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Major League Soccer Player Makes Huge $62K Score on World Poker Tour

Brent Kallman competes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Minnesota United defender Brent Kallman is used to shutting down some of the biggest names in the MLS but this week he competed with some of the best in the poker world and walked away with a huge $62,110 payday for four days of work.

Kallman entered the $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open Main Event and outlasted nearly 900 players before finally finishing in eighth place to lock up $62k.

Interestingly Kallman nearly equaled his MLS salary, which sees him earn $85,000 from Minnesota United.

Despite the big score Kallman has no plans to switch to poker full time and continues to train for United during the team’s offseason.

No Active Pro Athlete Has Ever Won a WPT Title

The WPT has a long history of still-active pro athletes competing on the tour but none have managed to win an outright title as of yet.

Former NBAer Earl Barron, who was a part of the 2006 Miami Heat team that went to the Finals, finished third in the 2010 WPT World Poker Open for $33k. He also plays the World Series of Poker and has over $110k in lifetime live tournament earnings.

Meanwhile, Richard Seymour, who was a defensive master for the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders, had a deep run in the 2016 WPT Five Diamond that eventually saw him finish 18th for $52,174.

Seymour has a very impressive record playing poker tournaments with just over $530,000 in lifetime earnings.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has made an appearance at the WPT but as a fan, not as a participant. He railed the 2012 WPT Montreal final table where his friend Jeff Gross finished third for $317k.

Brent Kallman definitely had a legitimate chance to win it all. The Minnesota native has actually been very successful at the poker table over the last five years and has accrued nearly $200,000 in live tournament earnings.

He has numerous scores in Shakopee, which is just south of downtown Minneapolis, but also a handful in Columbus and Wisconsin.

Kallman got into No-Limit Hold’em after seeing it played on TV and started venturing out to the local casinos in Minnesota.

The only downside for Kallman is that he likely won’t be invited to play poker in any of his teammates’ home games back in Minnesota.

“I know for a fact none of them will play me in poker anymore,” Kallman told the Star Tribune.

Kallman Narrowly Misses Official WPT Final Table

All WPT final tables officially start at six players remaining so Kallman came painfully close to adding an official WPT final table appearance to his name.

Unfortunately for him, he was short-stacked when he got to the unofficial final table of eight players.

When eight-handed play began, Kallman had just under two million chips for a little over 20 big blinds.

He was eventually forced to make an all-in move with pocket nines and got snapped off by an opponent with pocket tens. Not great odds and unfortunately for Kallman things went from bad to worse when his opponent flopped a full house. There was no miracle turn or river for Kallman and he had to settle for eighth place and a $62,110 payout.

If Kallman really wants to swim with the sharks, he could take a shot at the next WPT stop, which is the monster $10,000 buy-in WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio in December next month.

The Five Diamond stop has been one of the premier events on the WPT with iconic poker pros Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu among the event’s notable winners over the years.

It’s currently playoff season for the MLS and although Kallman’s Minnesota United aren’t in the mix, you can check the odds or get picks for the remaining teams by heading over to our MLS sports betting page.