from the Bucs.

However, injuries cut his career shorter than anticipated. He played six years in Tampa before a final season for the St. Louis Rams in 2011.

After his playing career ended, Williams moved to the other side of the field. He is currently the running backs coach for his alma mater, Auburn University. Auburn and head coach Bryan Harsin open fall camp with players reporting on Thursday.

Like many former professional athletes, Williams began playing poker after he stopped competing on the gridiron.

NFL Hall of Famer Richard Seymour is arguably the most successful former athlete on the felt. The former New England Patriot has $645,212 in career tournament earnings, including a third-place finish in the $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold ’em high roller event at the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce is also a regular in the high-stakes poker world. Although he doesn’t have the same type of results as Seymour does. According to a recently filed lawsuit, Pierce owes a home game $180,000.

The Golden State Warriors also have many poker players on the roster. In 2019, shooting guard Klay Thompson said he “got killed” in the team’s poker game. Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya is good friends with 16-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Palihapitiya made multiple appearances on live-streamed high-stakes cash games.

It was rumored that former Atlanta Braves pitchers and MLB Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were regular poker players as well.

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Steve Schult

As Managing Editor of PlayFL, Steve will stay on top of all things related to the Florida gaming industry. He is also a veteran of the gambling world. The native New Yorker started covering high-stakes tournaments in 2009 for some of poker's most prominent media outlets before adding the broader U.S. gaming market to his beat in 2018.

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